Go from grabbing rebounds to grabbing a coach’s attention
Basketball is sponsored by more colleges and universities than any other intercollegiate sport. To be more specific, during the 2019-20 season, there were 1,987 men’s basketball programs and 1,959 women’s programs. However, during that same period, there were more than 540,000 men playing high school basketball and just over 404,000 women. Add it all up, and there are a lot more high school basketball players than there are college coaches. And that means, if you want to get noticed and recruited to play college ball, you’ll likely need a highlight video.
While it may sound like a bit of a hassle, creating a basketball highlight video is actually pretty simple. And that simplicity is important because, since many college basketball coaches lack big recruiting budgets, a slam dunk highlight video can get you on a recruiting radar. That notice is what could lead to an in-person evaluation. So, for a highlight video that will get you noticed, just follow these tips:
Know What Coaches Are Looking For
While every coach has their own ideas of what they want in a recruit, as a rule, coaches primarily look for high school players who demonstrate proper technique and are skilled in the fundamentals of the game. On top of that, coaches look for highlight sequences against top-notch competition, such as high school varsity games, tournaments, recruiting showcases, and elite camps. If your video shows that, and it piques a coach’s interest, he or she will likely want to review your play in a full, unedited game. Video from an entire game will allow a coach to ascertain your basketball IQ and situational awareness abilities. Given that, it’s never a bad idea to send a coach your highlight video as well as footage of a full game.
Know What To Include
While the bulk of your highlight video should be specific to your position, in general, coaches are looking for ball handling and shooting skills, change of speed and direction, and jumping and leaping ability. And don’t forget to highlight your shooting range and consistency as well as your strength and conditioning.
From those basic elements, include footage that focuses on three or four of your strengths. Stack your best clips together at the beginning of the video to catch and keep a coach’s attention. For example, show four straight threes followed by several clips of strong defensive play rather than mixing things around.
Make sure your highlight video also includes a title card at the beginning that simply shows your name and graduation year. Follow that with another card showing your name and contact information, school and class year, height and weight, position, experience, relevant stats, GPA, entrance exam scores, and your high school or club coach’s contact information. Make sure that card runs again at the end of the video to ensure a coach remembers your name!
Keep It Brief
As mentioned above, the key to a basketball highlight video is to capture a coach’s attention quickly, hold it, and leave them wanting to see, and know, more about you. To do that, limit your highlight video to under four minutes and include 20 or 30 clips that show off your strongest skills.
Make sure you’re recognizable and visible at all times in all the footage you use. Avoid zoom-ins and outs, shaky video, and excessive cheering. Finally, don’t add a music soundtrack and instead keep the focus on your play.
Post It, Share It, Keep It Fresh
Once you’ve compiled a compelling highlight video, post it on your recruiting profile, YouTube, and your social media channels. Ask your coach to share it with the college coaches in his or her network. Send the link every time you reach out to a coach via email and update it as needed as your season progresses.
While you’ll want to send your video to the coaches on your target school list, don’t be shy about sharing it with any other school or coach that asks to see it. Don’t close any doors. And remember that today’s assistant coach could be a head coach tomorrow and it only takes one college coach to be wowed by your highlight video to land a spot on a college squad.
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