A highlight video is a popular recruiting tool used by college coaches to evaluate an athlete’s skillset and determine whether they are a good fit for their team. Every athlete should have a highlight video that college coaches can easily access and watch, but they first need to understand what college coaches are looking for and how to capture, edit and promote the footage. Below is a list of ten tips to creating an eye-catching highlight video:
1. Identify coach expectations
College coaches are looking to recruit well-rounded, versatile athletes, but their expectations vary from position to position. Before you capture footage, first identify the skills coaches are looking to evaluate for your position.
2. Capture plenty of footage
You should capture footage at multiple varsity and club games to give yourself enough material to create a short highlight video that offers a variety of plays against strong competition.
3. Use proper equipment
Student-athletes should ask a family member, friend or coach to help capture footage on either an iPad, tablet or professional camera. Consider using a tripod to ensure the footage is stable.
4. Focus on the primary player
When shooting footage, make sure the camera is zoomed in enough to see the jersey numbers, foot skills, and technical ability, but zoom out enough to capture the progression of the play and multiple players. When editing, athletes should identify themselves with an arrow, circle or spotlight at the beginning of each clip.
5. Start with your most impressive clips
To capture the coach’s attention from the start, lead with your most impressive clips and follow with clips that showcase key, position-specific skills.
6. Keep it under four minutes
Your video should be between three to four minutes, offering a variety of clips, but not so many that the coach doesn’t have time to watch your entire video. A general rule of thumb is to select 20–30 clips that clearly capture your skillset in your position.
7. Include basic information
Make it easy for college coaches to contact you after watching your highlight video by beginning and ending with basic contact information: name, email, phone number and your high school/club coach’s contact information.
8. Forget the music
While it may be tempting to include background music, it’s best to remove all sound from the video to avoid distracting the coach.
9. Promote your highlight video
Once you’ve created your highlight video, the next step is to upload it to your NCSA Recruiting Profile and YouTube where college coaches can easily access it. When uploading your video to YouTube, consider using a title similar to “[Full Name] [Sport] Recruiting Video Class of 20[XX]” and include a link to your recruiting profile in the description.
10. Send coaches an introductory email
Sending an introductory email provides recruits an opportunity to let a coach know they are interested in a program and share a link to your highlight video. Visit our guide to writing an introductory email.
If you need assistance creating your highlight video, NCSA’s video editing team is here to help you turn your raw footage into a cohesive video that showcases your skillset to college coaches. To create an NCSA Recruiting Profile and work with our video editing team, visit bit.ly/ncsa-athlete-product.