Skills Video

The Fundamentals of a Good Skills Video


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Everybody knows college coaches want to see a prospective student-athletes skills video before they start recruiting them. Many times, coaches won’t even watch an athlete play until they’ve seen some skills video. Mostly so they don’t waste their time.

College coaches across all divisions have very little time to recruit and even less time to plan their recruiting. That is why video is such a vital part of the recruiting process. Coaches only want to spend their time and budget recruiting legit candidates for their program.

That being said, your skills video could be part of the problem. Long skills videos, with poor-quality and bad content, can be detrimental to your recruiting process. A good skills video will separate you from the rest of the pack. How do you create a good skills video? By including the right content for college coaches and following these simple tips.

Introduce Yourself

College coaches need to know who you are, what position you play, and when you graduate in the first few seconds of your video. Remember, this is an evaluation video, so you want to show a little personality, but be professional.  When filming the introduction, make sure your camera or smartphone has the right lighting and is in a quiet area.

Length Matters

There’s no magic number for what length video works because every coach is different. However, our video department explains that a 3-5 minute skills, or highlight reel, is a good length for video and will get the most views. We know that you probably have hours of footage, but most college coaches will be able to tell if you have what it takes within the first 30-seconds. Don’t waste your time and energy sending a 10-minute skills video because they won’t watch all of it.

Quality is KeyLandscape vs Portrait mode

Obviously, if you can get high-quality video footage from a GoPro or expensive DSLR camera, do that. But we know this is not feasible for everyone, and that is a-okay! We do want to emphasize the importance of taking a good, clear shot. For example, if you’re going to use your smartphone, make sure the athlete is the only thing visible in the shot, it’s on a sturdy surface and in landscape mode. By doing this, it ensures that your video quality will be clear and not shaky.

Show your Skills

Remember how we said that college coaches know in the first 30-seconds if you have the skills that fit their program? Then start with your best stuff! If you’re a softball player who has a cannon for an arm, show a clip of you throwing and have a Pocket Radar there to show your throwing velocity. The same can be said if you’re a golfer and your best skill is how well you drive the ball. Don’t save the best for last because the odds of the coach sticking through the whole video aren’t very high.

Angles are Everything

An excellent video has multiple angles of the same skill. For example, a baseball or softball pitcher will have multiple angles of their pitching form. They may have some shots from the catcher’s perspective, a couple of close-ups, and from the side. By doing this, it gives college coaches the opportunity to see an athlete’s mechanics and technique from different positions. It allows them the ability to evaluate further, which is always a good thing.

Make the Skills Video Accessible

Coaches don’t have a lot of time to click multiple buttons to see a skills video. Frankly, if it’s not something that’s easily viewable, it probably won’t get watched. We suggest having a profile, like this one, or location that is a direct link to the video and has all of your information. From there you can send that link to college coaches. Having a link that goes straight to the video with one click is key. Don’t send an attachment of your video for college coaches to download. It takes up a ton of space in your inbox and theirs. Second, if their device doesn’t recognize or support the video’s format, they won’t be able to watch. Again, the point of a skills video is to make it quick and easy for coaches to see your skills.

Be Visible

In your skills video, you want to be easily identifiable to the viewer. Typically it’s easy to identify the athlete if the video only contains skills footage since there’s only one person in action. Figuring out who’s the focal point of the video becomes a problem with game film or highlight reels. Most of the time, the footage will be far away, so it’s hard to identify who’s who in the video. To fix this problem, try to point out the athlete’s jersey number, or if you’re tech savvy add a ring or highlight bubble to the film to show viewers exactly who to watch.

Video Everything and Update Frequently

You can never have too much film. So, don’t waste a good play because you’re hoping you’ll do something amazing next. Go ahead and add the best moments you currently have an update your video whenever you do something better or get a new skill. Updating your skills video often is crucial. It helps to put your best skills clearly on display, and it’s good for you and college coaches to see your improvement.

Finally, make sure you thank college coaches for watching your video. They took the time out of their day to watch your skills video, and it’s common courtesy to acknowledge that. It probably won’t be a deal breaker, but it’s always good to do the right thing.

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National Scouting Report is dedicated to finding scholarship opportunities for athletes who possess the talent, desire, and motivation to compete at the collegiate level. We’ve helped connect thousands of athletes with their perfect college.

If you are ready to take your recruiting to the next level, click the Get Scouted button below to be evaluated by an NSR College Scout.

Get Scouted  Scouting Careers

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