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Managing Social Media in Youth Hockey

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It’s no secret that social media has managed to connect people literally worldwide. It gives people a chance to express themselves, stay in touch with one another and keep others posted on their lives through the Internet. However, with all these benefits of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, websites and any other app out there comes downfalls.

Being a part of a team is a decision made by the player, the coaching staff, and even parents. With all these people being with each other quite often, it is normal you appreciate certain peoples company more so than others. The same goes for the players in the dressing room. That being said, never under any circumstance is it acceptable to condescend a teammate through social media.

At the beginning of our season, the coaching staff and I made it very clear to our players that although social media profiles are their own business, the moment there is something said about the team it then becomes our business. There is no excuse to write any negativity about the team or a teammate. We have not had any issues concerning this, but I am writing this blog simply to give any readers perspective of the "what-if’s" and repercussions of team negativity through social media. 

Imagine a team where before a practice there were mean status’ or tweets from your players directed towards another, and that the player targeted see’s it or hears about it. Imagine a coach writing on his Facebook wall awful things about that days game. Imagine a player speaking her mind and writing ill of the team. Doesn’t sound like very much fun, does it? Would you want to play for a team like that? I know I wouldn’t. Social media is a form of bullying, and if misused it can cause serious problems amongst the team. 

If you made the decision to commit to a team, it means you have accepted to represent it respectfully and the league it is a part of. So before writing anything that could cause issues, ask yourself: How would you feel if it was you? That someone else was writing mean things about you for the world to see. We must, as female hockey player, think before we act and always be disciplined. If there is nothing nice to say, nothing should be said at all. 

It is a privilege to play for a team and not a right. So when using social media, always be humble and be respectful of everyone. Instead of negativity, use it to build positivity. If you are to write anything related to your hockey team, show enthousiasm. Encourage and motivate one another and pass the message to any other team reading your messages that you are all a unit, and that they should be scared to play against girls who have so much motivation and dedication to the game. 

Always be a team, no matter where it is, and always have your girls’ back.

Yours in female hockey,

Monika Cormier

Coach Moncton Bantam AAA Stars

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