Recruiting When Not On The Field: 7 Steps To Creating Your Highlight Reel

Apr 14, 2020

The Coronavirus is having a significant effect on many different aspects of life including the college recruiting process. High school soccer players unable to play on a field may be getting anxious about missed on-field recruiting opportunities.

Despite being unable to play, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of getting recruited in the long run. To help anxious soccer players, Future 500 is going to be running a ‘Recruiting When Not On a Field’ content series. This week we are going to be talking about how you can make a great Highlight Reel to send coaches so they can watch you play virtually.

A high quality recruiting highlight video of your performances will give the coach a good impression of your ability and what you might bring to their team. A polished, succinct recruiting highlight video and effective distribution strategy will massively improve your odds of a successful recruiting outcome. Below are a number of tips which will help you in creating an effective college recruiting highlight video.

1. Keep it brief!

Send 4-6 minutes of video highlights of your play, with some of your best plays displayed in the first couple of minutes. Coaches don’t have time to watch more video than that. If for some reason they want more, they will contact you and request it. After reviewing the video, the coach may decide at this point to send staff to see you live.

2. Record multiple games.

Get highlights from more than one game to show consistency. Record from an elevated position and then clip the video down to include 5 seconds before and 5 seconds after the play in question. Do this until you have 4-6 minutes of video. Do not send full games unless a coach requests it. Coaches usually do not have the time or desire to look at entire matches and will be put off by a long video.

3. Make sure the video is clearly labeled with your information.

Your video should include your name, address, phone number, school name, graduation year, jersey number, jersey color, email address and possibly your SAT/ACT scores, and GPA. Include this information at the beginning of the video. Use good highlight video editing software to highlight yourself in the film during each clip, most commonly using a circle or an arrow pointing directly at you for 1-2 seconds immediately before each clip. This step is important because coaches are busy and you want to make the process as easy as possible for them.

4. Follow up!

Sending a highlight reel to a coach and then expecting a phone call to get recruited isn’t realistic. You need to follow up with the coach via email or phone and ask if they received and watched the highlight video and what the next step might be in the recruiting process. Don’t be discouraged by delayed responses, coaches are busy and will watch your video when they have the time.

5. Keep It Simple!

There’s no need for fancy background music, special effects or special graphics. The coach doesn’t need any distractions, they simply want to see you play in order to assess your ability.

6. Quality Matters.

If at all possible, try and use a quality video camera on a wide enough angle with a tripod, so the camera is steady! High Definition cameras are preferred and are relatively inexpensive. The goal is to make your highlight reel as clear as possible so that the coach can easily identify you in each play as well as get a good understanding of your game in general. The highlight reel doesn’t need to be movie quality, and you don’t need to break the bank to produce it. However, it should be good enough for you to be easily identified by the college coach.

7. Post your video online.

The easiest and most effective way to distribute your highlight video to coaches is to upload your video to an online video hosting service, such as Youtube or Vimeo, and then simply paste the link in a personalized email to your Best Fit college coaches. Make sure to send your video to your targeted schools, not to a mass list of college coaches. Additionally, ensure that the Youtube or Vimeo video description is written to include the important information such as your name and contact details.

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