The Rise of Student Run Sports Instagram Accounts

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Friends Select sports instagram accounts have changed the culture around sports both specific to teams and more generally. A season full of losses needs a pick me up and a season full of wins calls for some tasteful boasting. What’s the best place to do that? Instagram.

Friends Select is not known for its sports, but the teams have found ways to still have team spirit. Last year Friends Select Girls Basketball went 3-15. The team created an instagram account in which they released pick-me-up posts such as the one pictured on the left. Girls Basketball was the second team to create a sports instagram account at friends select. The account mostly put out comedic content that was not only enjoyed by players, but was also appreciated by their 64 followers. The team had a rocky season, but the account stayed upbeat, always calling for a comeback and keeping the players in high spirits

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This culture of social media being important to sports teams at FSS began in 2021 with the FSS boys tennis team, led by Peter Ryan ‘21. The boys tennis team built this instagram culture by accident when they made an instagram account for fun. The comedic style of this original account is the same style used by many of the FSS sports accounts today. Both the new and old account use mock pregame professional interviews to get players excited about the games. Below is a pregame interview posted on the FSS girls tennis account just this year, next to a pregame interview posted by the boys tennis account back in 2021.

“I do think it influenced other accounts because I think it was the first [account] that was more about the team culture than our performance or outcomes – it was more like a lifestyle blog of bad athletes playing a sport than it was an official team account,” said Peter Ryan ‘21. Prior to the boys tennis account the main social media surrounding sports at our school was the athletic dept. Twitter account, which was very straight forward and not about creating a fun outlet for players. The main difference between the new accounts and the Boys Tennis account was that the Boys Tennis page was originally a parody of a celebrity tennis player’s account. Nonetheless its effects are strong.

Today, team captains find that these accounts have positively affected team culture and are a useful leadership tool. One example of this occurred in girls tennis this season. Although girls tennis already had amazing team spirit, the instagram got players together across ages. “ I think that was a way to just continue the team spirit and support we have for each other and make it into more of a fun display of that,” said May Colgan ‘23 (Tennis captain). The tennis instagram account was ALL about fun this fall. The best example of this was the team’s end of season video, linked here and pictured to the left.

Along with girls tennis, FSS field hockey account used their posts to bring the team together from the jump. They began posting about the players beginning during preseason and posted about many of the players’s birthdays to hype each other up. “We came into the season early strong without account presence,” said Lily Brin ‘23, field hockey captain and multi-sport athlete. “We have a team mascot and team core values that we publicize on the instagram and I think that really brings us together.” The team ended the season with very close bonds and high levels of team spirit. 

The boys soccer team also used instagram as a tool for fun and success this fall. The soccer instagram hyped up the team throughout their season and kept spirits high even after losses. This team impressively used instagram captions to highlight the success of their teammates. ““UNDEFEATED THIS WEEK‼️ 3-0 win against AFS, first clean sheet for our god tier FRESHMAN goalie Miles❌, everyone LOVES Marshall🥹, and Bryce leads as usual with 2 goals🪄,” FSS soccer captions their post. They also used instagram captions to boost morale after tough losses. “Very rare 4-3 loss for the boys today, very hard fight but we move on, Tiko with 2 and of course Marshall with one,” FSS soccer IG captions their post. These types of captions drew in viewership and helped the team to stay positive.

Not only do these accounts bring teams together, but they bring the whole school together by creating buzz around sports and intermingling between athletes of different sports. Even students who aren’t involved in specific teams see their posts and are able to stay up to date with what’s going on for them. “Not only do I love having instagram accounts for my own teams but I also like that other teams have them because I can stay posted about their teams’ results and stuff like that. I think it brings together a lot of school spirit too because you have everyone seeing what’s going on even if they can’t make games,” said Lily Brin ‘23. Prior to these accounts students were less aware of sports happenings at the school. The accounts allow students across sports teams to follow along with each other’s seasons.

Along with this, the accounts bring alumni and parents into the mix. A lot of recent alumni are too busy at college to come to games, but they stay up on what’s going on with our seasons via instagram. “Best team at fss,” comments Madeline Squires, 22’, girls Tennis alum. “Miss you so muchhhh.” Parents who want to be up to date on their children’s sports teams are able to follow along with the accounts as well. “A lot of the family members from people on the team follow the account so they always show love like a lot of the moms and dads and stuff like that,” said Ryfeé Randolph, 23′, boys soccer captain.

While Friends Select may not be known for our elite sports programs, our players massively enjoy the seasons, partially due to spirit efforts made on the sports social media accounts. No matter what level our teams are at, the Friends Select IGs bring the spirit, making the season fun and exciting for the whole school community.