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Game Ready: How Coaches Can Handle Social Media for a Healthy Team Culture

December 7, 2023

This article appears in the November/December edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

Social media use among young athletes is all but guaranteed. You have the difficult task of ensuring that your athletes are using it to enhance team culture rather than spread negativity.

TrueSport expert Nadia Kyba shared some simple tips with us.

Do: Acknowledge athletes use social media for connection.

Social media isn’t all bad. It can keep athletes connected in the offseason, allow them to communicate more comfortably and even create team unity when used in a healthy way.

Don’t: Ignore social media.

Rather than shying away, have discussions about social media and etiquette.

Do: Set phone use boundaries.

“Have an open dialogue about phone use at games, at practice and on the team bus,” Kyba said.

Don’t: Allow poor social media behavior from parents.

Some turn to social media to complain about referees, coaches and athletes.

Do: Agree on team strategy.

Determine a plan for social media.

Don’t: Assume everyone is comfortable on social media.

More young people are opting out of it entirely and prefer to not have their picture posted online, Kyba said.

Do: Have a code of conduct.

It can include not posting anything negative after a game, or only saying positive things about teammates.

Don’t: Ignore online bullying.

Treat it the same way you would an in-person bullying allegation.

Do: Set clear boundaries between yourself and your students.

Social media has blurred the liens of athlete/adult relationships. Set appropriate boundaries. Don't follow your athletes or communicate with them on those platforms.