Although there are few guarantees in recruiting, one thing is certain: a highlight video will attract attention from coaches. You only have a few minutes of airtime to dazzle with your highlightworthy plays, so make sure to get it right.
A common mistake is to have a scarcity of video content—or no video at all. Start filming early in your career, so you’ll have plenty to work with when you create a reel.
When filming a game, shoot from an unobstructed area. Avoid shooting through a chain-link fence. Shots should be steady and not directly zoomed on you. Make sure entire plays are captured.
The highlight video is the trailer for your game tape. If a coach likes it, he’ll likely follow up with a request for full game film. Start by introducing yourself, then follow up with your vitals: school, position, height, weight and contact information. Limit the video to five minutes; most coaches will make their evaluation within the first minute of viewing it. Feature your best plays right off the bat, and include plays that showcase skills specific to your position.
Capture a wide variety of game footage. “The problem for coaches when watching film is you don’t know how good the competition is,” says Bill Conley, former football recruiting coordinator for Ohio State. “You don’t know the speed of the competition or the field conditions.” A diverse selection of plays allows a coach to form a more accurate evaluation.
Game footage is usually lower quality, so it’s imperative to identify yourself with a spot shadow, flash or arrow. Entry-level video editing software, such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, allows you to do this. Freeze the shot before the play, and use your mark of choice to identify yourself.
Once you’ve packaged your reel, contact your target schools to determine the correct recipients. Give them a heads-up to expect delivery. Follow up no more than two weeks later to confirm that your video was received.