If your child has aspirations to play in college, you may have already started making recruiting videos to send to schools of interest.
Every day college recruiters receive thousands of hours of video from athletes around the country who are trying to get their attention. Unfortunately, there is a complete disconnect between what athletes and recruiters see as relevant video content.
I did my homework on this one so that you don’t have to do your own. Here are 12 tips for making recruiting videos that will hopefully get a coach’s attention:
Do your homework on the school
Before sending out videos to colleges, identify schools that will be both an academic and athletic fit for your child. Choose colleges where your child can truly compete. It might take building a relationship with the coach before you can decide if that college is a potential fit.
Don’t send a recruiting video cold turkey
While most college coaches try to watch every video they receive, it’s often an overwhelming task and chances are that they will not be able to watch them all. Your child’s chances are much better if he or she connects with the coach by phone, email or an online recruiting form first.
Keep the video short
College coaches do not have time to watch a two-hour game tape. Remember, they may receive hundreds of tapes a year. According to www.athleticscholarships.net, it’s best to keep the video under seven minutes. You can include full game footage at the end of the tape and tell the coach it’s there if they want to watch it.
Provide contact info and stats
Begin the video with a screen of your jersey number and team colors. Add measurements and stats such as height, weight, bench press, 40 yard dash, PRs, and batting average–whatever statistics are applicable to your child’s sport. Be sure to include your child’s contact info: phone, email, address, etc.
Keep it simple
No music, crazy transitions between clips, huddle or crowd shots. Let your athlete’s performance do all the talking. The video should be a compilation of plays, with the best coming first. Coaches usually make up their mind up while viewing a video in the first fifteen seconds. If you don’t have anything to get their attention, they will move on to the next one.
Give the coach sport-specific clips
Soccer coaches will want to see your child’s ball-handling skills. Baseball and softball coaches are looking at his or her swing/pitching/throwing mechanics. Football coaches may want to see your athlete perform in the weight room.
Make the athlete easy to spot
Use video editing tools to identify your child. Many times a video isn’t quality enough to easily identify the athlete on each play. Spot shadows allow the coach to easily see the athlete.
Get good angles
Choose the best angle to highlight your athlete’s skills. You want to provide coaches with the best possible angle to see your child’s talent.
Put your video online
Put the video online so that coaches can easily watch it. It’s best not to mail DVDs unless a coach requests it. Upload it to a video-hosting site, such as YouTube, and have your child send the link to coaches in his or her email to them.
Full game video tips
The advantage of providing a full game video is that coaches can see what players do right and what they do wrong. They will see an athlete’s demeanor around teammates or how hard he or she plays. For recruits that coaches are serious about, these game tapes may be even more important than the highlight video.
Don’t shy away from showing your child’s mistakes. They are just part of the game and if you can show coaches that your child responds well to failure, he or she will definitely stand out.
Videos may only be the first step
While many coaches recruit players from video and recommendations, other coaches will want to see your child play in person. Video is often the first step in getting a college coach’s attention and getting him or her interested in coming to see your child play in person.
Even a great video will not guarantee that your child will be recruited. Your athlete needs to follow up by phone, asking if the coach received the video and what the next step might be in the recruiting process. Your child’s ability to communicate with college coaches will not go unnoticed. They want confident high school athletes who know what they want and express an interest in their program.
Whether your child ends up playing Division I, II, III, or NAIA, the bottom line is this: will the school and the program your child chooses adequately prepare him or her for life after college?
Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.