Being a student athlete is no joke. When I was a kid, it meant that you were good at sports and that maybe, just maybe, you could play at the next level. Grades were not really that big of a deal if you were a student athlete … and I even met a baseball player one time in college that couldn’t even read.
Those days are LONG gone though.
As early as middle school, these kids are vying for a spot on one team or another, attending camps, clinics, workshops, etc. It is very important to further the growth as an athlete, but today, to truly play at the next level, you must also excel in the classroom. The term, “Student Athlete” has “Student” at the beginning for a reason. If you can’t make it in the classroom, you will not be in serious contention for college scholarships.
A lot of athletes learn that it will take a lot of sweat to get where they want to go. They know that grades have to be a big part of the equation and they hear it from coaches all the time that like it or not, people are always watching … but there is one lesson that I feel they are not getting on the field (or floor) and it’s a very important piece for them to master.
Yes … I know you are reading this thinking … branding? That’s what “I” have to worry about with my business … now I have to worry about it with my kid too? You do if your child wants to play competitively in college and sometimes beyond. College and professional sports is a business and therefore, branding of their incoming players is important to them as well.
With things like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace (although that’s less relevant these days) Flickrr and other social media sites, it’s harder for these student athletes to “keep their noses clean.”
I have personally seen some kids get into serious trouble with Facebook this year. I’ve seen bullying, I’ve seen kids impersonating others in a hurtful way and I’ve seen photos that make kids “appear” to be doing something that they aren’t with a simple click of a cell phone camera.
I don’t think that kids understand the true ramifications that come with being THAT exposed. Especially when they are student athletes with a bright future ahead of them.
I think that the best way to control the environment for our student athletes is to create one from the ground up. An area where they can interact with friends, share photos, put up schedules, videos, etc. A space that they can call their own, but one where they can control what is shown and shared a little easier.
That’s why RKN Studio is working with student athletes to develop a place that they can call home online. A place that will allow them to start managing their own brand – their name!
Do you have a student athlete that needs some help beginning the process? If so, contact us. We understand first hand and can definitely help you!
For more information on Student Athlete Branding, you should read our article on How Social Media Can Be the Life or Death of Student Athletes.