College coaches use recruiting highlight videos to decide if they want to pursue and recruit an athlete. If you play Baseball, Basketball, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball, Water Polo or Wrestling you need to have a video if you are going to be emailing coaches.
Despite what you might think, coaches aren’t discovering talent when then attends games or tournaments. They come to these events with a specific list of recruits they want to make second and third evaluations of; they made their initial evaluations on the athletes highlight or skills tape. Every coach has been burned by taking time to watch a recruit who sounded good on paper but didn’t have the skills. They could have easily made the decision to not recruit that athlete had they seen film first. Coaches now expect to see film initially or they won’t take the time to come watch you play.
When making a highlight film or a skill tape you need to keep it short and sweet. Here is a blog on how to make a highlight tape, below is a summary.
- Make the video 4-6 minutes long – You don’t want the video too long because coaches won’t watch and too short isn’t enough plays to make a proper evaluation. The right length is 4-6 minutes which works out to roughly 20-25 plays depending on the sport.
- Start with your best plays first – This is absolutely critical. Your first couple of plays need to blow a coach away or they will probably turn the video off. Never save a play as “best for last.”
- Make it easy to identify you – If you have a highlight tape, use a spot shadow at the beginning of every play. Don’t leave a coach trying to figure out where you are in the play. Anything that makes watching the film more difficult makes it easier to turn off.
- You and you coach do not have the same musical taste – It is best to have no sound with your video, if you have too, you can keep the crowd noise. Playing music and specifically music with inappropriate language will get coaches to turn off your video and not recruit you.
- Put the video online – Mailing DVD’s or videos doesn’t cut it anymore. Coaches expect to be able to watch film from their computer, phone or tablet while they are on the go. Gone are the days where a coach gathers the month’s videos and spends hours watching them.