If your child has aspirations to play in college, you may have already started making videos for schools.
When my daughter was playing softball in high school, my husband began recording her as she played, and set out to make a video for college coaches. We sent it to several schools, and the poor response has my husband questioning his recording skills to this day. Was it his fault that she didn’t get more offers than she did?
What I didn’t know was that every day sports recruiters receive thousands of hours of video from athletes around the country who are trying to get their attention. Unfortunately, there is a complete disconnect between what athletes and recruiters see as relevant video content.
I did my homework on this one, so that you don’t have to do yours. Here’s 12 tips for making videos that will hopefully get a coach’s attention.
Do your homework on the school
Before sending out videos to colleges, identify school that will be an academic and athletic fit for you. A great recruiting video will not make up for grades or skill that does not qualify for certain programs. Choose colleges where your child can truly compete, and even then you may have to build a relationship with the coach before you can decide if that college is a fit.
Don’t send a recruiting video cold turkey
While most college coaches try to watch every video they receive, it’s often an overwhelming task and chances are good that they will not have to a chance to see them all. Your child’s chances are much better if he or she connects with the coach by phone, email or in an online recruiting form first.
Keep the Video Short
College coaches do not have time to watch a 2-hour game tape. Remember, they may receive hundreds of tapes a year. According to www.athleticscholarships.net, it’s best to keep the video under 7 minutes. You can include full game footage at the end of the tape and tell the coach it’s there if they want to watch it.
Provide Contact Info and Stats.
Begin the video with a screen of your jersey number and team colors. Add measurements and stats like: height, weight, bench press, 40 time, PRs, batting average–whatever statistic is applicable to your child’s sport. Be sure to include your contact info: phone, email, address,etc.
Keep it simple
No music, crazy transitions between clips, huddle or crowd shots. Let your athlete’s perforance do all the talking. The video should be a compilation of plays, with the best plays coming first. Coaches usually make up their mind up while viewing a video in the first fifteen seconds. If you don’t have anything to get their attention, they will turn it off.
Give the coach sport-specific clips
Soccer coaches will want to see your ball-handling skills. Baseball and softball coaches are looking at your swing/pitching/throwing mechanics. Football coaches may want to see you perform in the weight room.
Make the athlete easy to spot
Use video editing tools to identify yourself. Vibby,, a free and easy video editing and enhancing tool. will help you easily find, pinpoint and share specific moments in the game with coaches. Many times a video isn’t quality enough to easily identify the athlete on each play. Spot shadows allow the coach to easily see the athlete.
Get good angles
Choose the best angle to highlight your athlete’s skills. Give coaches the best angle to see your child’s talent.
Put Your Video Online
Put the video online so that coaches can easily watch it. It’s best not to mail DVDs unless a coach requests it. Upload it to a video-hosting site, such as YouTube, and send the link to coaches in your email to them.
Full Game Video Tips
The advantage of providing a full game video is that coaches will see what players do right and what they do wrong. They will see an athlete’s demeanor around teammates or how hard he or she plays. For recruits that coaches are serious about, these game tapes may be even more important than the highlight video.
Don’t shy away from showing your child’s mistakes. They are just part of the game and if you can show coaches that your child responds well to failure, he or she will definitely stand out.
Videos may only be the first step
While many coaches recruit players from video and recommendations, other coaches will want to see your child play in person. Video is often the first step into getting a college coach’s attention and getting him or her interested in coming to see your child play in person.
Even a great video will not guarantee that your child will be recruited. Your athlete needs to follow up by phone, asking if the coach received the video, and what the net step might be in the recruiting process. Your child’s ability to communicate with college coaches will not go unnoticed by coaches. They want confident high school athletes who know what they want and who express an interest in their college program.
Whether your child ends up playing Division 1, 2, 3, or NAIA, the bottom line is this: will the school and the program that your child chooses adequately prepare him or her for life after college?
This post is sponsored by Vibby, a user-friendly video-editing tool that allows you to find and focus on the moments that matter to you. Vibby is a video platform that enables users to highlight, comment, and share the best parts of any online video.