How Do I Create a Successful Athletic Recruiting Video?

How do I create and market an athletic recruiting video to college coaches?

What do I include in an athletic recruiting video for college coaches?

Recruiting video plays an important role for both families and college coaches today. Video allows college coaches to get an insight into your skills when you are not afforded the opportunity to play in front of a college coach in person. While nothing replaces performing in front of a college coach, a good video coupled with strong recommendations from qualified coaches that are familiar with your skills and ability may be a factor as to whether or not a college coach chooses to recruit you or chooses to pursue you further. In some sports (football for example) most initial recruiting activities on the part of the college coaches are done first by video. In order to get the most out of your video, it’s important to follow several rules when providing coaches video.

What do college coaches want to see on recruiting videos?

1 – Keep the video short. College coaches do not have time to watch a 2-hour game tape. Most coaches want video between 4 and 8 minutes long and will often request full game tape after they have sampled your highlights first. You have to remember they are often receiving several hundred videos a year and your video has to be short and to the point. If you wish to add full game footage, include it at the back end of the tape and let the coach know that it is available if he/she would like to watch additional footage.

2 – Don’t send unsolicited video. While most college coaches will make every effort to watch all videos that are sent to them, they are often so overwhelmed with video that they cannot get to them all. Contacting a coach via phone, email, or online recruiting forms prior to sending a video will go a long way to getting your video seen!

Mike Glavine, assistant baseball coach at Northeastern University says video plays a role in recruiting but cautions recruits about its use. “Video has a place here at Northeastern in recruiting but it does not play a major role in the process. We try to watch every DVD that is mailed to us and we also watch videos attached to the emails we receive. For us, the video can be a starter in the recruiting process but ultimately we are going to try and see recruits play in person. As a staff we will probably see thousands of kids play each summer. We always prefer to trust what we see in person more than a video.”

What should I include in my athletic recruiting video?

3 – Make sure the video is clearly labeled with your name, address, phone number, school name, graduation year, jersey number, jersey color, email address and possibly your SAT/ACT scores, and GPA. You would be amazed that recruits are still sending video to coaches and the coach has no idea what player they are supposed to watch and there is often no contact info on the tape. Most companies that create video will provide your contact info on the tapes or disks, but if you need to provide additional information an easy way is to print labels right from your computer.
“If we can’t readily get out to see a player, film is great. Even if I see a kid play in the summer, I want tape of the regular season as the circumstances often change – type of coaching, positions played, etc. I don’t want to see highlights or drills. Full game tape – maybe two unique halves. I am always surprised at how many people send a tape and don’t ID the player with uniform #, color, etc. I also look for mistakes and how the player reacts. I’m more interested in defense not offense – play off the ball – what do they do after a pass – stand or cut and screen, things like that are important to see.” Karel Jelinik (pronounced Carl), former men’s basketball coach at Washington & Jefferson College.

How do I create a college athletic recruiting video

How do I create a college athletic recruiting video

What colleges should I send my athletic recruiting video to?

4 – Perhaps the most important aspect of sending out video is identifying schools that you are interested in and will be an academic and athletic match for. You can have the best recruiting video in the world but if your grades or ability will not allow you to gain acceptance and/or play for certain programs, your video for that particular coach will be wasted. This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of the recruiting process and the one that causes parents and student-athletes the most angst. It is extremely important to identify programs where you think you can compete at and you have to build a relationship with the college coach in order to determine whether it’s an opportunity worth pursuing. As always, we recommend that each family purchase a copy of The Making of a Student-Athlete so they can better learn about how recruiting works and what their role and responsibility is in the recruiting process.

“I like to see a straight on golf swing or directly behind the golfer from a reasonable distance, not too far, not too close, and you have to use a tripod and turn the microphone off! A video is better than nothing but you have to do it right. I get videos with kids missing eight out of ten putts five feet from the hole, which can be funny at times. Either show the stroke or show yourself making putts!” Steve Conley, men’s golf coach Methodist College (NC).

5 – Be realistic. While many coaches have recruited players off of video and recommendations, other coaches still need to see you play in person. Video is often the first step into getting a college coaches attention and getting them interested in making an effort to see you play in person. It doesn’t happen for every athlete and every coach and there will be instances where a coach will not pursue you further even when you have provided them a compelling video. Remember, the coach is in contact with hundreds of recruits and if they do not feel you are a match or do not feel they have the ability to see you play in person, your recruiting process for that school may come to an end.

6 – Think like a college coach. I review videos for parents sometimes. It’s the same video over and over where their son or daughter gets the game winning hit, the game winning goal, or makes the game winning save and every shot is a goal and every pass is a completion. While you see the game winning hit, college coaches see a batter who strides too far forward and gets a hit with an off-balance swing. The college coach then asks, “is that swing going to work at the college level where every pitcher is better than what you are facing right now?” College coaches don’t really care about results on video, they care about technique, or lack of technique. They are more concerned with how you do what you do. Focus on technique in your video by trying to display different athletic traits that will translate to the next level.

What do I do after I have sent out my athletic recruiting video to college coaches?

7 – Follow up! Sending a video to a coach and then expecting a phone call or to be recruited might not happen. You need to follow up with the coach preferably on the phone and ask if he received the video, watched the video and what the next step might be in the recruiting process for both you and him. Your ability to communicate with college coaches will go a long way in terms of you getting recruited. Coaches want to recruit confident assertive high school athletes who can communicate their desires and abilities with them and show an interest in their college program. When two similar recruits are on a coaches radar, they will often choose the recruit who was more assertive in the process and showed more maturity.

Your Coaches Role in the College Athletic Recruiting Process

How your high school or summer athletic coach can assist your athletic recruiting process

Should my high school coach handle my athletic recruiting process?

Recently I read a recruiting article that says the greatest catalyst in getting your son or daughter recruited is their coach! But the author didn’t say WHAT COACH. I believe the greatest catalyst in getting your son or daughter recruited is you and your son or daughter, but let’s stick with the coach for now…

Your high school coach and/or summer coach is one tool in the recruiting process. How that tool functions in your recruiting efforts depends on many factors. A common myth in recruiting is that high school coaches should be responsible for getting you recruited to play college ball. For 12 years I have heard the common line, “our coach doesn’t help players get recruited!”

Don’t rely on any of your coaches to handle your athletic recruiting process

One of the challenges of simply relying on your high school coach is that many high school coaches have varying degrees of coaching knowledge and knowledge of recruiting. My high school baseball coach was a hockey player in college and somehow got a baseball coaching job. He had no network of college coaches and wasn’t a particularly good teacher of the game of baseball. My only recruiting interaction with him was when he said “you better start hitting a lot!” when I mentioned a particular college I was interested in. My high school golf coach had a golf handicap of infinity. His job was to drive the bus. When it came time for recruiting, he wrote me a glowing recommendation that discussed my golf success, work ethic, and character! But he really didn’t have any knowledge of how my skills would translate to different colleges nor did he know the skills of different college golf teams. But I understood all that, which in itself is important!

High school coaches are also often teachers who have papers and tests to grade when they go home and lesson plans to, well, plan! They are often also mothers and fathers who have families to take care of, so it is hard for them to get involved in the recruiting process as much as parents think they should. College coaches will most often turn to high school football coaches for advice as football is a very technical sport to coach and those coaches usually have a higher degree of skill. Since there really isn’t a summer AAU football circuit, it’s usually the only coach to turn to. This is not an example of every high school coach. Some have been coaching for (pick a number) years and have more knowledge of the game they coach as well as knowledge of how to help you get recruited. But it’s up to you to determine if that is the case.

What role will your coach play in the athletic recruiting process

What role will your coach play in the athletic recruiting process

Are college athletic coaches getting input from Club or AAU coaches?

The recruiting trend in the last several years has been to simply bypass the high school coach and to seek out travel and AAU coaches for advice on players. College coaches build relationships with high school and summer coaches as their career progresses. They talk to coaches and recruit players, and if those players work out, they will recruit more players from a particular school.
If a high school coach tells a college coach that a player he/she has is the best thing since sliced bread and that player is recruited and doesn’t work out, that high school coach has lost their credibility for future recruits. A random high school coach calling a college coach isn’t much different than a random player calling.

We met one player years ago who got an apology from his high school coach 10 years after that player graduated college. The high school coach told the player that bigger schools had inquired about this player, but the coach was reluctant to recommend him because he didn’t want the player to fail and ruin his reputation as a talent evaluator and hurt future recruits. The player went on to play 1AA football, but possibly could have played 1A football had his coach been more honest!

My summer coach was in his college baseball hall of fame, was drafted to play baseball professionally, had coached youth ball for 15 years, and had a network of college coaches he had developed relationships with over the years. When he called a college coach, they listened because he had the resume to back up what he was saying and he had the ability to evaluate where his players might fit into different colleges. The college coaches didn’t have to worry about him being right, because he was right, he was honest and they trusted his opinion! This scenario doesn’t exist for every coach so you really need to evaluate the evaluator when deciding to lean on your coach for recruiting success. At the least, your high school coach should speak to your character and work ethic, but it may be more difficult for them to evaluate your talents as it applies to different colleges because they may have little or no knowledge of different colleges. The recruiting process is your responsibility and what colleges you pursue and attend is your decision. You need to do the research and contact and you can seek guidance from your coach if they can provide guidance. But you shouldn’t expect or request that they research 50 schools for you and make your recruiting calls. it is quite possible you have a coach that can greatly assist in your recruiting efforts, but determining what role he/she will play and how helpful they can be is one of the steps of the recruiting process.