Did you know 98% of high school students have to recruit themselves by reaching out to coaches? College football recruiting can be quite challenging as you balance your high school curriculum with your football practices. But just like your resume for a job, making a highlight video is crucial to the college football recruiting process.
College coaches watch hours of highlights from football recruits around the states. It’s important that you don’t miss your outstanding football moments so you can show off your talents. Putting together a professional highlight tape is just one step to getting recruited. Here are some tips to equip yourself to maximize your chances of getting onto a college football team:
1. Record everything on video, including your practice
Recording yourself playing football games is important, but it’s also important to record your practices. Knowing where and how you can improve with your coach’s help can be the make-or-break in the college recruiting process. Before the season starts, ask your coach if he/she records videos. Collect video clips throughout the football season and edit everything out except for your best highlights.
A season highlight tape could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, but it’s the best way to get recruited for college football. Videographers are nice to have but can cost anywhere between hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars throughout the season. A great alternative to having a videographer with you at all times is to invest in a robotic cameraman, the SOLOSHOT3 which can automatically track and film you and auto-edit your videos.
Tip: Ask the parents of your teammates if they’re planning to shoot videos. This is a free and valuable way to take advantage of all your plays in your football games. If you plan on having someone shoot videos, make sure you practice with them to get good angles and quality clips.
2. Learn some video editing skills
Knowing how to make and edit your highlight videos will distinguish you from the thousands of football players who also share the same goal. Keep in mind that video quality is important as you are editing. There are free editing resources and tutorials you can find online to make a great highlight video, even if you’re just a beginner.
Tip: Make sure your highlights are clear and that you are easily visible in the footage. Try brightening the focus on yourself while darkening out the background like pictured above.
3. Keep your highlight video relatively short
A five-minute highlight video is more than enough to showcase your skills. Limiting yourself to five minutes also helps with cutting out excess footage and choosing your best highlights.
Tip: Make sure your best highlight clips are at the beginning of the video to be sure that coaches catch your best footage even if they don’t have enough time to watch your entire highlight film.
4. Keep your introduction simple
Include a short, personable introduction and don’t forget to practice! Just like an interview, practicing your football introduction will improve your charisma. Start the video stating your name, school, year, football position and contact information. Keep your video focused and avoid any special effects or graphics.
Tip: Skip the music! It’s not necessary and will only take away focus from your football highlights.
5. Showcase your athleticism
Use other video clips that show you’re a well-rounded athlete. This will give you an edge over other football players and will increase your opportunity in getting recruited for your specialized football position, but possibly another.
Tip: Don’t hesitate to pick up other sports. Professional athletes are big advocates for playing different sports because other sports can help you become a better athlete and round you out as a football player.
6. Know what football coaches and recruits are looking for
Love it, know it, breathe it. Other factors that coaches look for include a skill, talent, grades, mentality and program fit. Each of these are just as important as the other. If you can’t get into college, you both end up empty-handed.
Knowledge is the key to football recruitment
Getting recruited for college football requires a tremendous amount of work. Watching football highlight tapes alone takes hours at a time, and that’s just one step of the football recruiting process. Remember, you’re competing with thousands of high school football players, with the same aspirations of getting recruited to play for college football teams. There are already plenty of things to worry about, but making a highlight video shouldn’t be your biggest block. Start planning your recruiting process now - February will come sooner than you think!