While college coaches make an effort to watch recruits play at tournaments and showcases, many coaches will start the recruiting process by reviewing an athlete’s recruiting profile for insight into their talent. Every field hockey athlete should include a recruiting video on their NCSA Recruiting Profile for college coaches to watch when reviewing their page. Highlight videos allow college coaches to evaluate an athlete’s skillset and identify areas that they may be able to improve upon to determine if the athlete is a good fit for their team.
To create a field hockey recruiting video that will truly impact a student-athlete’s recruiting journey, athletes need to know what college coaches are looking for, how to capture footage, editing tips and what to do with the video when it’s complete. This section outlines all these steps to empower student-athletes to create a high quality highlight video.
Student-athletes should capture footage from varsity games and include 20–30 strong clips that show how they manage under pressure in competition, mentally and athletically. While student-athletes are generally inclined to use skills footage in their highlight video, this footage doesn’t always give college coaches an accurate look at what the athlete is capable of, especially in competition. The best way to give college coaches what they are looking for and truly demonstrate how an athlete performs under pressure is through game footage.
College coaches understand the difficulties of putting together a field hockey recruiting video, especially given the changing landscape of recruiting during COVID-19. In the video below, former D1 player and D1 and D3 college coach Lindsay Kasten breaks down what field hockey players should include in their field hockey skills video and what coaches want to see, including:
A strong field hockey recruiting video captures a recruit’s athletic ability in a professional manner that engages college coaches. Below is a three-step guide to creating a powerful highlight video that will capture the attention of college coaches:
We also recommend including the athlete’s highlight video in a recruiting letter to college coaches. This is an introductory email to kickstarts the relationship-building process with college coaches where student-athletes can use this letter to express their interest in a program and explain to the coach why they are a good fit for the team. This email should include general information, academic and athletic stats, as well as a recruiting video to introduce college coaches to their skillset. End the letter with a clear next step, such as setting a time to call the coach or inviting them to watch the athlete compete.
Field hockey recruiting video should be no longer than three to four minutes. Student-athletes have roughly 30 seconds to catch a college coach’s attention before they move on to the next highlight video, so it’s important to start the video strong. The athlete’s video should include a total of 20–30 clips that showcase the field and position-specific skills that are listed below.
College coaches look for well-rounded athletes with strong stick skills, shooting and passing ability and versatility. Student-athletes will need to capture footage that clearly demonstrates their grasp of these areas to provide college coaches what they need to effectively evaluate the athlete. Of course, footage differs between field positions and goalies. Below we outline what field hockey goalies and field players should focus on when selecting footage for their highlight video.
Field hockey goalies need to focus their highlight video around two areas: shots and clearings. College coaches are looking to see how goalies handle a variety of different shots at all areas of the goal, as well as their ability to clear and distribute the ball.
The primary skills that college coaches are looking for in field players include shooting, stick skills and passing. College coaches are also looking for athletes who are ambidextrous and offer versatility in their game.
Once student-athletes have captured enough footage, they’ll need to review and edit the video down to no more than four minutes. Student-athletes should first select the 20–30 strongest clips to include in the video. These clips should reflect what college coaches are looking for in the athlete’s position. After the athlete has selected the appropriate number of clips, they should identify the five strongest clips and lead the video with those plays to drawn in the coach’s attention. The athlete can follow these beginning clips with the remaining footage that highlights key, position-specific skills. To help college coaches remain engaged and track the correct player, athletes can use an arrow, circle or spotlight to differentiate themselves from the other players on the field.
The video should both begin and end with the athlete’s name, email and phone number, as well as their coach’s contact information. Including this small detail makes contacting recruits a lot easier for college coaches.
The NCSA platform allows student-athletes to upload highlight video to their NCSA Recruiting Profile, which college coaches can easily access. Student-athletes should also publish their video to YouTube to boost visibility. After uploading, student-athletes need to title their video “[Full Name] Field Hockey Recruiting Video Class of 20[XX]” and include a link to their recruiting profile in the description. After the video has been uploaded to the athlete’s NCSA profile and YouTube, student-athletes should send an introductory email to college coaches with the unique link that YouTube provides.