Athletic Recruiting

The Importance of Building a Winning Highlight Video!


Here is a story to help you understand the importance of a good highlight tape to get to college coaches.  You know how when you go to the movie theater they have several previews of upcoming films. Several months ago I saw the preview of a film that is currently out. I thought the preview was weak and it did nothing to make me want to go see the film. On the other hand, I saw the preview clip the other day for the film Unbroken, which opens Christmas day. That preview was so well done I will be in the theater on Dec. 25th to see that movie.

It is the same with highlight videos. Think of them as a movie preview. If yours is well done, it can and will lead a college coach to want to so a whole game or half of a game of you in action. A good highlight video opens the door to unofficial visits, camps and more. You need to make sure yours is done well, or you could slip through the cracks.

I once spent an afternoon in the office of a D1 tennis coach of a program that was in the Top 25 every season. He showed me a lot of the highlight videos sent to him from players. He showed how one had the kid hitting a forehand for way to long. He showed how another didn’t have all the things he was looking for such as serve, return of service, approaching the net, backhand, forehand and more. With another the camera was set up in the wrong position and he couldn’t see where the ball was going.

Delete. Delete. Delete.

He would watch about thirty seconds and DELETE.

There are often running backs that send out videos of them breaking one long run after another, often against weak competition with the offensive line really deserving the credit because of the big hole they opened. A better highlight video would have shots of the kid running up the middle, around the end, blocking for the QB, catching a screen pass, blocking for the other back, breaking away from fast defensive backs, and more.

A college coach once told me he loved this one basketball highlight video that had the kid hitting long range, mid range, and driving to the bucket. It showed his court awareness as there were several passes of him finding the open man. It had him stealing several passes, showing he could pick up passing lanes. It ended with him taking charges.

Don’t get me wrong. Full game or half game is what college coaches will want to see before they get really serious, but a well done highlight video will get the attention of that assistant who filters out the prospects. That assistant can’t ignore the various positives on that highlight video, and will approach the head coach saying they need to get more on the kid.

It is critical that you talk to an expert on how your highlight video should be built. Each sport is different. Softball coaches look for different things than football coaches. A softball coach may want to sit there in their office and time a run from home to first or second. That needs to be on there. Don’t make the mistake so many families make by underachieving on the highlight video, and the next time you are at the movie theater pay close attention to the Previews and see how some jump out more than others.

To be evaluated by a college scout and learn about how to build a winning highlight video, click here

Former sports anchor Charlie Adams writes weekly on recruiting and motivation for NCSA: Motivational speaker Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years in markets such as New Orleans and South Bend where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. His son was a college athlete, his oldest daughter is a freshman college swimmer, and his youngest daughter is very involved in AAU travel team basketball as a 6th grader. Charlie’s new motivational program in 2014 is ‘More Than a Miracle,’ which explains how the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was able to stun the Soviets and then take the Gold. For more information you can reach him at or go to

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Charlie Adams