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How to Make a Baseball Recruiting Video Coaches Will Watch

Baseball recruiting video.

A baseball skills video is an essential tool in the recruiting process. Athletes can think of it as a way to market themselves and increase their visibility with college coaches. A baseball skills video is an excellent “hook” for athletes to use when contacting college coaches to initiate the evaluation process.

Baseball recruiting video tips

Athletes should keep in mind that coaches are only interested in what a recruit can do on the field. Athletes will make a better impression by demonstrating their baseball skills rather creating a video that is overproduced with special effects, dramatic music and quick-cut editing.

General filming tips to consider:

  • A skills video should show the athlete to their best advantage and grab the coach’s attention. Is the athlete really fast? Do they have a 92 MPH fastball? Can they throw out a runner at home from the outfield?
  • Families should use a tripod with the camera about 5 feet off the ground, if possible. They can even get a tripod for their smartphone! Unsteady video is difficult to watch, and many coaches will simply move on to the next player video rather than suffer through film that is not stable and steady.
  • Baseball coaches want to see an athlete’s skills at their position on video. In a 2018 NCSA survey of college baseball coaches, we asked coaches what they look for when watching a skills video. The top five responses were: mechanics, speed, athleticism, power and body language.
  • Avoid filming behind a fence or backstop. The camera view should never be obstructed.
  • Always warm up before the filming starts. Athletes should look loose and natural.
  • Dress the part. A uniform is preferred, but spikes, pants or shorts, and a tucked-in shirt and helmet are also recommended.
  • Always leave coaches wanting to see more. Families should keep their videos to five minutes or less and put best skills at the beginning of the video
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What is the difference between a recruiting video and skills video?

For baseball, there is no difference between a recruiting video and skills video. Unlike many other sports where a recruiting video is a compilation of your best plays from actual games, coaches want to see specific shots from practice to really get a sense of your mechanics. The issue with game footage is that it often doesn’t allow the camera to film in the right place to give coaches the views they want. Below we cover the shots and views coaches want as part of a recruiting skills video.

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How to get your baseball recruiting video seen by college coaches

There are a few key places that recruits should post their video online to maximize their chances of it getting seen by college coaches:

  • YouTube or Vimeo: Families should start by uploading their baseball skills video to a platform like YouTube or Vimeo. This will serve two purposes: Coaches searching for baseball skills videos might stumble upon it. More importantly, the recruit will have a link to their video that they can use in emails to college coaches, to post on their social media accounts and more.
  • Social media: Recruits can follow and friend coaches and programs on their target school list as a way to increase views and shares of their videos.
  • NCSA recruiting profile: A recruiting profile that includes a highlights/skills video is at least 12 times more likely to be viewed than a profile without one. An athlete’s NCSA profile also contains other important information coaches are looking for when evaluating recruits.
  • DVD: Athletes should also consider sending coaches a hard copy DVD. For convenience and time management, nothing beats emails, but a coach might receive up to 100 emails every month. Sending a DVD in the mail is an old school way to stand out.
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Recruiting video for pitchers

Begin recording these pitches after a complete warm-up. The person filming should make sure they show the catcher catching the ball at all times. There are two different camera angles to film pitches from: behind the mound, and behind either the right-handed pitcher’s box or left-handed pitcher’s box. Film half of the pitches from one camera angle and half from the other.

For RHPs, set up the camera three feet to the right and five feet behind the mound to be able to see ball movement. LHPs should be to the left. Show:

  • Ten varied pitches out of the wind-up, with fastballs being at least five of them
  • Ten varied pitches out of the stretch, with fastballs accounting for at least five of them

The next set of pitches should be filmed with camera set up three feet behind the right-handed batter’s box for RHP and three feet behind the left-handed batter’s box for LHP. Show:

  • Ten varied pitches out of the wind-up, with fastballs being at least five of them
  • Ten varied pitches out of the stretch, with fastballs being at least five of them
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Recruiting video for catchers

Film with the camera angle 10 feet in front of the catcher and show:

  • Four framing pitches (two pitches on each corner)

Film with the camera angle positioned two feet to the left and five feet in front of the mound to show:

  • Blocking pitches (five directly in front of you, five to your left, five to your right).

Film with the camera angle positioned three feet behind the second baseman for half and two feet behind the catcher for half. The film must show the second baseman catch the ball from all camera angles. Show:

  • 10 pop and throws to 2B

Film with the camera angle positioned three feet behind the catcher. The film must show the third baseman catch the ball. Show:

  • Four throws to 3B

Film with the camera angle positioned three feet behind the plate. The film must show the first baseman catch the ball. Show:

  • Mock bunts and throws to 1B (three balls up the 1B line)
  • Mock bunts and throws to 1B (three balls up the 3B line)
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Recruiting video for shortstops and second basemen

Film with the camera angle positioned four feet to the left of the mound for half of the video and four feet behind short stop for half. The first baseman must be seen catching the ball. Whether the athlete plays SS or 2B, they will need to take their ground balls at SS in order to maximize range and arm strength. Show:

  • Four feeds to 2B for double plays
  • Four feeds from the second baseman coming across the bag and making the throw to 1B. (Can also turn it as a second baseman receiving from the shortstop if you are a second baseman.)
  • Four slow choppers hit directly at you
  • Four ground balls hit 8–10 feet to your right
  • Four ground balls hit 8–10 feet to your left
  • Eight ground balls hit directly at you
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Recruiting video for third basemen

Film half the video with the camera angle positioned four feet to the right of the plate. The other half should be filmed four feet behind the third baseman. The first baseman must be seen catching the ball. Show:

  • Four slow choppers hit directly at you
  • Four ground balls hit directly to your right/backhand
  • Four ground balls hit directly to your left
  • Eight ground balls hit directly at you
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Recruiting video for first basemen

Film with the camera angle positioned four feet to the left of the plate. (Half of the ground balls should be off the bag and half should be holding a runner on.) Show:

  • Four ground balls hit directly at you
  • Two ground balls hit directly to your left
  • Two ground balls hit directly to your backhand
  • Two slow choppers hit directly at you
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Recruiting video for second basemen

Film with the camera angle positioned four feet behind the first baseman. (Half should be off the bag and half should be holding a runner on.) When throwing to 2B, the baseball skills video must show the second baseman catch the ball. Show:

  • Four ground balls hit directly at you
  • Two ground balls hit directly to your left
  • Two groundballs hit directly to your backhand
  • Two slow choppers hit directly at you

Athletes should also include their feeds to the pitcher in some of the above actions.

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Recruiting video for outfielders

CF, RF and LF should take their ground balls and fly balls in right field. Film with camera positioned 15 feet in front of the athlete (in the direction of home plate) and five feet left (toward center field) focusing on the athlete’s movement in the field. Show:

  • Three ground balls hit directly at you and thrown to 3B
  • Two ground balls hit to your left and thrown to 3B
  • Two fly balls hit to your left and thrown to 3B
  • Two ground balls hit to your right and thrown to 3B
  • Two fly balls hit to your right and thrown to 3B

Film with camera behind 3B, showing both the outfielder and the third baseman. The focus should be on the athlete’s throwing accuracy and arm strength. Show:

  • Three ground balls hit directly at you and thrown to 3B
  • Two ground balls hit to your left and thrown to 3B
  • Two fly balls hit to your left and thrown to 3B
  • Two ground balls hit to your right and thrown to 3B
  • Two fly balls hit to your right and thrown to 3B

Film with camera angle behind home plate, showing both RF and C, focusing on throwing accuracy and arm strength. Show:

  • Five ground balls hit directly at you and thrown to home
  • Five fly balls hit directly at you and thrown to home
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Recruiting video for hitting

The pitcher should throw batting-practice-type fastballs. Families can also use a pitching machine. Footage should be filmed either outside on a diamond or in a cage with a pitcher throwing batting-practice-type fastballs—no soft tosses. Take seven swings max at a time. Then, step out and rest for a few minutes. Use an aluminum (never wood) bat. Show:

  • Fifteen swings with the camera behind the catcher area
  • Fifteen swings with the camera five feet directly to the right of the plate (for right-handed hitters) or left of the plate (for left-handed hitters)
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Professional baseball skills video services

Those who do not feel confident behind a camera or want to be sure that their skills video is of the highest quality might want to consider turning this job over to professionals. There are several companies who take the worry and guesswork out of producing a skills video. Companies either will create a complete video or will edit footage shot by the recruit’s family. Be sure to ask how they share the videos they produce on YouTube and social media. Here are a few companies who perform these services:

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