The Power Of Social Media In Sports

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.– As many coaches, high school and college, and athletic administrators tell their student-athlete’s ‘be careful of what you do with social media.  It could help or harm you down the road’.

But with the time of uncertainty with Coronavirus and sporting events being postponed and/or canceled, some High School Teams and travel ball squads are finding ways to keep their student-athletes involved individually and as teammates with one goal in mind:

Staying positive, staying focus and staying excited of the possibility of what could be ahead while staying healthy for that opportunity.

Cascade-grad Anthony Williams, who had brought home a State Title as a sprinter for the Cougars before returning as an assistant Sprints Coach, knows how important it is during this time to keep the kids involved during the Coronavirus Craze on Instagram.

“Social media continues to become a great tool for everything these days, especially outreach,” said Williams on Instagram.  “We’ve been able to engage with our Athletes quite well through continuous relative content and asking for them to also get involved by sharing their workouts.”

William’s son, Ashton, is on the team this year with the aspirations to out-do his father’s accomplishments

Under the tag ‘cascade_track_field’, the Cascade Track and Field team had seen their captains send in encouragement videos to inspire their teammates of the mission at hand of having fun, working hard and most importantly staying healthy.

“I’ve been very proud of our captains for stepping up and sending encouraging messages to the team. We’re also trying to get each coach to do some sort of talk to the team about what they can be doing to stay active and in shape,” said Cascade Head Coach Molly Gehley.  “This is a very hard time for all of our students and it seems to hit our athletes and especially our seniors most of all.

“It makes you realize how fortunate we are as coaches to be able to have the opportunity to work with so many great student athletes and the opportunity to be a part of each other ‘s life.”

The NW Vandals, a travel softball team based in Salem, have been posting up workouts, daily challenges and send messages to one another on their Facebook and Instagram platforms to keep their student-athletes in their program active during this crazy time.

Marie Scott, who’s the organization owner and 16U Head Coach with the NW Vandals, knows how hard these times have been for not just them, but for someone like her daughter Mackenzie during these times.  Mackenzie is a freshman at South Salem High School this year.

“It is important to remember that this has not only impacted athletes, but it has impacted their parents as well. Parents get excited to watch their kids compete and to see how much they have improved from the previous year. In some cases, it will be the season that wasn’t for our seniors, which is heartbreaking in and of itself,” Scott said through IM.  “As an organization, we wanted to use social media platforms to keep people (athletes and parents) engaged, and have a little fun while doing it.

“We have been using Instagram and Facebook to send messages, create daily challenges between kids and teams, share videos and daily workouts that parents and kids can do together. It’s important to stay connected during times like these – we just have to be really creative as to how we do that.”

Western Oregon University softball  in Monmouth on Twitter are also finding ways to keep their players saying active with a fun little ‘field this ground ball and throw it to a teammate’ thread on Twitter.

All in the act to staying active and involved through these times.

And as we remain in this holding pattern of uncertainty with Coronavirus, teams are taking it to Social Media to help each other through these times to stay positive, stay focus and stay excited of the possibility of what could be ahead:

The hope and thrill of competition.

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