College Recruiting Series #3: 6 Tips to Create a Winning Highlight Video

Recruiting has joined the digital age! This is great news for athletes and coaches. However, it does mean beefing up your online presence. One of your most important digital tools? Your highlight video. The majority of coaches don’t have the time or money to travel around the country watching recruits play their sport. So, they turn to highlight videos to make their initial evaluations of athletes.

May 16, 2017 10:18:26 AM
College Recruiting Series #3: 6 Tips to Create a Winning Highlight Video
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Recruiting has joined the digital age! This is great news for athletes and coaches. However, it does mean beefing up your online presence. One of your most important digital tools? Your highlight video. The majority of coaches don’t have the time or money to travel around the country watching recruits play their sport. So, they turn to highlight videos to make their initial evaluations of athletes.

Your highlight video needs to stand out from hundreds of other films coaches receive every day. That doesn’t mean adding in lightning bolts and sound effects. Check out our top 6 tips for creating an eye-catching video that will make coaches notice you.

Keep your highlight video relatively short, around 5 minutes long.

A five-minute highlight video is long enough to convey your skills. In fact, most coaches won’t spend more than a couple minutes on a video! Don’t waste time with special effects—keep your athleticism and top plays as the focus of the film. Most coaches can tell in the first 10 plays if you are the type of recruit they are looking for. Pro Tip: Start the video with a short introduction slide that includes your name, school and contact information. Make sure the text is plain and easy to read.

Start with a bang—put your best highlights first.

Coaches may not have time to watch the entire highlight video, so make sure they see you at your best. You need to grab a coach’s attention as soon as possible. Consider what makes you stand out from other similar athletes and put that first. Some athletes think that they should build up to their best plays, but coaches generally aren’t going to spend that much time on one film.

Post your video in your online recruiting profile.

It makes sense to keep all your recruiting information in one place, and that includes your highlight videos! We recommend uploading your video to Hudl and/or YouTube. Then, add that link to your NCSA profile. (Here’s an article on how you can upload your Hudl video to your NCSA profile.) When you reach out to college coaches, send them a link to your completed profile. That way, they have all your information at their fingertips, and they can easily make their initial evaluation of you.

Know what coaches are looking for in your sport.

Different sports require different approaches to highlight films. For example, baseball and softball coaches aren’t looking for game footage. Instead, they rely heavily on clips that show athletes’ specific skills. Highlight videos for sports like basketball, hockey and football are the opposite and should have plenty of game footage. (Note: Video guidelines are listed for each sport on the NCSA website. Hover your mouse over “Pick your sport” in the top tool bar and click on whichever sport you play.)

Show a wide range of skills.

Use clips that show you’re a well-rounded athlete. Show your offense and defense skills. Display how fast, strong and agile you are. Refer again to our sport-specific video guidelines for more examples that pertain to your sport.

Edit your video to make you standout.

Make it very clear to coaches who you are and what they should be looking at. You can use a technique called spot shadowing in your video to accomplish this. Simply use a small circle or arrow to signify which player you are before the play starts.

Are you unsure how to create your highlight film? If you need some help figuring out how to get started, call our recruiting experts at 866-495-7727. They can help determine your recruiting next steps.

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