A gymnastics college recruiting video is the best way to make a first impression and helps student-athletes get on a coach’s radar early in the recruiting process. In fact, coaches typically conduct online evaluations first, and then after they’ve narrowed down their list of prospects, they conduct further in-person evaluations. In other words, student-athletes who want to be evaluated by college coaches should proactively make a recruiting video. This section outlines how to make a gymnastics college recruiting video, so you can leave a memorable impression.
Most student-athletes think that the recruiting process begins when college coaches scout recruits in person during meets. But the truth is that there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes before that point—including online evaluations. Before college coaches travel to meets to watch gymnasts compete, they create a list of top prospects. First, they send general recruiting questionnaires to underclassmen to better understand who is interested in their program. Then, they narrow down their list by watching gymnastics recruiting videos and reviewing online recruiting profiles. Once they have a list of the athletes who match their desired qualifications, they begin to attend competitions to conduct more in-depth evaluations.
That’s why creating a gymnastics recruiting video and emailing it to college coaches at schools you’re interested in is an essential step in the recruiting process. The more proactive student-athletes are, the more opportunities they will have of connecting with a coach.
NCAA college coaches look to recruit elite gymnasts who compete at a Level 9, 10 or higher. All-around gymnasts who place well in several events tend to be more valuable and gain more interest from college coaches. That’s why it’s best to include two or three clips from the vault, bars, beam and floor in your video.
While you should include a full performance of each event from a formal meet, we also recommended showcasing some practice footage. That way, coaches can see how you perform under pressure and get a better understanding of the current skills you’re working on. If you have footage from elite competitions where you placed well, such as regional or national competitions, be sure to include that in your video as well.
Filming a gymnastics highlight video isn’t as complicated as it sounds. First, student-athletes should ask their club coaches if they already have footage available. Sometime online video services film meets and coaches may have access to these. If not, don’t worry. Follow these straight-forward tips to create a video that truly stands out:
Recruits should publish their college gymnastics recruiting videos on their NCSA recruiting profile where college coaches can easily access it. They can also post it to YouTube for further visibility. Once published, email the link to coaches at the colleges on your target list.
College coaches receive hundreds of gymnastics college recruiting videos, so they typically look for quick, informative videos that immediately highlight the gymnast’s best performances. A video that is short enough to capture a coach’s attention but long enough to showcase all of the gymnasts skills usually lands between five and six minutes long.
Once a student-athlete has created their college gymnastics video, they need to develop a communication plan to get it seen by college coaches. First, they need to identify the colleges that are a good fit for them athletically and academically. This first step shouldn’t be overlooked—sending your video to schools that aren’t a good match will just decrease your chances of connecting with a college coach.
Next, it’s time to send a personalized email—emphasis on personalized. College coaches can immediately sniff out generic emails that have been copied and pasted, and trust us, they’re sure to get deleted. Plus, coaches always come to meets with a list of prospects they want to evaluate. The best way to get on that list is to send them a recruiting profile and gymnastics college recruiting video ahead of time. In your email, you can explain your specific interest in the program and briefly highlight your top scores and prestigious accolades. Remember to follow up, as coaches tend to be busy and might miss an email.
Lastly, it’s important to keep recruiting videos current. Coaches look for athletes who have potential to grow and learn new skills. Updating your video not only shows how you’re improving during your athletic career, but it also gives you another opportunity to reach out to coaches and keep them informed of your progress and interest.
Let’s face it: Finding the time to edit a recruiting video can seem daunting, even to the most tech-savvy out there. That’s where NCSA’s Video Team comes in. These professional videographers edit more than 40,000 highlight videos each year. They review raw footage, break down each clip and put together a seamless recruiting video that highlights the gymnast’s most impressive skills to garner coach interest. Depending on the NCSA membership level, they will even create multiple videos for recruits and then help them find the best schools to send them to.