NCSA Athletic Recruiting’s Baseball Recruiting Coaches often hear about the struggles that families have shooting a baseball skills video for their sons. The filming process can be quite the undertaking and requires coordination. With that being said, a skills video is arguably the most important tool for a student-athlete’s online recruitment. Here are a few tips and hints to a successful skills video shoot:
Prepare your shot
- Before shooting your video, read through NCSA’s Video Guidelines. These guidelines will lay out where to position the camera, what type of plays to include for each position, and how many plays to include.
- If you do not have a video camera, a smart phone camera will suffice. Make sure to turn it horizontally/sideways when filming.
Highlight your skills
- Pitchers, signal your pitches before each pitch. This will help college coaches understand what pitches you are throwing.
- Catchers, wear full catching gear. Even though the video will be shot in a practice setting, making it as game-like as possible never hurts.
- Middle infielders, shoot your video at shortstop. If you primarily play second base, you should still shoot your video playing shortstop.
- Outfielders, throw from right field. Similar to a showcase, all outfielders should throw from right field in their video.
- Don’t be afraid to take a break during your shoot. You are at your best when you are fresh and well rested. No need to tire yourself out with 100 pitches or swings in a row. Take your time to get the best results.
- Above all else, go at game speed! This is one of the biggest mistakes we see. Do not use footage of you warming up or going at half speed. College coaches want to see you at your best.
Go indoors, if necessary
If you live in an area of the country where it gets cold in the winter, you can still shoot a baseball skills video at an indoor baseball facility. Here are some tips and hints on that front:
- The bigger the facility, the better. More space gives you more room to maneuver, which will give a college coach a better idea of your overall skill set, especially your fielding.
- Pitchers, an indoor bullpen on video is just as useful as an outdoor bullpen. Make sure to get the entire pitch in the shot though, from the point the ball leaves your hand to the point it hits the catcher’s glove (side/profile angle excluded).
- Along the same lines, hitters should try to get as much of the pitch/swing in the shot as possible. Sometimes this calls for the camera to move back from the cage a few feet.
The recruiting budget college baseball coaches have to work with is usually limited, which means they cannot go out and evaluate every prospect that contacts them. Therefore, shooting a quality video will help you in the recruiting process by allowing college coaches to evaluate you online. The feedback you receive from the coach about this video is important to take into account. It will be a significant part of coaches’ evaluation of you as a prospective student-athlete, even before you try to figure out where to head for visits and college camps in the future — so make this first impression a good one!
Contributor Michael Dufek is head of video operations at NCSA Athletic Recruiting