Recruiting Tip: How to create an effective recruiting video

Recruiting Tip: How to create an effective recruiting video

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: How to create an effective recruiting video


The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner,

It is undeniable how important video and game film have become in the world of college recruiting. An effective, clear, well-thought out video of an athlete in Portland, Ore. can spark the interest of a college coach in Syracuse, N.Y. without the cost of a recruiting trip. Just think about how valuable that is to a college coach! While video alone may not land you a scholarship, it can certainly serve as an introduction to the coaching staff at all the schools you are most interested in.

By simply sending an email with a link to your highlight video, you can be evaluated by any college coach in the country. Every year college coaches find athletes because of their recruiting video. This applies to all levels and every sport. Whether you are a Division I or Division III recruit, your video can get you noticed by the right college coaches.

Not every athlete is the same; therefore, there is no blueprint to a perfect recruiting video. You need to be creative and find what works best for the attributes you are trying to showcase. Here are a few key tips:

  • Keep it short: Two or three minutes is long enough. A coach is going to decide if he or she is interested in the first 45 seconds.
  • Your GPA and standardized test scores along with a few key stats at the beginning of the video would be beneficial.
  • Put your best highlights first: You only get one chance at a first impression.
  • Know what coaches in your sport want to see: Different sports require different approaches. For example, baseball and softball coaches prefer video of your skills rather than game footage.  Highlight videos for sports like basketball and football are the opposite. If you aren’t sure, talk with your current coach.
  • Showcase all your skills: Use clips that show your athleticism in different situations.
  • Use spot shadows: You want to make sure they are watching the right player!
  • Don’t spend a fortune on your recruiting video: A ten-minute video with inspirational music playing in the background is great for your grandparents, but isn’t necessary. Keep in mind, college coaches aren’t looking to watch a commercial, they just need to form an initial impression of your abilities.
  • Post Your Video online: Post your video online and provide college coaches the link in your first correspondence.
  • Ask your current coach to review your video and make suggestions.
  • Only send your video to colleges that make sense for your abilities.
  • If your highlight video doesn’t make you look like a stud, don’t send it yet!

Your highlight video can make a huge impact on your recruiting journey. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the college coaches at all the schools you are interested in, but there is no reason to put a big dent in the college fund by creating an academy award winning production.


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