College and professional coaches get hundreds of thousands of highlight footage in their inboxes every single day—and since they can’t be on the sidelines of the next match of every prospective athlete they have their sights on, game film or a highlight reel is the next big thing to catch their attention and win them over.
Whether you’re a recruit on a coach’s radar or want to be on their shortlist for future recruits, a quality highlight video can help you make a good first—and lasting—impression with a coach.
Why Make a Highlight Reel?
This highlight reel can help put you first, in front of hundreds of thousands of athletes out there who have reached out to those particular coaches and have not provided a highlight tape.
It allows for a first impression.
This video allows the coach to initially evaluate you based on your best moments. This is your firm and strong handshake to impress a college or pro coach.
If you’re showing them what you think is your best playing on the field, then they can have a great initial perspective of how you play as a player.
It can be the only impression.
If you live across the country from your dream school or if the coach you’re contacting already has a full schedule for tournament visits, seeing you play in person might simply be out of the question.
A highlight recruiting video can be the best chance for them to see you play. If a coach is impressed already with your video, they can then move to arrange a game in-person to evaluate you better.
How to Make the Perfect Highlight Video
Making a highlight recruiting video means taking hours and hours of playing footage and cutting it down to just a few minutes.
In this section, we’re going to take all the aspects a recruiting video needs and narrow it down to the best. This initial video can really help you nail your first impression with any coach.
1) Keep it short and sweet:
A highlight video should be around 3-7 minutes long—never longer than 10 minutes. In those mere minutes, you should be able to fit around 10-20 short clips of your best game action while on the field/court, etc.
Remember, these recruiters or coaches are having to go through hundreds of thousands of these videos of potential players, trying to look for the needle in a haystack. To help you leave a resonating good impression, you’ll want to not make your video work for them by being less work for them..
2) Put your best foot (play) forward first:
Did you score a game-winning touchdown in the last three seconds of the State Finals? Did you do a bicycle kick and score upper-90? Hit a three-pointer right as the buzzer was going off to secure your team a place in the semi-finals?
Your most impressive moments caught on film should be placed first. You only have, at most, around 30 seconds to catch a coach’s attention and prod them—no implore them—to keep watching.
By placing your best moments as the first clips in your video, you’ll force them to move the mouse away from the pause button and stay locked in.
3) Show more than just one aspect of your athleticism:
Although you might be known for your free-kick taking ability, it’s important that you also show how versatile of a player you are. Make sure to include not only your top 5 best goals, but also that (completely legal) slide-tackle defensive play that saved your team from getting scored on or the way you sprinted the entire field length to win the ball back after you’ve lost it.
It’s okay to not show perfection the entire time. A coach wants to see how you act in-game and how you react to certain situations. So, you’ve made a poor pass—mistakes happen, no player is perfect. It’s what you do after the play is made.
How do you react? Do you put your head down and jog back—or do you get off the ground and sprint after the opponent who now has the ball? These are important aspects of the game that a coach wants to see, too.
4) Keep video effects to a minimum
Although you may be tempted by graphics, music, and special effects, don’t let that temptation get the best of you. A coach isn’t interested in how savvy you are with iMovie.
Aside from the every-so-often graphic of an arrow or circle indicating where you are on the field, (very helpful for a coach instead of always looking for your numbered jersey) you should try and keep the extras to a minimum.
You should also include your name and contact info (your email or phone number)—possibly your team’s name and their coach’s contact information (name, email, and phone number) at the first slide or first few seconds of the video—and the last. Remember, these coaches have most likely never met you before. They don’t know what you look like and again, receive hundreds of thousands of videos each day. Adding this touch to your video can help them identify who you are and connect you back to your email and Player Profile (see next tip).
Also, be careful with your music selection! You can turn a coach off to watching your video with the song you pick. When in doubt, background music should also be left off—most coaches often mute the volume, anyway. However, if you feel that you must add something, stick to instrumental tracks that have no singing or rapping so the coach doesn’t get distracted. You also wouldn’t want to choose a song with profanity—not only does this look unprofessional—but this can turn a coach off to view your video, especially if you’re submitting to a religious school!
5) Back it all up with a quality email:
You wouldn’t just email your resumé attachment in response to a job application and leave the rest of the email body blank. Normally, you include a cover letter or a short message saying who you are and why you’re interested (and qualified) for the position.
With sports, it should be exactly the same approach.
When you send off your highlight reel, you should also include an intelligent, formal, and yet personalized e-mail ready with your Player Profile listing all of your achievements (sport-related) to-date, your quality highlight video, and a written invitation for the coach to see your next tournament or game.
It’s important that you leave the conversation wide open and make sure all of your information is correct (tournament, date, field, etc.) Most important of all,
think of this invitation as your first impression. So please, please, please write the correct name of the coach (whether it’s the assistant or head) that is aligned with the email and school. There’s probably nothing that has a coach deleting an e-mail quicker than reading the first line of it and having their name wrong (watch spelling, too), the name of the school wrong or just a poorly written e-mail in general.
Before you hit send, make sure you’ve checked off these last-minute tips when it comes to your recruiting video. Your video is your best foot forward and the highest chance of getting a response or sparking interest from a coach.
Here are a few last-minute tips to include:
Show Quality Performance with a Quality Video
A recruiting video is where a player puts their performance where their mouth is. You might be college-material and know how to talk your way into a meeting but you might not have the footwork to back it up.
Offering up your highlight video not only gives coaches the opportunity to visually see you play and entice them to watch more, but it also shows them that you're confident in your own abilities to show them who you are and how you play, right off the bat.
SVT Can Help
Highlight videos are essential for coaches to be able to see you. Most college coaches receive large quanitites of emails from players hoping to have a chance to make their team. To stand out – you need good video. SVT provides economical and very mobile camera towers to help you record soccer games easier.
Why should you choose to go with SVT? We work with clubs and teams across the US and several other countries. We have several packages to choose from. Our Package 3 is the most popular and consists of a strong, lightweight aluminum tripod with a sturdy 16-foot carbon-fiber composite camera pole, plus a monitor and remote. We provide power packs and all of the cables and cords that you need to make the system work together. Once you purchase our system – use it as much as you like. There are no contracts. Contact us today for more information.