First Impression

As an athlete, your junior squash-player may never get a second chance to make a first impression! The origin of this bit of wit is unclear. The quote has been attributed to poet, playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde. It is thought by some to have been authored by American humorist Will Rogers and is even engraved on a plaque at his memorial. Others give creative credit to the great Mark Twain. Madison Avenue, the American launch-pad of many memorable advertising campaigns, also lays claim to the slogan, citing its use in a 1966 advertisement.

As a high-school (or younger) athlete, is your junior squash-player hoping to land that full-ride scholarship, (or not, just wanting to be accepted into a college or university of their choice) or to have a college coach take notice 
of their performance, wanting to consider them? In the past, a recruiter may have sat down and talked with them to really get to know and see if they would be a good “fit” for their organization.

In this vast communication and information age, college recruiters and coaches are now turning to Google and other search-engines to do their due diligence on student-athletes. The photo of your junior squash-player (and their friends) possibly behaving inappropriately on Facebook (that has now surfaced on Google) may have made a good impression with their friends, but in the eyes of a college coach and/or recruiters, it’s going to shut down that full ride scholarship or even being considered getting into college, or for making a varsity squash-team.

Whether a bad image has surfaced or a classmate has written something negative about them on line, it can kill a scholarship deal, making a team – or even affect their application to a college or university of choice.

The importance of having a clean, respectable reputation (especially as an athlete) cannot be overemphasized. As an athlete they are constantly under the spotlight. As a parent, be sure to have them develop and maintain their reputation and get ahead of the game, as they may not (ever) get a second chance to do it.

When “on stage,” (in the competitive arena) and in the case of competing as a junior squash-player, whether it be with other players, coaches, club members, parents or just the run of the mill spectator, they are being observed and judged, not only on their squash skills, but their demeanor, behavior, sportsmanship and relationship with their opponents and officials. 

This is where they MUST, right from the beginning, be on their very BEST behavior, for it will be remembered by ALL...forever! Their respect for the game, the rules, their opponent(s) and officials will determine their reputation, of which they should give TOP priority and be very sensitive to.

After high school, wanting to be a college athlete means recruiters, coaches, teammates and others are watching their every move, behavior, sportsmanship, relationships with other athletes, coaches and officials. If they (and you) have plans on taking their athletic career to the next level, making and/or competing on a college varsity squash-team, it is imperative that they not only monitor their online information, but their competitive and academic reputation as well. 

Again, your junior squash-player may never get a second chance at that first impression!