What Do Coaches Want To See In A Recruiting Video?
When getting your name out to college coaches, sending a recruiting video or highlight reel can be the most impactful way to differentiate yourself. Online recruiting profiles that contain a highlight video are much more likely to be viewed than those that do not. Therefore, making a video could be the difference maker in getting you recruited. Coaches receive thousands of emails from prospective athletes, and thus creating a brief but eye catching and memorable highlight reel is helpful in making it to the next step in the recruitment process.
Coaches want to see a brief video of around 3-5 minutes with the best clips at the beginning, variety in plays or skills, minimal effects, transitions, or distracting music, and good quality and video positioning so that you are easy to spot. Time is extremely valuable for coaches, and thus it is critical that you follow these guidelines to use the brief amount of time the coach has to watch your video effectively. This along with sending a professional email about your intent to play, academic abilities, and a brief introduction will help you stand out from all the other unsolicited emails a coach may receive in a day.
Creating your own recruiting video should be rather easy to do on free programs like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, but feel free to ask a friend to help you put together your video if they have advanced video software skills. Coaches are not looking for fancy editing skills or music selection, but you want to ensure that your video looks crisp and professional and has the best video quality possible. That means it is important to have someone with a high quality camera filming your games or matches.
What To Include In Your Recruiting Video
You can’t start creating a recruiting video without video footage, so your first step in building your highlight reel is assembling all footage you can gather, whether it be from your teams official video recorder or fan footage. Once you have gathered all available footage you want to watch it thoroughly and pick out the best moments that showcase your diverse range of skills. You can then begin to build your video following the guidelines below of what coaches want to see in a highlight reel.
Introduction: You should start your recruiting video with a brief introduction. You can display an image of yourself, your name, your year in high school, the name of your high school, your hometown, your number, your position, contact information, and any relevant stats. Some of these stats could include total number of games or matches that you have played or started in, your shooting percentage, yards thrown, or PR times, and any championships or status as a captain that you have held.
Put The Best First: After your introduction has been displayed, you want to jump in to showing your skills and best performances. Many coaches may not watch your entire video, so you should put your most impressive footage first.
Put The Best Content On Repeat: You should also replay your most impressive footage in the video. You can show different camera angles of the same play or put it in slow motion so the coach can truly see your skill set.
Diversity: Coaches want to see that you don’t just have an amazing serve or can dunk. You need to show your diverse range of talents. Thus, once you have shown some of your most impressive skills, show footage of you giving a good assist or keeping your cool under pressure. This will show coaches that you not only have strong skills, but also the smarts to play in a collegiate environment. Coaches need players that are the entire package, so make sure you show them footage of all the ways you can contribute to the team.
Point Yourself Out: The coach needs to be clear which player is you and which part of the play you want them to pay attention to. It is important to include footage from right before and after the play you want to emphasize, but it is helpful to coaches if you either do a quick freeze frame of the video and put an arrow or circle around yourself or circle yourself before the play so that they can easily spot you and see which skill you are trying to highlight.
You can conclude your video with a quick message saying thank you for watching, but you want to ensure that you also put your contact information and encourage the coach to reach out to you. You can also include links to any recruitment sites where you have a profile.
Updating Your Highlight Reel
Your recruitment video is a living document, and thus you want to edit it and make changes as you play more and develop new skills. This is why it is essential to continue to update your highlight reel.
When To Send Your Video: You want to first send your highlight reel before your season starts so that you are more likely to get noticed by coaches as they receive less emails during this time. But as you continue to play throughout that season, you want to add more clips to your highlight reel, and maybe even reorder the clips and edit out others to showcase your most impressive skills. Whenever you make updates you want to send the newest version out to coaches again. This is a great way to maintain communication with coaches as you can include any other updated information and express your continued interest in playing for their program.
At the end of your season it can be a good idea to create a recap video from that most recent season so your coach can get a better understanding of your newest skills. This video can also be sent out before you go to recruiting camps.
Things To Keep In Mind
Be Prepared: You can’t create a recruiting video without footage so prepare before each game or at practices to have someone filming you. Some teams have professional videographers film their games from different angles. But if this is not the case for you, set up a tripod or have fans record the game for you. Make sure to use a high quality camera and preferably a tripod to create a steady video.
Quality Matters: Make sure to have a clear video and to shoot your video in landscape mode so that the footage will fill the whole screen. It is also important to make it explicitly obvious to the viewer which player you are and which plays you are trying to emphasize. Also make sure there are no editing errors throughout the video. While it does not have to be the most impressive video a coach has ever seen, they do expect polished content and may turn the video off if it is too distracting or confusing to watch.
Services: Many companies offer services to help create recruitment videos. Some camera crews come to popular tournaments and sell their footage and others create entire videos for you. You will have to pay a premium for these services and at times it is just as easy to create a video yourself. Other services like Hudl create templates for you to use as well. Even if you decide to create your video, it is helpful to know that there are options if you need extra assistance.
Upload Your Videos: It is a good idea to upload your video to YouTube and even your social media after you send it to a coach. This helps make it easy for them to find later on by doing a quick search in Google of your name.
First Impression: Recruiting videos are almost always the first impression a coach has of you. Thus, it is extremely important to make sure your video shows your best performances and your character. If you don’t feel totally confident in your video yet, wait till you have more footage and then send it out.