In his book 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal, Dan Miller contends that most resumes get about 30-40 seconds to capture the potential employer’s attention. The resume won’t land you the job; the interview does. However, a well constructed resume lands you the interview.
In speaking with multiple college coaches, we’ve found that the highlight video is much like an athletic resume for your kids. They have about 30-40 seconds to capture the coaches attention or else they get lost in the shuffle.
Here are some helpful tips in helping your athletes build a solid resume in their highlight video.
Consider the Footage
When putting together a highlight video, remember that it is just that: a highlight video. Coaches don’t want to see entire games. They don’t have time for that.
Assemble highlights of the athlete from multiple games. Coaches will be very suspicious if all the highlights come from one game against one team. They want to see that your kid brings it every night against all comers.
Check with your athletes to see if they have any additional footage of them in their sport. We talked about the dangers of club sports for your programs. However, if they have game footage from club teams, this will help as well.
Include training footage in this video as well. Coaches want to see specific skills and work ethic. Training footage will go a long way in your highlight video.
One coach we spoke to said, “I almost prefer training highlights but need both.”
Focus on footage of fundamental skills done with speed and accuracy. If your athlete doesn’t have training footage, then you need to get in the gym ASAP and shoot some.
Introduce the Athlete
The highlight video should also include a short interview or talking head section with your athlete.
This should be about a 15-40 second clip of the athlete introducing themselves and providing the following information.
- high school
- reasons why they want to attend that particular college
- goals for college athletics
- contact information
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to shoot a few of these sections and personalize them for each college and coach. Have your athlete greet the coach by name in the introduction and tell them that they are excited about playing for their school.
If you don’t have the time or resources to personalize, then make sure the interview is very general.
The most important thing to remember is not to take too long with the introduction. Remember, this is a resume and your athlete has 30-40 seconds to get noticed.
Structuring the Video
The structure of the highlight video is very important as well. You need to make sure you grab attention.
Don’t put anything in the video that would be offensive, off-putting, or counterproductive.
This certainly includes music. Your Christian school probably has stances against certain types of music. Chances are the colleges that your athlete is interested in do as well. Music isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker; however, the type of music a person listens to tells the coach a lot about the player’s personality and attitude.
Another bit of advice regarding the structure: don’t try to be cute. Time is of the essence and you want the athlete to stand out. Interrupting footage to put in certain graphics and/or text is just wasting your time and theirs.
Waste the coach’s time in the highlight video, and they will shut it off.
Stay away from elaborate themes or plots. Just the facts.
You also want to be sure to highlight your athlete at the beginning of every clip. You don’t need the SportsCenter spotlight. Just a simple arrow or circle will be a big help.
The saying “put your best foot forward” certainly applies to the highlight video as well.
You want to put your athlete’s best highlights at the beginning of the video.
If you’ve bored the coach at the beginning of the video and saved the bicycle kicks and alley oops for the end, then you may have lost your opportunity.
A couple of your athlete’s most jaw-dropping moves in the first few seconds of the video will buy him some more time and keep his “resume” from going into the stack.
Resources to Help
There are services out there like recruitingtape.com that will make the video for you. However, they can be a bit pricy. You just need to decide how nice of a product you can make and how much your time is worth. You pay a bit for a professionally done video, but it’s professionally done.
If your programs use Hudl, then they also have functions that will aid in making a highlight video.
While we don’t necessarily recommend recruiting services for Christian school athletes, the folks at NCSA have put together a great video on making a good highlight tape.
In all honesty, this article wrote itself thanks to the tremendous help from Chris Carmichael and Jesse McCormick. McCormick coaches the Bob Jones University mens soccer team. Carmichael is the NCCAA national championship coach of the Lady Bruins soccer team. Their insights into what Christian school athletes can do to play at the next level were incredibly helpful.