How to Create A Recruiting Video That Will Make Coaches Notice You

how to make a college recruiting video

Thousands of athletes each year are lost because they don’t know where to start when marketing themselves to coaches at the next level.  They simply think that they have an inferior skill set because they haven’t received any interest from coaches at the next level.  However, that can’t be farther than the truth. They’re not receiving any offers or interest because of one simple reason: The coaches don’t know that they exist. In order to make yourself stand out, you have to make yourself be seen.  And the way that you do that is through a flawless recruiting video that effectively shows and communicates who you are.

I’ve created more than 20 recruiting videos for players that I have coached over the years, and I’m proud to say that each one of them resulted in the player receiving an offer to play in the NCAA. There’s no secret to creating a great college recruiting video that coaches will actually watch and respond to. You just have to make sure that you follow a couple of rules and make sure that you avoid some key mistakes in order for a coach to take you seriously when they watch your video.

Related: 4 Mistakes College Recruits Make When Contacting Coaches

There have been many recruiting videos I’ve received as well that, to say the least, are comical at best. There’s a fine line when it comes to making a recruiting video that showcases your ability to play the game in a humble and professional manner.

Thousands of athletes every year send a recruiting video to the colleges they wish to attend with absolutely no clue in mind of what to put on it. This usually ends up with an inbox full of cheesy trick shot or highlight videos, filmed in terrible quality thats nearly impossible to see, synced to head pounding music to get the coach’s “blood pumping”.  However, the majority of these videos get pumped right into the trash can.

In order to make yourself stand out above all of the other recruits videos, you need to go up a level on production and professionalism. In order to create an effective recruiting video, you need too make sure that you communicate three important things:

  • What you can do as a student
  • What you can do as an athlete
  • How you will represent yourself and their program

However, too much production makes you look like a narcissist with crazy parents that believe a high-school student-athlete needs a Michael Bay quality production in order to get a coach’s attention. Don’t go overboard with production.

Finally, before you start, you need to have one question in the back of your mind while you make your recruiting video: What would the coach want to see?

Here’s a hint: On top of your ability to play the game, coaches love to see players do the little intangible things right because it shows that you’re coachable.

How to Create A Recruiting Video That Will Make Coaches Notice You

1. Pick up the necessary gear

If you already have one of the latest latest iPhones, Google phones, or Sasung Galaxy phones, you’re already halfway there. You just need to pick up a couple of accessories that will keep your video steady and deliver quality audio so that coaches can see and hear what you’re trying to communicate in your recruiting video.

You need a camera

First things first – you need a device that will capture high quality video. As we said above, any of the latest smartphones will do just fine in capturing high quality video as long as you purchase the correct equipment to keep it stable and capture high quality audio. If you are looking to pick up a device, make sure to keep two things in mind: probability and compatibility.

Below are some cameras that we recommend.  Take a minute to look and see which ones fit your needs and budget.

There are other cameras that you can pick up, but you want to remember

You need a stabilization device & tripod

Now that you have the right device to capture video, you need to make sure that you have a quality device that will keep it stable.  In order to do so, you should pick up a stabilizing gimbal.  These amazing devices will stablize any device that you have when you’re filming so that you can get a nice, steady shot of your playmaking ability instead of a shaking camera.  The last thing that you want is a play of you taking it to the house and miss it because the person holding the camera is jumping up and down with excitement.

how to create a recruiting video using a phone gimbal
The Zhiyun & Osmo Mobile are affordable, high quality gimbals that are perfect for filming a recruiting video.

There are a lot of gimbals on the market, but we have narrowed our choices down to two. For a more budget friendly option, you should pick up the Zhiyun Smooth-Q 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer.  This nearly 5 star rated gimbal on Amazon has buttons to for recording, adjusting zoom, and switching camera modes through the device’s downloadable app. The Zhiyun Smooth-Q is equipped with a 26650 Li-ion battery that is capable of more than 12 hours of continuous use as well.

If you have a couple of dollars to spend and want the top of the line gimbal, which is what we recommend, you need to pick up the DJI Osmo Mobile.  DJI is a reputable brand that has perfected the drone market, and they bring their amazing technology into the Osmo Mobile. This gimbal is packed with active tracking technology, cancels out and stops all camera shake so that you can make sure you get the shot, and has a slew of additional features when you download the DJI app.

When it comes to a tripod, any basic tripod that’s compatible with a smartphone will do. We recommend using the Need4Pro Flexible Tripod because you can adjust it’s legs to set up the perfect interview shot.

You need a microphone

how to create a recruiting video smartlav lapel microphone
Pick up a lapel microphone like the Smartlav so that you can make sure you get the best audio quality for your recruiting video.

The last thing that you need to pick up equipment wise is a lapel microphone.  The lapel microphone will allow you to pick up high quality audio for the interview portion of your recruiting video. Depending on the device that you’re using, you will need to make sure that you select a microphone that is compatible and connects to your camera.

If you have a newer version of the Apple iPhone, you will need to pick up a lapel microphone with a lightning connector like the Sennheiser Clip Mic or pick up a lightning headphone jack adapter. For all other video recording devices with a headphone jack, you can pick up any of these lapel microphones with a standard headphone jack connection.

2. Plan your recruiting video

Now that you have the necessary equipment, you need to make sure that you plan out your recruiting video.  Your plan should include an introduction, your brief history and any noticeable statistics about yourself, highlights, and a testimonial from one of your current or past coaches.  Make sure that the coach has some relevancy too – You don’t want to send a college recruiting video out with your pee wee coach talking about your character.  The more recent the coach, the more it will resonate with the coach you’re trying to grab.

3 steps to make an effective recruiting video infographic
Follow these 3 simple steps to create an effective recruiting video.

First, you need to plan the Introduction.  Your introduction should be a quick mashup of your current athletic and academic statistics as well as any recent past accomplishments you have achieved. Being a 4.0 student, taking honors classes, being named on the All-Conference team, etc. It’s important to know too that you shouldn’t go too far back into history.  The coaches recruiting you don’t want to know about your 8th grade academic or athletic achievements.

Secondly, you need to plan the highlight portion of your recruiting video.  Make sure that you lay out everything and put together a list of clips that you want to add.  Once you have a list, go through and make sure that there aren’t any duplicate clips, or plays that are so similar that the coach will feel like they’re watching the same thing twice. Plan to take your camera and gimbal with you to a team workout session as well so that you can get a some footage of what you do in the weight room.

list of things for a recruiting video

Last but not least, try to add a relevant coach’s testimonial of your ability to play the game, your academic integrity, and any other intangibles that make you a great student-athlete. This portion should only be about :20-:30 in length.

3. Film your recruiting video

Now that you have your video planned out, its time to film.

Remember, the introduction should be you briefly describing yourself in a professional and humble manner, and should not go longer than :20-:30 seconds. An example of a humble and informative introduction would be:

“Hello. My name is (insert name) and I am a (your school year)(position) at (your high school). Currently, I am (height)(weight) and I currently have a (GPA) with a (SAT Score ACT Score). It has been a life long dream of mine to play college (sport) and I work hard every day on the (court/field/diamond/ice), in the gym, and in the classroom so that I can make it a reality.  I hope that you enjoy some plays I have included that highlight my abilities and my work ethic.  Thank you for taking the time to watch this video and I look forward to potentially hearing from you.”

Once you’re done filming the introduction portion of your recruiting video, its now time to add highlights from your play.

You need to get someone to film for you while you’re playing, and make sure that they are handy with knowing how to use a smartphone on a gimbal. It’s not smart to rely completely on game tape to film your tape, so its smart to have someone filming your games to make sure you have a backup. Sometimes game tape at the lower levels isn’t filmed correctly and your plays could be missed.

how to create a sports recruiting video
The FilMiCPro app will take your recruiting video to the next level.

When it comes to filming, there is no better app out there than the FiLMiC Pro app. The app enhances your phone’s ability to capture high quality video and has a ton of features on it that allow it to perform in high and low level light situations.

Make sure to include highlights and plays where you make selfless plays for your teammates and highlight the “little things” that you do correctly.  If you’re able to, show your work ethic in the gym as well with a couple of clips only. However, keep in mind that coaches want to see that you’re dedicated in the weight room but they don’t want to watch a highlight video of you practicing.

4. Edit your recruiting video

The final step of creating a recruiting video is the editing phase. Although this phase can take some time, its the most crucial phase of the entire process.  What you need to remember is this: No music! Coaches don’t care for it, so don’t use it.

You want to follow this simple chronological order:

  1. Introduction
  2. Highlights
  3. Current Coach’s Endorsement

When you’re putting your video together, you need to create a rule of having a video no longer than 10 minutes.  If you can’t spark a coach’s interest in less than 5 minutes, then you won’t be doing it at all. It’s better to keep your video professional, short, and sweet.  However, don’t make it too short with only 1 or 2 clips.


Related: 7 Common Traits of Successful College Recruits

One of the best and most effective recruiting videos you can watch is Christian McCaffrey’s video from when he was in high school.  No sound, minimal intro, and 10 minutes of highlights. Although the video doesn’t have an intro from McCaffrey or a word from his coach, you need to understand that McCaffrey was already a well known star with several offers at the time this video was made by Valor Christian High School.

All of those highlights were stitched together and created with the Hudl app, which you can download for iPhone here. Hudl is a great tool to promote your recruiting video to college coaches everywhere and should be a part of you promoting your recruiting video.

Now that you’ve created a recruiting video that college coaches are actually going to watch, you need to promote it so that it gets in front of them. We suggest you follow the rules from our post on 9 vital steps on how to get recruited and noticed by college coaches. Apply the principles in that post to get your video out there so that you can start to be seen.  If you have any questions about the college recruiting process, you can always email us as well.

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