Each year thousands of student athletes across the country compete to earn a spot at the next level. Everybody wants to get noticed, but the question is “How?”.
Photo Credit – Hamilton Tiger-Cats
If you want to be recruited, or better yet, if you want to earn a scholarship offer you have to catch the attention of university scouts. Some people believe that if you are talented enough, scouts will simply find you and the rest will take care of itself. I’m not sold on that theory. That probably works for some people, but why leave it completely up to chance? Why not take control of your recruiting destiny?
Not everyone gets to play on a well known team with national exposure and media coverage. When I was in high school almost no one would come to our games. It wasn’t rare to have a handful of my friends and a few family members make up the majority of the crowd. Our team had a reputation for underachieving, which meant that our games were usually skipped over when the scouts came to town – and you couldn’t really blame them either. I had to take matters into my own hands.
“You can accomplish a lot with a camera and a laptop.” – 22
In 2004 my older brothers helped me put together my first highlight tape. I was 15 at the time and believe it or not, YouTube didn’t even exist yet. Now, over 10 years and 10 videos later, I’ve had a chance refine my production process and identify the key elements you need to put together an eye-catching highlight reel.
Here’s the Formula
State Your Name – When your video begins viewers should immediately know who they are watching. List your first & last name, position, team name and the year you will be graduating. Make sure to also include any impressive measurables, statistics or awards that could add some credibility to the performance your audience is about to watch.
Highlight Yourself – Before each play use on screen grahics to point yourself out. Without any direction most people will naturally just watch the ball. For the Quarterback or Running Back that works great, but when are any other position you need to draw attention to yourself. This helps the audience easily isolate you through the action leading up to the big moment.
Put Your Best Play First – You only get one chance to make a first impression. Set the tone for the rest of your video by starting off with a bang. Grab the attention of your audience with a Touchdown or a Big Hit. This video is your resume – be bold and really emphasize the things you do best. The average adult has an attention span between 7-10 seconds. Get them engaged early to give make them want to keep watching.
Quality Over Quantity – People don’t like long videos. They get bored. Limit your highlight reel to a couple of minutes. To be safe, no longer than one song. Remember, this is not an “every play you ever made” video. Be selective with what you include and make sure that each clip is an example of your true talent and athleticism. Also, trim the few seconds leading up to the beginning of each play. Limit the breaks in the action. Often that will help shorten a video by 30 seconds or more.
Light On The Music – The truth is that most coaches are going to watch your video with the sound off. With that being said, you still don’t want your music distracting from your video. Use instrumentals or clean versions only. Less is more.
Leave Your Email – The goal is to catch the eye of scouts and coaches by showing them a bit of your talent and athleticism. You don’t have to impress everyone, just someone. When you finally get that attention you’re looking for, make it easy for the coaches to get in touch with you. At the end of the video leave an email address where they can reach you or your coach. No need to post your phone number publicly, an email address will get the job done. Also, don’t be afraid to leave your Instagram handle if you have one… as long as you manage your social media posts responsibly.
No matter what sport you play, if you want to get noticed you need to put yourself out there for the world to see. Next time you hit the field make sure the camera is rolling.
“Don’t tell people what kind of player you are, just put on the tape.” – 22
I love watching Highlights! Post Your YouTube or Hudl Link in the Comments