It’s no secret that highlight and skills videos are essential to the recruiting process. In fact, student-athletes who include a highlights/skills video on their NCSA recruiting profile are 12 times more likely to be viewed by a college coach than those without one.
However, simply adding a highlight video to your recruiting profile is not always enough to get noticed by a college coach. Instead, recruits need to be proactive in their recruiting and learn how to market themselves (and their recruiting video!) to coaches.
Check out our tips below for how to send highlights and skills video to college coaches and how to get coaches to view your highlight video!
With in-person recruiting more limited than ever, watching highlight or skills videos is one of the only ways college coaches can gauge an athlete’s talent level and see if they’d be a good fit for their program.
Update your video at least 2X a year
“You don’t want a video that is a year old. Updates, whether regarding your video, key stats or transcripts, can also strengthen your connection with college coaches.”
– Julian Beckwith, NCSA Men’s Basketball Recruiting Coach & Former D1 Basketball Player
Once recruits have your highlights video, it might seem like the best way to get noticed is by mass sending their recruiting profile or video link to hundreds of coaches—but that’s not the case!
Keep in mind that depending on the program and division level, you can send your highlights to:
After you upload your highlight or skills video to your profile, NCSA Recruiting Coach Andy Drake recommends athletes think strategically about who they contact. First, “get your coach involved.” Let your school, travel or club coaches know you have a new highlight video and ask them if they’d be able to send it to any college coaches in their network.
Then, take a look at your target list of schools, and prioritize colleges on that list starting with those you’re most interested in.
If you need more help narrowing down your list of target schools, NCSA’s College Search and Top Matches features can help! These tools allow recruits to filter through schools based on athletic, academic and college fit criteria and recommend schools that would be a good fit based on a recruit’s athletic and academic abilities along with personal preferences like overall cost, school size, location and more.
Once you have a target list of schools, it’s time to start sending your highlights! To increase your chances of getting noticed, research the program to see who you should reach out to first.
Recruits are often surprised to find out that there is a right and wrong time to reach out to coaches. Besides standard communication etiquette like avoiding emailing or calling coaches late at night, we recommend sending new highlight or skills footage at the following times:
In the video below, Gettysburg College’s head basketball coach B.J. Dunne shares his insights on the best time to email college coaches:
While recruits may be tempted to send a generic, copy-and-pasted email with a link to their highlights video to all the schools they’re interested in, Coach Drake agrees that personalization is key to getting on a coach’s radar. “Just as athletes want more personalized emails from a coach, so do coaches appreciate personalized emails from the athlete. If I receive an email sent directly to me, I will take more ownership than I would an email that has been blasted out to several coaches at once.”
Besides including why you’re interested in their program (and why you think you’d make a great addition to the team) make sure the coach has:
Before sending your recruiting video to coaches, double-check that your subject line includes a reference to your video (like “video attached” or “new highlights”) along with your grad year, position, and any unique athletic or academic stats that will help you stand out in a coach’s inbox.
Think about it—without an eye-catching subject line, sometimes coaches won’t even open your perfectly crafted email! Learn more about emailing college coaches, including how to craft a great subject line.
There are 5 keys steps to take in sending film to college coaches: 1) Create a highlight reel, 2) Choose a platform to upload your video to, 3) Create a target list of schools with coach contact information for each, 4) Craft and send a personalized email to each coach including a link to your highlight reel, and 5) Follow up as needed to inquire about their interest in you as a player.
Once you reach out to a coach, Coach Drake recommends waiting at least 1-2 weeks for a response. If you haven’t heard back from a coach after this time, you can either send a follow-up email or better yet, call a coach and ask if they’ve received your email or had a chance to view it.
Research shows that coaches receive seven phone calls (or less!) per week. Since most recruiting communication happens digitally, speaking with a coach on the phone—or even leaving a voicemail—can help recruits stand out from their peers.
Check out our video below to hear former D1 baseball player Nelson Gord share his insights into how a voicemail can make all the difference in your recruiting.
If you don’t receive a response to your follow-up email or voicemail, Coach Beckwith recommends that it’s time to move on. “You’re most likely not going to get a 100 percent response,” he says. “Continuing to follow-up with unresponsive coaches is a waste of your time and theirs.”
Insider Tip: Turn on your “read receipt” function to keep tabs on whether a coach has received and opened your email. NCSA’s Message Center lets recruits know when a coach opens their email so they can follow up accordingly.
When it comes to Twitter or Instagram, Coach Beckwith suggests following coaches and programs on your target list as a way to increase views and “shares” of your video. Actively engage with a coach’s or program’s social media by sharing, liking, commenting or retweeting their posts to let them know you’re focused on your recruiting and interested in their school.
Along with posting highlights to your recruiting profile and emailing college coaches, sharing your recruiting video on social media is a great way to get or stay on a coach’s radar. Coach Drake recommends prospective recruits tag coaches or programs they’re interested in, or direct message (DM) them for a quicker response time, especially if they’ve already connected with them via email or phone— “pinging a coach might get them to check you out [faster].”
Learn more about how college coaches use social media in recruiting, including our social media do’s and don’ts.