Before you're offered a spot on a college team, the coach will usually want to see you play in person. While a highlight video isn't a substitute for seeing you play in person, it is a good way to convince the coach to come see you play. By sending a coach a video, you're just trying to whet his or her appetite—to distinguish yourself as someone they should seek out. With a CaptainU profile, you can easily add your recruiting video and share with college coaches.
All highlight videos are not created equal. It's important to understand that coaches receive highlight videos all the time, and for your video to make a lasting impact it needs to stand out. Better, more enjoyable videos start with a brief, personal introduction and an explanation of how the coach can identify the recruit in the video. After that, it's on to action footage.
Take a minute at the beginning of the tape to introduce yourself. Speak clearly, confidently and enthusiastically into the camera. Don't be afraid to distinguish yourself from the pack with a few personal details like, "My favorite animal is the green kangaroo," or "I am an avid collector of beetles," or "I like the sound of subway brakes." Be enthusiastic and willing to smile. Athletes tend to be soooooo serious in their videos. You don't have to be giddy like the local weatherman, but coaches want real, vibrant, dynamic people.
Figure out how the coach will be able to identify you on the screen. Your best bet is probably your uniform number if it's legible. Use subtitles and telestration tools to make it clear where you are on the field. Beyond your uniform number, mention the position you play so the viewer knows where to look. You might also have the filmer give some play-by-play commentary to help clarify where you are.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the actual content of a recruiting video. Most coaches prefer edited clips. Yet there are a few who like to watch recruits' games in full. If most of your candidate coaches are asking for a short highlight video, you'll know which format to use. You can also be diplomatic and incorporate elements of each.
If you choose to do a highlight reel, make sure the video clips are shown in context. In other words, don't just show yourself making a good pass. Show the build-up to the pass. Employ the 5-second rule: show 5 seconds of play before and after the highlight. The coach wants to see how the play developed and how you were involved throughout.
If you have access to high-quality video in which you are easily distinguished and featured regularly, you might prefer to utilize a more free-running, extended play format. Run-of-play videos can incorporate anything from five-minute unedited clips to an entire game. Don't show run-of-play action if you are only recognizable in the frame once every 10 minutes. Watching such a video is a waste of the coach's time; he'll lose interest very quickly.
In having your play evaluated, highlight videos are useful, but are not the be all to end all. Whether or not you make a video usually won't make or break your campaign. It's just another tool that you provide a coach to help him make an informed decision.
Ready to get your recruiting video in front of college coaches? Create your free recruiting profile here.
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