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The Do's & Don'ts of Highlight Reels

by Laura Flynn

Being proactive is one of the keys to recruiting success. One of the most important tools a student-athlete can utilize when trying to get the attention of a coach is...the recruiting video. While coaches agree that videos won't get you an automatic scholarship, they certainly can help put an athlete on the fast track to getting one.

So here are some quick tips on what you should or shouldn't do when making a highlight video.


  • Include your info on the first screen - list your name, jersey number, position (and your team's uniform color).

  • Put your best clips first! You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

  • Pad the beginning of each clip so coaches get a sense of where you are on the field/court/track, and where you are in relation to other players, etc

  • Highlight yourself before each play. This can be done w/ an arrow graphic or soft spotlight effect. Make it easy for the coach to identify YOU.

  • Include one or two full games, either at the end of the highlight video, or on a separate DVD.

  • Make sure you use high-quality video. You don't have to hire a professional videographer, but make sure you invest in a good camera.

  • Put your contact information on the screen. That coach is going to need a number to call when he/she invites you up for an official visit!


  • List stats and honors on the first few screens. A coach wants to see you PLAY! (If you want to give them a list of your stats, put it at the end or in the intro letter).

  • Overedit. College coaches don't have time for the crazy effects, transitions, or photos. Plain and simple, they want the clips!

  • Go all Blair Witch Project on us. Keep the camera steady and use a tripod. Nothing turns off a coach more than poor quality footage.

  • Show the same type of play over and over. Coaches want to see versatility!

  • Make a full-length feature film. Videos should be no longer than 5 minutes.

  • Create a soundtrack to go with your video. We promise you, Eye of the Tiger, is not going to make you look any better (plus, it's distracting for the coach).

Tip: Make it easy for the coach!

You can bet that hundreds of other athletes are sending their DVDs to your future coach too -- creating a giant stack of unwatched videos in his/her office. Make it easy for the coach and upload your video online. Email the coach with a direct link to your page. Constantly update your page and videos so the coach can follow you throughout the season! And obviously, upload your video onto your own BeRecruited profile so coaches can search for YOU!


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