The highlight video offers college coaches with first impressions of a prospect from an athletic standpoint and it is a great evaluation tool. Typically, a college coach can roughly gauge a recruit within the first 2 minutes of the video…and they need to! Along with the volume of recruiting inquiries college coaches receive, they are being bombarded with hundreds of highlight videos.
Therefore, a good strategy is to present a crisp video that demonstrates your skill as an athlete efficiently and in a streamlined format. Make your video succinct, professional, and yet attention grabbing. Below are suggested guidelines:
- Competition video should include one routine on every event (plus 2 vaults).
- Avoid editing video to “camouflage mistakes.” Good, bad or indifferent, the highlight video should be accurate, seamless and identify your true skillset.
- Provide coaches with three to four competition video updates throughout the regular season and follow-up with a “blow by blow” series of videos during the championship segment (states, regionals, nationals).
- Skills video should be roughly one to two minutes long and include standout individual skills and combinations you plan to acquire, master and add to your upcoming season routines.
- DO NOT be afraid to show video of rough performances. Each subsequent video will hopefully demonstrate robust progress.
- Your summer training goals should line-up accordingly with your targeted video updates. Set your timelines well in advance and use these targets as “stimuli for success.”
When editing highlight video, avoid the “Hollywood bells and whistles” and circumvent any remote distractions. The quality of the video should directly reflect the imprint you want to make with the college coaches you are trying to impress.
When presenting your polished video, keep the format simple and easy to evaluate. The rule of thumb is simple… “the less “clicks” the better.” Avoid sharing large video files as e-mail attachments. Instead, utilize hosting platforms such as YouTube, Google Drive and Snapchat that will present your highlight videos at little or no cost and offer you the opportunity to share online links (1 click) with the college coaches.
- Use a personal digital camera or the camera on your smartphone to capture competition and or training video.
- Download the video from your camera to your laptop.
- Edit your highlight video with the video/movie software that is already built into your laptop.
- Identify the routines, or specific training clips you want to share with the college coaches.
- Notate the exact time of each segment you want to share (i.e. 1:20 - 1:29; 2:10 - 2:22 etc.).
- Copy and paste the identified video clip into a new video file (like copying and pasting content into a Word document).
- Give your new video file a name and upload it to your hosting platform.
Whether you want to combine several highlight video clips, or create a specific competition video, dedicate yourself to making the final product clean and seamless. From there, develop an e-mail to the coaches you want to evaluate your video and drop the video link into the body of the e-mail.
High quality and simple to view highlight video will provide college coaches with the opportunity to do both a snapshot or in-depth athletic evaluation and determine where you stand as a prospect. The final product should be crisp, clean, and polished. Provide the coaches with regular video updates and give them every reason to filter your information into the active recruiting file.
About Tom Kovic:
Tom Kovic is a former Division I college gymnastics coach (Penn) and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence”, an educational guide for college athletics recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com
Editor's Note: Publication of this article is not an endorsement of any recruiting service. Always check with the NCAA or your school's compliance officer for any questions regarding recruiting rules, the latest timelines, or other issues.