February 15, 2012

How-To Guide: Recruiting video

Thousands of high school players produce football recruiting highlight videos in an effort to get a scholarship.

We're here to tell you how to do it right.

Here is a quick list of dos and don'ts:

DO: Get to your best clips ASAP

Your first clips should be your best - and have the biggest 'wow' factor. College coaches don't have a lot of time to watch film, and when they do, they are often shuffling through several prospects. Get their attention with your best ASAP in your reel. You may only get a few plays to catch their eye before they move onto the next tape.

DON'T: Have a long introduction screen

The coach will know who you are when he sees your introduction letter. An introduction screen is fine, with your contact information, vitals, and other relevant information to the reel. But keep it short and get to your film as soon as you can.

DON'T: Use slow-motion or fast-motion or show plays twice

No one looks better either way. More so, coaches watch thousands of hours of tape at game speed - don't make them view you in another mode. And remember, coaches can (and will) rewind your plays if they want to take a second look.

DO: Let the play run to its conclusion

Show the play through the whistle- that is, don't leave coaches wondering if you fumbled the ball when you were tackled.

DON'T: Pad too much on either the beginning or end of each highlight.. Remember, coaches don't have a lot of time. If the first minute of your highlight reel only has two or three plays, you need to tighten up your editing and pack more plays in. Don't cut off anything that the coaches need to see (alignment, result of play, etc), but make sure they see as much as you can give them in that first minute. A good target, and a couple seconds before each snap will do.

DO: Add targeting to each clip. If you are capable, put a target on you at the beginning if each clip. (This is not necessary for quarterbacks). Keep the target short and simple (one second in length works). When possible, do it before the play starts.

DON'T: Add anything else to the highlights

Forget about transition effects between clips (dissolves or fade out). They're annoying and can cut out things coaches want to see. Worse are comments on the screen. There's no need to say 'amazing move' or 'big hit' - the coaches will see that for themselves.

DO: Include a full game film, too

Highlights are nice; giving a recruiter the ability to see how you perform on each play is even better. Remember to include game date and opponent.

DON'T: Put a screen listing your stats/honors at beginning of the reel

No player has ever earned a scholarship offer based on all-star selections. It is fine to list stats and awards at the end of your reel. But again, coaches want to see your clips when they hit "play."

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