Your Guide to Creating a Beach Volleyball Skills Video
Your beach volleyball skills video is crucial to gaining coach interest and showcasing your best skills as an athlete. The video will serve two key purposes: Provide coaches with a way to make their initial evaluation of you as a recruit and, if the coach cannot watch you compete in person, your video will be the only way that they will get to see you play. Here’s how this typically works:
- In your initial communications with college coaches, always include your beach volleyball recruiting video. This video should really focus on putting your best plays first and make an immediate impact on the coach.
- If the coach liked what they saw in your initial video, they will likely reach out to schedule a time to evaluate you in person.
- If the coach doesn’t get an opportunity to watch you play in person, they might request another highlight video with specific skills. Or, they might want full game footage to get a better idea of your game play.
In this section, we focus on what you need to include in the initial beach volleyball skills video that you’ll be sending around to college coaches. There are specific skills to showcase and different techniques to use to ensure you’re making the best first impression.
Where should you get your video footage?
In general, college coaches prefer to see game footage over practice footage—they want to know how you respond to difficult situations. Most coaches want to see how you handle working around a block on a not-so-perfect set. How do you handle being out of system? What about on a long rally? Think about it: If a college coach isn’t going to have the opportunity to watch you play in person, what’s the best way to really showcase your talent as a beach volleyball player? Showing them your best game footage.
That said, if you can’t get game footage until the summer, it’s better to create a beach volleyball skills video in the gym than have nothing to offer coaches. Film your best skills until you’re back out in the sand. Another time to take to the gym for filming? If you have an impressive skill that you don’t have game footage of yet.
Find the right angle to film your beach volleyball skills video
Generally, most coaches prefer film to be shot from behind the baseline. It gives them the right vantage point to see how players move on the court. If possible, have your parent, guardian, friend or coach set up the camera behind the baseline and have them try to avoid moving it around too much. A steady picture is much easier to watch! Avoid following the ball with the camera—coaches want to see how the whole play unfolds, not just where the ball is going.
What to include in your beach volleyball recruiting video
When creating your beach volleyball highlight video, a large portion of your footage will be position-agnostic. We’ve included the types of plays and skills college coaches want to see, starting with the skills that aren’t position specific:
- Passing: You’ve probably heard it before—if you can’t pass, you can’t play. Show that you’re comfortable receiving float serves and jump serves. Add about 10 passes in total, from both sides (left and right).
- Setting: Show in system, out of system, in transition, option, hut, etc. Provide footage that demonstrates you can create a better ball for your partner with both your hands and your platforms. Add about 10 sets in total, from both sides (left and right).
- Attacking: Show that you are able to hit and shoot (hit angle, hit line, high line, short, cut, jumbo, etc.) from a variety of sets. Add about 20 attacks (about 5 of each).
- Serving: Include the different serves in your repertoire, such as a jumper, jump float, standing float, short, etc. Add about 7 total serves.
- Out of system/long rallies: Provide footage that shows how you handle the long rallies. Coach Simic adds, “Can you still hit that tough cut shot after the ball crossed the net 3 or more times? Can you side out off a bad set?” Add about 1 minute of this.
The remaining seconds of your beach volleyball highlight video will be position dependent. If you’re a full-time defender, include the footage outlined below for defenders. Same if you’re a full-time blocker. If you’re a split-blocker, add a little bit of both.
- Defending: Coaches want to see how well you read the attacker. They want to know if you can run down a high-line and transition into a quality attack. Add “hard-driven” digs as well as running down shots. Add about 10 digs in total from both sides.
- Blocking: Include footage that shows you can read a hitter and adjust. Coach Simic also recommends including footage that answers the questions: “Do you always block line, or can you comfortably block angle as well? Do you peel off of the net at the right times and with good footwork?” Add about 10 blocks in total from both sides.
Insider tip: Every touch and play doesn’t have to be perfect. Coaches don’t expect a robot, but they are interested in how you adjust to imperfect situations. “There are a lot of national, international and Olympic highlights that show some phenomenal broken plays,” explains Lana Simic, who has 20+ years of experience coaching and competing in collegiate and professional beach volleyball.
General tips to remember in the editing process
Once you have all your footage, the next step is to edit down to your best 3-4 minutes. To kick things off, start your video off strong with your best plays. You have about 30 seconds to make an impression on the coach, so keep that in mind as pick your opening plays or skills to showcase. “If you are 6'4" with a huge vertical and a great swing, show yourself crushing that ball against a defense! Get the attention of the coach early,” says Coach Simic.
From there, make sure you add in the other key skills that college coaches want to see. The goal is to get them hooked in the first 30 seconds, so they continue watching your video to see the depth of the skill set. During the video, distinguish who you are in each play by using a simple arrow, a circle, a spotlight—something clean and simple to alert the coach who they should be watching. Make it easy for the coach to find you.
Finally, wrap up your video with another big play! You want to leave the coach with the best impression of your athletic ability. You should also include your contact information (name, email and phone number) and your coach’s contact information (name, email and phone number) at the beginning and end of your beach volleyball recruiting video.
Creating a video requires technical skills and an eye for editing. If your family is struggling to make a video that will create the right kind of impact, we have a whole team of video editing experts who know exactly how to make your film standout. If you’d like to learn more, email our video team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-495-5172.