Tips for making an impressive highlight videos

Highlight videos are an essential part of the recruiting process. Now, with the help of the Internet, the massive amount of video available has made it convenient for college coaches to recruiting players on a national level from the comfort of their offices. Personally, I have watched thousands of recruiting videos. Some are so impressive that I actually take the time to watch it again. Others, well, lets just say that they have been so mediocre I am left shaking my head in disbelief. Simply put, a well made highlight video will prove beneficial towards positively advancing the recruiting process. So here are a few quick tips on making highlight videos.

First, know that coaches want to be impressed right from the start. So give the coach a reason to keep watching. Start your highlight reel with scoring plays. Then follow up with big plays by order of impressiveness.

A common mistakes is that many athletes create highlights by the game clock timeline. This is not helpful. Instead, put big plays at the front of the highlight reel even if they occurred late in the game.

Most importantly, when making highlight video, keep in mind that the goal is not to make ESPN highlight segment for Sports Center. The purpose is not to show  the top plays as the game unfolded. Instead, the goals show be to have a video tell the story of why you are a legit prospect. This is done putting in center-focus the highlight plays showcasing best position specific skills and athleticism.

So here are 5 tips for assembling a solid recruiting video.

  1. Always make sure the video is appropriately timed. Typically, a good video is between 4 and 5 minutes long. Even though you may have 20 minutes of season highlights, pick the best footage. College coaches have limited time to view video so impress them with the best.
  2. Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 60 seconds. Think about it like how social media is viewed. If a picture or post catches your attention then your more likely to click to find out more. The opposite is also true. If the post doesn’t hold your attention then you move on to the next.
  3. Then make sure to highlight position specific skills. For example, in football,  running backs are designed to get in the end zone and out-run defenders. Running backs then should highlight touchdown runs and speed separation. Defensive lineman, are supposed to wreak havoc at the up and down the line of scrimmage as well as in the opponents backfield so show sacks and quarterback hurries.
  4. Most importantly, highlight videos need to feature you, not other players. I’ve heard stories of coaches finding an recruit while viewing the footage of a teammate. This happens frequently.
  5. Lastly, know the difference between a clean hit and a cheap shot. Coaches want aggressive players not dirty players.  Because cheap shots cause penalties, penalties cost yardage, and lost yards can ultimately be the difference in winning or losing a game.

Because highlight videos carry a lot of significance in your recruiting I’m glad to review your highlight videos before you send them to a coach or post them online. Just email or text them over to me at



Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email:   Office: 805-622-STAR


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