The Crucial Role of Highlight and Skill Videos in College Sports Recruiting

Creating Highlight Videos for College Sports.

Being an athlete is not for the faint of heart, and the training, discipline, teamwork, and accountability it takes to succeed isn’t either.

So after taking every measure and every step to succeed, falling short on your personal sports recruitment strategy isn’t where you should relax a little. A professional recruitment toolkit is a hot requirement to get noticed and reach a college coach’s desk.

A professional video helps athletes get noticed and get taken seriously by coaches and recruiters alike and can be the gateway to collegiate sports, scholarships, financial aid, and achieving your personal goals as an athlete.

What is a Highlight Video?

sports highlight reel is a curated compilation of your best moments on the field or court, acting as a ‘highlight reel’ of your career-making moments thus far. Coaches and recruiters use these reels to understand your skills, playing style, and overall athletic potential before making more serious, formal contact. It’s crucial to getting noticed and can help coaches envision where your skills and abilities fit into the team they are looking to build.

A professional highlight reel (or at least one that looks good) helps athletes demonstrate their strengths and abilities while putting forward the moments they are also proud of in their best moments of any given match, tournament, showcase, and/or ID Camp.

What is a Skills Video?

sports recruitment skills video is a targeted tool used to showcase an athlete’s specific skills, techniques, and abilities off the field and is created with the intention of impressing coaches and recruiters with a very specific demonstration of skills.

Unlike a highlight video showcasing exciting in-the-minute and on-the-field moments, a well-crafted skills-specific video might show off impressive drills, scrimmage, or demonstrations to help athletes stand out and drive home their specific and practiced abilities.

Why Are Videos So Important for Recruiting?

College coaches are extremely busy and already spend much time on the road. With so many incredible athletes looking to shoot their shot each year, it would be impossible for them to travel the country to evaluate every potential recruit.

Highlight and skills videos allow student-athletes to get in front of coaches and give them an unbiased yet curated look at their skills and abilities. Data shows that athletes with clear recruiting profiles that include video format highlights receive, on average, nearly 10x times more attention than those without.

5 Steps to Creating Your Own Standout Video Reel

Understanding that all athletes might have different skills, abilities, and resources available to create their recruitment videos, we’re breaking down the 5 key steps to creating your videos anytime, anyhow, and anywhere:

1. Pick Your Key Highlights: 

Depending on your sport, coaches will look for different types of footage and skills. For example, basketball and football videos should focus on in-game footage, but sports like baseball and softball can take a more technical skills-focused approach.

Pick highlights that show a range of skills that meet various team needs.

2. Keep it Short:

Time is of the essence on AND off the field, so your video is no exception. Keep your reels to somewhere between 3-5 minutes, and pack as much action into those minutes as possible. Don’t linger through plays; edit content down to the most important seconds for you.

If further plays are requested, you can provide them as needed — which you should be prepared to do quickly!

3. Best First + Varied:

It’s common that recruiters and coaches only watch the first 20 or 30 seconds of your video, so you need to organize your highlight or skills video with your strongest moments first. Start strong, capture their attention, and hope they watch the rest.

Also, showcase various skills and show yourself as a well-rounded athlete with value to different positions on the team. Include footage from different aspects of the game, playing defense, offense, and forward (for example).

4. Use Freeze Frames:

Before the action begins, freeze the video and edit in circles or arrows to identify which athlete you are so they can accurately follow your plays.

5. High-Quality Video: 

Whether shot professionally or on an iPhone, creating high-quality videos and edits is accessible and achievable for any athlete. If you’re self-shooting, switch on your phone’s stabilizer settings, ensure the audio is working, and test your equipment before the game. If you can, set up a tripod with a clear view of the field or arena so that you capture every moment.

Tips to Help You Stand Out

  • Create an introduction: Start your video with a brief introduction that includes your name, position, jersey number, and contact information. This will help recruiters know who they are watching and how to contact you.
  • Edit your video: Once you have selected your footage, edit it with music and commentary that drives home what you want them to notice. Be sure to choose music that matches the pace of your footage and add graphics or captions to highlight your achievements.
  • Share your video: Sharing your video is the most important step. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and share the link with coaches, recruiters, and anyone who can help you get noticed. Be sure also to include your video in your athlete profile or resume.

Recruiting at all levels is a numbers game. StellaPop has transformed the experience by leveraging engagement and connection through video, helping coaches identify student-athletes that match their school and program needs.

If you need a little guidance, call StellaPop to help you stand out!

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