Just this morning, I got another email from a bewildered parent asking my advice on what they should do about creating a recruiting video.
Should I hire a professional service that does them? How do I get it to coaches?
I want to share with you the advice I gave her as I think it would help all parents and prospective athletes out there.
First, I told her not to hire a service. With a tripod and a smartphone you can create a simple recruiting video for free.
Secondly, Coaches are not interested in flashy productions, so keep it simple. But, whether you hire a professional or do it, or do it yourself, follow these steps:
Shoot the footage in a practice setting. Avoid game footage.
Edit out all the dead time periods when there is no action.
Use a tripod at all times.
Limit the final video to 3 – 4 minutes MAX.
Cut the video into segments (Hitting, Fielding, Pitching) for the coach’s viewing convenience.
Make sure you shoot the video from angles that coaches want to see.
The video should show you at your best; edit out dropped balls, foul balls, etc.
If you have a radar gun, place it behind the catcher and cut to a quick clip of it once for each type of pitch you throw. Have a short intro but nothing fancy. NO background music
Only need to see about 10 swings. Can show multiple angles but best angle is from the side facing the hitter. Coaches don’t want to see you hit for 4 minutes straight.
Unless you are a softball slapper, DO NOT show bunting.
Front toss is the best way for coaches to evaluate your swing.
If you’re an infielder show from SS/3B so that the coach can evaluate your arm strength. You can also zoom in to show your fielding form.
If you’re a catcher show off your arm but more importantly coaches want to see how you frame and how you block.
If you’re an outfielder: Zoom In to show your form but also zoom out to see your arm strength
If you’re a 1B: Show off your digging balls in the dirt skills and receiving throws skills as well.
Coaches don’t want to see that you can throw 10 different types of pitches, they want to see that you can throw a couple well.
If you have a radar gun have it behind the catcher and find a way to show it on the video. Coaches hate when you email them that you throw 62mph but in reality you only throw 54. Be honest and if you can show it no the video it will give you more creditability.
Show your form from the side, front and back. Not just one angle.
As a college coach, I want to get to the good stuff quickly. Most coaches get 100’s of emails a day and if they have to wade through a lot of “fluff” they get disinterested.
Editing Your Footage
Use whatever software you have on your computer. Apple iMovie is an easy one. No need to get fancy. Keep it simple. Let the athlete be the hero, not the video.
Create a YouTube account if you haven’t already.
Upload the video to YouTube. Title the video with your name and graduation year.
In the description you can add a full profile with grades, school, travel ball team, etc. (no personal information like address, phone # or email)
Send an introductory email stating genuine interest in their program and email that link to coaches that you are ACTUALLY interested in going to their school.
DO NOT just send a video to every college coach in the country
That YouTube link will be the business card slash profile for coaches
Update it every 6-12 months
Lastly, if a coach thinks you have no real interest in their program and are just sending it to every coach to see who takes the bait, they will treat you like junk mail. Coaches want kids that want to play for their program. If you don’t have a specific list of schools to send your video link to, make one.