Personally, I like the Twitter. However, I'm not sure it's going to change the way coaches recruit. Regardless, we asked a pair of college coaches how they perceive the newest social media that has become the rage in college hoops.
# 1 Do you use twitter and if so, how often do you update? OR, do you just "lurk?"
Coach 1 Yes to using Twitter. I update it almost daily.
Coach 2 I do not have a twitter account and no one on our staff does. I do check other a few others peoples accounts though. One of our players has one, so I check that about once a week. I check a few head coaches as well - sometimes they offer some coaching/teaching points that are useful or just to see something that might be going in their program. I also check some national writers for good links to articles to read and/or send to our players.
#2 Is there pressure to use Twitter it because in theory everyone else is?
Coach 1 No pressure to use it. I actually had a Twitter account last December before it got hot- although I didn't start actually using it until recently.
Coach 2 I don't feel pressure to have one at this point, however, if I were a head coach, I think I would. I think it's a little "goofy" for assistants to have one, but I'd assume that they feel they do to in order to compete with others. I was definitely opposed to it when it first came out, but it's definitely growing on me as a source for information and to keep improving as a coach.
#3 Do you see Twitter as a valuable recruiting tool?
Coach 1 Not sure how valuable it is, but definitely another avenue to put your school or something about your school in front of fans, other coaches and recruits.
Coach 2 Twitter is valuable in that it provides information, which is essential in recruiting. It seems like it's helped teams with Kyrie Irving a little but, although Indiana is out now! It's another form of obtaining information from kids, coaches, evaluators, etc. I think it could help a kid get to know the personality of the coach that is recruiting them too, which is important.
#4 Would you ever make a tweet aimed at a player or group of players?
Coach 1To my knowledge I have not tweeted towards a player or group. Some coaches have tweeted what city they are in or where they are going recruiting, which I don't think you are allowed to do. Also other recruits might see what you've posted or where you were and it could possibly be counter-productive.
Coach 2 If I had twitter, I don't think I'd aim a tweet at a specific kid, but it's a very fine line. I'd try to focus on insights into our program, knowing that kids may read it. For example, talk about our scheduling philosophy, or what we just worked on in an individual workout.
# 5 How often do you or staffers checks what recruits are saying on Twitter?
Coach 1 I follow recruits on Twitter. Just whenever I refresh it or have it sent to my phone.
Coach 2 We don't ever check what recruits are saying twitter, maybe we should?!
# 6 Do you feel you can be open and "yourself" when making Tweets?
Coach 1 Definite "No" about being open and "yourself". I posted something (actually re-tweeted something one of our players wrote) that was pretty funny and got a scathing, demeaning e-mail from a fan of a rival team. Since then I've been very careful as to what I've posted.
Coach 2 If I started to tweet, I think I'd feel comfortable being myself. However, like we tell our players about twitter, Facebook, etc "if you don't want it on the front page of the newspaper, don't put it on Facebook!"