How to Make a Recruiting Video

Video camera used to make college soccer recruiting video

Making a recruiting video is an important step in the recruiting process.  For some, it may be the first opportunity for a coach to see you play.  Knowing what to put in the video is crucial.  A poorly made video will be quickly discarded.  Below you will find recommendations on making an effective video and how to get coaches to watch it.

Keep in mind that a video alone will not earn you a scholarship.  The goal of submitting a video is to gain interest from college coaches, who will likely want additional information from you (e.g., schedule of upcoming tournaments, additional full game footage, transcripts, etc.).  Visit our website for additional recruiting materials including a template player resume and a pre-tournament letter for college coaches.

Highlight vs. Full Game.  Most coaches are limited with time and prefer a highlight video verses a full game video to start.  If a coach is interested in you after watching the highlight video or has seen you perform well at a tournament, they may ask for a full game video.

Label the Video.  Make sure you clearly label the outside of the dvd with your name, graduation year, team, player position, and contact information.  Also, include the same information as the starting still frame on the video (especially if you are uploading to youtube).  If the video is full game footage, also include the name of your team, the opposing team, the date of the match and the venue.

Identify Yourself.  Many recruits miss this important step!  The coach does not want to guess at where you are in the video.  Start each highlight clip with an identifying mark such as an arrow pointing to you or a circle around you. This can be done with some video editing software by inserting a still frame that has been edited with the identifying mark.  This blog discusses software editing for this purpose.  You may want to check out the 30-day trial version of Camtasia Studio. 

Quality is Important.  If you are taking video yourself, make sure to use a tripod and get the right angles.  Try to shoot from the middle of the field and shoot from an elevated angle if possible.  Coaches want to see the play develop so you need to capture a wide angle.  The video should show the whole game not just a zoomed shot of a single player.  Lastly, if the sound is distracting, remove it. 

What to Include?  When making a highlight video, make sure to include at least 5 seconds on each side of the play so coaches can see the play develop.  Show your best attributes and try to capture a range of skills (tackling, attacking, heading, finishing, passing under pressure, etc.).  Include current video not your best performance in 7th grade.

Length.  Ideally, keep the highlight video under 5 minutes.  Put your best material early in the video (first 30 seconds) to capture the coach’s attention.  A three-minute video may provide plenty of material for a coach to initiate contact.

How can you improve the odds of a coach watching the video?  Upload your video to youtube so it is just a click away from watching.  Many coaches prefer a link to an actual DVD.  Our online player resume template has instructions for linking your video to your resume. 

Don’t send unsolicited video.  Make contact with a coach via phone, email or online recruiting forms prior to sending the video.  Consider writing a very brief and personal email to a coach with a direct link to your video.  Do not send a generic mass email.  To stand out, consider writing a handwritten note!

If possible, visit the college and put the video in the hands of the coaching staff.  It is common for students on tours to stop by the athletic office to introduce themselves.  Make a good first impression and show that school that you are truly interested in them and not just shopping around.

Professional Video Services.  Professional services are not necessary if you can do the basic editing yourself or ask for the help of a friend or your high school audiovisual department.   If you can’t find help making your video, search locally or online for a company specializing in producing recruiting videos.  There are plenty of them out there.

You may also be interested in:

Planning College Visits:  Questions posed by Prospective Student-Athletes

Top Ten Questions to Ask a College Coach