USA TODAY High School Sports asked some of the top female college athletes from different sports to give their advice to high school girls on a variety of pressures they will face in the coming years. This is the seventh of a nine-part series in conjunction with USA TODAY High School Sports’ Girls Sports Month.
Wednesday, May 7: Recruiting
Thursday, May 8: Parties/social scene
Tuesday, May 14: Homesickness
Thursday, May 16: Relationships/dating
Tuesday, May 21: Classes/homework
Thursday, May 23: The off-season
Tuesday, May 28: Social media
Wednesday, May 29: Lifestyle/nutrition
Thursday, May 30: Most important advice
Advice on social media …
Caitlin Leverenz, senior, California, swimming
“Athletes are ambassadors and representatives of their university and of their sport. It is extremely important to post things over social media that reflect this.
“Remember that if someone really wants to they can see everything you have ever posted on the Internet, even if it has privacy settings or you think you might have deleted.
“Think before you post something.
“If you wouldn’t want someone to read it, whether it be your coach, a friend, a parent or a boss, then DON’T post it.”
Katie Reinprecht, senior, Princeton, field hockey
“Playing with the national team, there is definitely a more critical eye put on what you post on social media.
“There are younger athletes looking up to you. You don’t want to project an image that you wouldn’t want anyone else to approach you about and address it and you feel embarrassed about.
“You shouldn’t be scared of what you are posting. You should feel free to put pictures up of your friends.
“Just be careful. You never really know who is looking. “
Nicole Gibb, junior, Stanford, tennis
“You can’t be controversial. Generally you want to stay away from (politics and) that stuff, because it is more public for you then it is for most people, and if people latch on to something you have said on Facebook or Twitter – it’s not painting the most neutral portrait of you.
“You really want to avoid even mainstream forms of swearing or any vulgarity – just make sure you are presenting the best form of yourself on both versions of social media or whatever outlets you use.
“At the same time, there is no need to be overcautious. I have posted pictures of a party scene at Stanford and I’m comfortable doing that. You just have to make sure anything you are posting isn’t going to be an issue with your compliance office or in way that you don’t want to portray yourself.”
Christine Nairn, Penn State, soccer
“Everything that you do as a student-athlete will be taken into account.
“When we played in the NCAA tournament, there was a girl who was actually suspended for a game for trash-talking on Twitter.
“Why put your future and your reputation as an individual as well as an institution on the line for a stupid tweet or Facebook post?
“It’s just not worth it.