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Catching the (College) Coach's Eye

Catch the Coachs eye

Recruiting Videos – Catch the coach’s eye!

To be a recruited student athlete at any level (NCAA D-1, II, III, NAIA or JC) a coach must see you play before he/she decides to recruit you and make an appeal to admissions on your behalf. 

With limited time, money and human resources, coaches cannot possibly see every athlete who comes across their radar.  But with a good film coaches don’t have to see you play in person.  
Juniors who play winter and spring sports, you need to use your junior and summer season highlights for the tapes you send out in your Senior Fall!

Keep these eight things in mind when making and sending your recruiting video.

  1. Label the tape, and include on the video itself if possible, with the following information:  Full name, address, phone, school, Jersey number and color, position(s), coach’s name and number. Numerous coaches have told me how many tapes they get with no information about who they are watching!
  2. Include about 10 highlight plays at the start of the tape showing you in diverse situations. In football for example, a running back would look to include the following types of highlights:

- Inside power running
- Outside running – beating a defender to the corner.

- Open field running – making people miss, breaking tackles
catching and route running.
- Leading Blocking and Pass blocking
- Break away run for a long gain showing speed.
- Short yardage or goal line – breaking tackles, moving the pile, etc

Depending on the sport – golf, tennis, baseball for example, a series of drills or shots can display your talent on video, without it being in a match or game. Remember the tape’s purpose is to convince the coach to take the next step in recruiting you – which would be to call you or your coach and have you come visit the school.

  1. Depending on the sport (football, basketball, hockey, include running halves, quarters or periods of play so the coach can watch you play in the flow of a game.  A lot of what coaches look for might not be in the highlights. Many like to see how you play off the ball or away from the action.
  2. Keep it simple. Do not include music, flashy animation, or ESPN™ like production for a highlight tape. Coaches have to watch hundreds of tapes so make their job easier, not harder.
  3. Before you mail a tape or DVD to a coach, qualify them first. Is the school one you are seriously interested in?  Does the coach mind if you send a video?  Are you the level of athlete the coach actually recruits? 
  4. If you want the tapes back, include a self-addressed, postage paid envelope in your package. If you can afford the cost of the tape, avoid doing this if possible.
  5. Do not spend a ton of money on making your tapes. Often a talented fellow student is willing to help for pizza and some movie tickets.  Your job is to obtain the game tapes from the school, note the time of the highlights you want, supply the biographical information for whoever is making the tape and provide the blanks for copying.
  6. Use a tripod and turn the sound off if you are making home videos to use in the recruiting process.  A shaky or grainy tape is something coaches can’t stand.

Video is a powerful tool in the recruiting process, but only part of it. As long as you show your skills to the coaches at schools where you could be a good fit as a student and an athlete, the recruiting process will be successful.  Sending tapes to schools where you would not be happy as a student and have little chance of competing athletically will not lead to success and wastes time. Do your homework first and the future will be bright.

Ray Lauenstein, the author of The Making of a Student Athlete, is a recruiting expert whose site www.athletesadvisor.com provides students and parents with advice and information about the college recruiting process. He is a regular contributor of articles to the CompuSports Network.

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