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CHAPTER 8 VIDEOS

ATHLETES

WANTED

CHRIS KRAUSE High School Edition


C H A P T E R 8

VIDEOS If most college coaches had their choice, they would always prefer to watch a student-athlete play live. Due to busy schedules and budget restrictions, coaches cannot travel to evaluate every player they are recruiting. When a personal evaluation is not possible, video allows a coaching staff to evaluate the mechanics and specific talents of a prospect, providing the coaches with the necessary tools to draw legitimate interest in a student-athlete. Coaches across the country welcome the opportunity to evaluate a prospect from their office chair. Videos (which have been referred to as “tapes” or “video tapes”) come in three forms: skills, highlight, or game. Some sports require only one; others request two, and in some cases, a student might send a game, highlight, and skills video. The requirements will vary by sport and program. See www.athleteswanted.org for sport-specific information about skills, highlight, and game videos.

• Skills videos showcase a student’s fundamental abilities. Skills videos are not necessarily composed only of game footage. In fact, some skills videos show only drills during practice, showcases, and the like, demonstrating the studentathlete’s abilities.

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• Highlight videos consist only of game footage and, as the name implies, should consist of a student-athlete’s on-field highlights.

• Game videos are exactly what they seem like: recorded footage of an entire game. Coaches usually will not request a game video until they have viewed a student’s highlight or skills video.

Coach’s Tip An athlete should send videos only to college coaches who have requested the videos. An athlete’s video might not be looked at if a coach is not expecting it, especially if the coach is from a big program that receives forty or fifty videos a week. If students want to mail a video or email a link to a coach who has not requested their highlight or skills video, the athletes should call and make sure the coach is expecting the video. One father of an elite athlete reports that he spent $2,250 and two hundred hours sending unsolicited packages to college coaches. Not a single coach called him based on these packages.

Regardless, a student-athlete should send his video only if a coach has requested it or is expecting it. Once a coach calls, emails, or sends a letter requesting a video, the student should send the video promptly and let the coach know that the video is on the way or has been sent via email. Though most freshmen do not have enough footage to create highlight videos, skills videos can be created as soon as a student-athlete begins playing a sport. The student-athlete should start putting together the video as soon as possible. Remember that the student-athlete’s video is a


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significant part of the recruiting process. The earlier the video is prepared, the earlier the athlete can respond to all coach requests. Contents of a video will vary widely from sport to sport. Highlights do not apply in all sports, so in some instances, game and skills footage may become more important. For example, a softball coach may request a skills video of the student-athlete swinging, fielding, and throwing to evaluate mechanics. Baseball coaches want to know pop times, home-to-first times, sixty-yard dash times, the athlete’s throwing velocity, and the like. It is more important for them to see the athlete’s fundamentals and ability level rather than actual game film. A volleyball coach can watch a skills video; on the other hand, a basketball coach needs to see actual game footage. In general, the student-athlete should follow certain basic guidelines no matter what the sport. 1. Start with a short introduction that states name, school, and contact information. 2. Start the video with the most impressive plays. Athletes only have one chance to make a first impression. 3. Do not produce video that is shot at either a tight or far angle. Find a happy medium. Coaches want to see the whole play develop to see how the player reacts to each situation. 4. Use video that is clear and easily identifies each player. If coaches cannot identify the player, they will move on to the next video. Use spot-shadowing or an arrow to identify the student-athlete. 5. Keep things short and sweet. The student-athlete’s video should not be any longer than three to five minutes. Coaches receive hundreds of videos; if the athlete’s video drags, the coach will be bored, not an association the student should form with the coach.


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6. Include a wide variety of plays that show all of their talents. Versatility is important. 7. Consider eliminating music and background noise. Some coaches will watch the video with the volume off, but if music is included in the video, choose songs that are acceptable to a wide range of personality types! 8. Remember that college coaches don’t look at footage the same way parents do. Colleges are looking for athletic ability, speed, explosiveness, technique, drive, and fundamental skill sets of the sport and position. If possible, a coach, former collegiate athlete, or scouting or recruiting service should help pick the child’s best plays and sequence them properly. In addition to the résumé, profile, or scouting report, most coaches use highlight and skills videos as the initial layer of evaluating an athlete’s likelihood of receiving an athletic scholarship. After reviewing a student scouting report, the coach will use a highlight or skills video to assess the student’s in-action abilities. Once the video is created, consider how it will be delivered to coaches. Postal mail can be expensive, and most coaches prefer to watch videos electronically. College coaches overwhelmingly favor personal websites updated with transcripts and links to highlight or skills video and game footage. The athlete can then send hyperlinks and update coaches when new information is available or accomplishments are made. Advanced sites like these can track viewership by college coaches, making it easy to know who is watching. Visit www.athleteswanted.org for sample websites.


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Coach’s Tip Today’s technology makes it easy to create an online package that includes the scouting report and a streaming video highlight or skills footage so that the coach can look at an athlete’s stats and watch his performance easily and quickly. Imagine how impressed a coach will be if an athlete sends a well-composed, reader-friendly email containing a link to a high-quality video within moments of a phone call!

New Technologies: Video vs. Enhanced Video New technologies and professional video-enhancing services help the student-athlete create a high-quality video that uses spot-shadowing to highlight the athlete, high frame-rate filming and high definition flash technology that allows the greatest detail in slow-motion viewing, and professional editing to sequence the video appropriately. Some even post the videos online, which allows coaches to watch the videos easily from their laptop. Some services provide a list of those college coaches who have watched the videos, which allows the student-athletes to follow up promptly after the coach has viewed their videos. Enhanced video can be a great way to make a student-athlete stand out from the crowd and gain the attention of the college coach. Visit www. athleteswanted.org for more information about these services.


THE HOW TO GUIDE DURING HIGH SCHOOL

« « Fa s t Fac t « « Coaches who are impressed with an athlete’s highlight or skills video will likely request a full game video. When sending a DVD, students can include the game footage after the highlight or skills footage.

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Key Points 1.

When a personal evaluation is not possible, coaches rely on highlight and skills videos to evaluate the mechanics and specific talents of a prospect.

2.

Depending on the sport, a student-athlete should create either a skills or a highlight video. A skills video showcases the student’s fundamental skills and does not necessarily include game footage. A highlight video, on the other hand, is comprised solely of the best game footage the student-athlete has.

3.

Before sending a video, the student-athlete should call to make sure the coach is expecting it.

4.

Consider hiring a service that makes use of the newest technologies to create an enhanced streaming video that can spot-shadow and stream videos, which are easily distributed to college coaches for evaluation. Some services even deliver a verified list back to the student-athlete detailing the college coaches who viewed the video, which allows the student-athlete to follow up quickly.

5.

Contents of video vary from sport to sport. See www.athleteswanted. org for sport-specific information about highlight and skills videos.

Athletes Wanted : Chapter 8  

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