If you are a high school athlete, you dream of the day that college recruiters will show up at your school asking to speak to you. Chances are, especially during a pandemic, this will not happen. Don't be discouraged. College recruiters only actually visit the top 10% of college recruiting prospects. Everyone else must get creative to grab their attention online.
Grab the Attention of College Athletic Recruiters
It is important to stand out in the sea of thousands of emails and highlight videos that recruiters receive. It is not necessary to spend thousands of professional videographers. Author Renee Lopez interviewed 65 college coaches and learned that college recruiters look for a short highlight video as the first step in the recruiting process. They do not expect it to be professionally filmed or edited. They simply want a brief showcase of your talent.
Here are a few tips:
- Include 15 seconds before and after the play.
- Show a large playing surface.
- Include contact info in the intro and outro of the video.
- Mute any extraneous noise.
5 Simple Steps to Create Your Highlight Video
If you follow these simple steps, you will have a highlight film that you will be proud to deliver to any athletic department.
Use the Right Equipment
You may not know it, but that smart device you are holding right now is good enough to shoot some high quality highlights. You will need the following:
- Filmmaking case to support your smartphone or tablet
- Wide angle lens
- Telephoto lens
- Superzoom lens
We recommend the iOgrapher Coaches Bundle as the best option. The bundle gives you everything you need to start collecting video that will eventually become your highlight film.
If a family member or coach is available to film, give them a quick run down on how to use the equipment and what you expect. Take some test footage from different angles and distances to pinpoint the best locations to set up your tripod.
Shoot a Variety of Film
When college recruiting teams view highlight film, they are looking for a variety of skill drills, game footage, and even a 5 second clip introducing the student athlete. Even if COVID-19 has limited your game footage, video weight room performance and skill training. Shoot more footage than you think you will need so that you have plenty to work with when it is time to edit.
Time to Edit
Coaches agree that they expect a recruiting highlight video to be 3-5 minutes long. Start with the strongest plays to immediately grab the attention of recruiters. Avoid adding music or flashy graphics. The only addition should be an arrow that identifies the player in the footage. The athlete should be the centerpiece of the film, so keep it simple. The intro and outro of the video should include contact info. Include the following:
- Full name
- Height and weight
- Contact info
- GPA and test scores
- Head coach's name and contact info
Depending on the sport, your video will include a combination of skill drills and actual game footage.
Distribute Your Highlight Film
Once you have an edited video that makes you proud, it is time to get it in front of the right people. Remember that recruiters receive thousands of videos, so you will have to get creative to differentiate yourself. Football players should always create a Hudl profile and post their video there. If you send your video through email, include your name and some info in the subject line.
I recently read about an athlete who sent a DVD of her highlight film in a package with two bags of popcorn and a note that said, "Enjoy." Coaches couldn't resist watching her highlight film when it was so creatively presented. She was recruited.
Now that you know the simple steps to create your athletic highlight video, it is time to get to work.