Not identifying yourself on the field is probably the biggest mistake that players make when they create highlight videos. They assume that because they know who they are, and because they told the coach what number they are, that they will be easy to spot. Usually, it is very difficult to see numbers on the field in a video, but more importantly, in the time that it takes the coach to figure out who you are, they will be missing many of your plays! TIP: Put a marker on yourself before every clip!
2. Using Slo-Motion or Cool Effects
This isn’t the Matrix or a Hollywood blockbuster. The only editing that should be done is a “spotlight” marker on you before each clip. Slo-mo should ONLY be used if a play is difficult to see in real time. DO NOT slo-mo the clip unless you absolutely have to! Coaches see special effects and slo-mo as distractions from evaluating the player for their playing abilities! TIP: Don’t use any special effects or slo-mo!
3. Filming an Introduction of Yourself Speaking
Like we said earlier, coaches try to minimize the amount of time they spend watching videos because they get so many. The key is to show that you can PLAY, and then if a coach is interested, he will look at your accomplishments in your resume AFTER watching the video. If you spend 3 minutes at the start of the video talking about how great you are, you will bore the coach to death and he may never watch the footage of you playing! TIP: Use a 10-second intro that includes name, number, position, school, and graduating year!
4. Sending a Video Longer than 10 Minutes
Coaches receive hundreds of emails per day, so they have to use their time wisely. They will typically decide after the first minute if they want to watch the next 3-4 minutes of the video. Avoid sending a recruiting video that is longer than 10 minutes! TIP: Try and hit the sweet spot of between 4-6 minutes!
5. Terrible Choice in Music
One of the biggest complaints we hear from coaches is how players pick a terrible song for their video which makes it unwatchable! Watch out for copyright laws, because this may get your video blocked entirely when the coach tries to open it. Pick a song that is not copyrighted and is an instrumental, or, don’t put a song at all! TIP: Instrumental music only!
Recruiting videos need to catch the eye of the coach in the first 50 seconds; otherwise, they might not watch the rest of the video. Whatever you do, don’t start with an easy 10 yard pass, or losing the ball. Anyone can do that! Show what makes you unique and why a coach would want to have you on their team! TIP: Use your 3 best plays as your first 3 clips!
7. Filming Too Far Away
It’s important that the footage gives the coach the ability to see you play tactically, so filming from high up (like a game you would see on TV) is ideal, but sometimes people take this too far and NEVER zoom in. The coach still needs to be able to see what you do on the ball without you looking like an ant! TIP: Hire a company to film OR having your parents film from halfway up in the stands!
Remember, this is a recruiting video, not a keepsake from your season! Still-pictures can be used in the introduction when you include your name, position, team, and graduating year, but THAT’S IT! Do not include that picture of you getting hit in the face with the ball because you think it shows your determination and toughness! TIP: Only use video!
This is a big NO NO! Coaches only want to see footage of players in games (and usually against high quality opponents in a professional setting). This means that including footage of juggling, shooting, passing that is done in training is a massive indicator to a coach that you can’t do it in a game! Save the juggling tricks for the clowns in the circus! TIP: Only use clips from games!
10. Having a Screaming Parent in the Background
Coaches know that when they recruit players, not only is the player coming to the school for the next four years, but they will also be interacting with their parents for four years. If the coach realizes that he’s going to be dealing with a crazy soccer parent for four years, it makes him less likely to follow through with that player. Your recruiting video should be about YOU, so do your best to remove anything that distracts from your playing ability! TIP: Mute the volume of the crowd in every clip!
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