Digital recruiting: why video is important to impress

Short after the covid-19 lockdowns  I met with an athlete to record a covert recruiting skills video at a local school.  Finally, after an hour of shooting video,  a school representative wheeled over to us in in a golf cart requesting that we leave.  What a joke!  Eventually we left after I negotiated more film time. But despite all the hassle we got some good recruiting video that day. 

Video is crucial to the recruiting process because most coaches look at video of athletes first before seeing an athlete in person. Yes, recruiting is digital. Right now, with the limited completion and exposure opportunities recruiting video is even more  necessary. 

With the limited completion and exposure opportunities recruiting video is even more  necessary.  Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

So, what kind of recruiting video is most beneficial? And, what footage should the video feature?

Actually, the answer varies by sport. For example, for high school football prospects game video is paramount . However, sports like baseball, softball, and soccer requires skills video and game footage.

So, here are four quick tips for assembling an impressive recruiting video.

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 take the time to sort through to pick the best plays. Why? Because college coaches have limited time to view video so impress them with the best plays you have.

Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 30 to 60 seconds. Think about it like a movie trailer. How often have you watched a movie trailer then immediately thought to yourself that you are going to go see that movie!  Coaches like to be impressed at the beginning. If the video doesn’t hold their attention then they move on to the next athlete.

Then make sure to highlight position specific skills and be sure that a majority of highlights at your primary position. For example, in football, running backs are supposed to score touchdowns and out-run defenders. Running backs then should highlight touchdown runs and showcase speed separation. The guys in the trenches, like defensive lineman, are supposed to wreak havoc up and down the line of scrimmage as well as in the opponents backfield. So show sacks, tackles and quarterback hurries.

Most importantly, highlight videos should feature you, not other players. I’ve heard stories of coaches discovering a recruit while viewing the footage of their teammate. 

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