If college coaches are interested in recruiting you, they will want to see you play. Sometimes you are fortunate and coaches see you play at a tournament or showcase and then initiate contact with you. More often, you will need to make the first move and reach out to the coach. One of the first questions they will ask you is, "do you have any video of yourself playing?"
A professional looking recruiting video can greatly increase your chances of getting looked at by college coaches. Put yourself in the position of a college coach. Imagine how many recruiting videos they look at in a single recruiting season. Now think about how many of those videos are of players who won't end up playing at that school. The odds are stacked against you, but you can overcome them by following the tips outlined below.
Invest in a solid video camera and a tripod
This is one of the most important tips. Smart phones are capable of capturing excellent quality video, but only in a wide shot. To zoom in on your performance and get better angles, you need to invest in a high-quality video camera. Think about it this way. Are you willing to spend $200 on a camera that could possibly help you receive thousands of dollars in scholarship money? You should be. Also, get a tripod. This will help your video look more professional than a shaky, handheld production.
Keep it short and simple
Keep your video under 5 minutes. College coaches are extremely busy and don't have time to watch a video of every tackle you made or every ground ball you scooped up last season.
The simpler the better. Don't add theme music, crazy transitions between clips or anything unnecessary. Also, edit out the fluff (e.g., huddles, crowd shots, etc.) to save the coaches' time. If you save the coaches' time, you will be more appealing to them.
Give them what they want to see
Know what the coaches are looking for. Football coaches are more interested in seeing a couple clips of you performing in the weight room. Soccer coaches will be interested in seeing your ball skills. Baseball coaches will be interested in seeing your swing and/or pitching mechanics. Show them exactly what they want to see.
Know the right angles
You might have a good camera, good editing software and a great jump shot, but you have to have the right camera angles to highlight your abilities. Basketball players: A baseline angle won't be the best option when you're playing offense on the other side of the court. Baseball players: Coaches will want a side view of your swing. Think about your sport and your position, and use common sense. Give coaches the best angle to see your talent.
Show your personality
I think this is the most overlooked tip. If you've got a dynamite sense of humor, let it show! Don't go overboard obviously, but it's important to show coaches that you're the type of player they will love coaching and your teammates will love playing with. Also, don't be afraid to show failure. Failure is a huge part of competitive sports, and if you can show coaches that you respond well to failure, you will definitely stand out.
Most recruiting videos are nothing but the best highlights. Coaches appreciate it if you show yourself missing a free throw, then immediately playing pressure defense that causes a turnover. What type of player are you? After watching your video, coaches should be able to answer this question.
Take your time putting together your recruiting video. It could make the difference between a school tossing your file in the trash or seriously considering you as their next big recruit.