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Social media refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking. Popular platforms include Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat.

PCOM Downloadable Player's Toolkit Includes:

  • How are players impacted by social media

  • Social Media Check-In

  • How can you help your parents help you

  • Strategies to decrease usage

We hope you find this toolkit helpful in understanding and managing these mental health issues that could affect you as a soccer player.

Note: Always consult your healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating health problem or disease; anyone seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed professional.


Social Media Usage

Navigating Social Media: A Soccer Player's Guide

Hey there, soccer champions! The team at the Philadelphia Union and PCOM are here to help you. We would  like to take some time to go over social Media Usage.  Let’s break it down with a soccer analogy.

Imagine this:

You’ve just played a great match. As you're cooling down, you post a picture of yourself in action. You know how it goes: post-game selfies, action shots, and group photos flood your social media after a match. But sometimes, things can take a twist. Within minutes, likes and comments start pouring in. Most are positive, cheering you on, but a couple might be negative or critical. Or Imagine seeing a meme of your teammate Sam, highlighting that one mistake from the game. Or maybe you find a group chat where Sam is the main "joke." Suddenly, those few negative comments overshadow all the positivity, just like one missed goal can sometimes overshadow a whole game's performance in your mind.


That mix of excitement, validation, but also vulnerability? That's the world of social media.

Here's what you might encounter:

  1. Memes & Edits: Instead of celebrating cool moves or fun moments, these are all about making fun. Like a photo of Sam's missed goal turned into a "fail" meme.

  2. Exclusionary Group Chats: You stumble upon a group chat where a few teammates constantly make fun of SAM, or worse, plan to exclude them from off-field hangouts.

  3. Comments & Tags: Under Sam's posts, there are comments like "Try not to screw up next time" or sarcastic remarks about their performance.

  4. Fake Accounts: There’s an anonymous account making fun of players, and Sam seems to be their favorite target.

Spotting this kind of behavior? That's like noticing an unfair tackle on the field. It's not cool, and it's definitely against the spirit of the game.

So, What Can You Do?

  1. Speak Up: Reach out and check in with Sam. Let them know they're not alone.

  2. Report: If things get too toxic, use the report features on social platforms.

  3. Team Unity: Just like on the field, it's all about teamwork. Rally your mates, start positive chats, and challenge the negative behavior. Remember the golden rule of soccer and life: treat others how you’d like to be treated!


Social media platforms can be incredible tools to connect, share, and learn. Yet, they also come with challenges:

  1. Comparison Culture: Scrolling through others' highlight reels can sometimes make us feel our lives (or soccer skills) don't measure up.

  2. Instant Feedback: While immediate praise can boost confidence, instant criticism can be a blow to self-esteem.

  3. Distraction: Spending excessive time on these platforms can distract from training, recovery, and personal development.

How Can Social Media Impact You as a Soccer Player?

  1. Performance Pressure: The desire for social media validation might pressure you to always deliver top-tier performances.

  2. Mental Fatigue: Constant engagement can be mentally draining, affecting focus during games and practice.

  3. Emotional Rollercoasters: The highs of praise and lows of criticism can result in emotional swings.

How to Navigate Social Media Positively?

  1. Post the Positives: Just like those epic goal videos, let's try to keep our feed positive. Celebrate your teammates' achievements, share your own, and show love for the game.

  2. Remember Your Worth: Your value isn't determined by likes, shares, or comments. You're more than your online persona.

  3. Engage Mindfully: Share your achievements, but also remember it's okay to keep certain moments private. You control your narrative.

  4. Seek Support: If negative comments affect your mental well-being, discuss them with coaches, teammates, or loved ones. They can offer perspective and support.

  5. Team Spirit:

    1. Support Over Shade: If a teammate had a rough game, instead of pointing fingers or making fun, show your support. We win as a team and lose as one.

    2. No DM Drama: Got beef with someone? Talk it out face-to-face or give them a call. Texts and DMs can be misunderstood, and screens can't replace real-life conversation.

  6. Avoiding Social Media Slide Tackles:

    1. Think Before You Post: Imagine every post as a pass in the game. Look up, think about where you're sending it, and be sure it won't get intercepted by trolls or haters.

    2. Privacy is Key: Don't share super personal info like your home address or where you'll be hanging out after the game.​​

  7. Dealing with Online Defenders:

    1. Block the Hate: Just like a goalie blocking a shot, don't be afraid to block or mute haters. You don't need that negativity!

    2. Report Foul Play: If someone's crossing the line, report it. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter have tools to help you manage and report abusive behavior.

  8. Time Out:

    1. Balance is Best: Just like you don't play soccer 24/7 (as much as you'd love to!), don't stay on social media all day. Take breaks, hang with friends, and enjoy the real world.

  9. Treat your social media like you would the pitch: with respect, strategy, and a love for the game!

Remember, social media is a tool. Just as you've mastered dribbling, shooting, and passing on the field, you can master the art of balanced and healthy social media use off the field.

Let's ensure our digital locker room remains as supportive and united as our team on the field. Kick bullying out, both online and offline! Remember, every player is crucial to the team. Let's back each other up in every game, post, and chat.

Together, we can ensure everyone scores in the game of respect and kindness!

Stay true to yourself, be proud of your journey, and always focus on your personal and athletic growth


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