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Hockey Highlight Video Guidelines

High school and club coaches often capture footage of student-athletes during practice and games help evaluate their technique and provide feedback, so it’s no surprise that college coaches also find value in video when evaluating talent to build their prospective recruiting list. The difference – while high school and club coaches review raw footage of an athlete playing at their best and worst, college coaches want to see a series short clips that highlight an athlete performing at their best against tough competition. Of course, college coaches understand that high school athletes are still developing and expect to see room for improvement. Oftentimes, coaches will look for recruits who they believe are strong athletes but still have room develop and refine their skillset under the coach’s instruction.

To create a highlight video, student-athletes first need to understand what position-specific skills college coaches are looking to evaluate. Student-athletes will want to capture enough footage that highlights these skills during varsity-level competition to create a three to four-minute video of roughly 20-30 clips. Once the highlight video has been created, it’s time to share with college coaches.

Learn how to make a highlight video for hockey with our ice hockey recruiting video tips below.

How to make a recruiting video for hockey 

Getting ready to create a recruiting video, but don’t know where to start? Creating a high quality and engaging recruiting video starts with simply capturing footage.

  1. Capture Footage: On an iPad, tablet or professional camera, capture enough varsity and club game footage to cover a three to four-minute time span. Shoot at a wide enough angle that coaches are able to see the development of each play, the player's vision, movement with and without the puck, knowledge of position and passing with teammates. Follow the primary player to clearly capture their technical ability. 
  2. Edit Footage: Reference the position-specific skills listed in the above section when selecting the 20-30 clips to include in the recruiting video. The first 30 seconds should be reserved for the strongest three to five clips. All remaining clips should highlight key position-specific skills. Use an arrow, circle or stoplight to identify the recruit at the beginning of each clip. Recruits should include their name, email, phone number and their coach’s contact information at the beginning and end of the video. Not comfortable editing footage? NCSA’s video editing specialists are here to help. Check out all of NCSA’s recruiting tools.
  3. Promote Video: Recruiting video should live on the recruit’s NCSA recruiting profile. While browsing NCSA’s network of student-athletes, college coaches will review highlight video to evaluate potential recruits. Recruiting video should also be uploaded to YouTube to increase the recruit’s visibility. When uploading a recruiting video to YouTube, consider titling the video “[Full Name] Ice Hockey Recruiting Video Class of 20[XX]” and include a link to the recruit’s NCSA profile in the description. To maximize exposure, recruits should email their recruiting video to college coaches in a recruiting letter. We go into more detail on how to write a recruiting letter further down this page.

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What do college coaches look for in a hockey highlight video?

Recruits know what they can offer a college program, and highlight video is one way that they can communicate their value to college coaches. Experienced, multi-dimensional athletes who can act quickly on their feet are highly sought after by college ice hockey programs. But expectations don’t stop there. College coaches have position-specific expectations that we’ve outlined below.

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What to put into a hockey recruiting video

College coaches want to see some controlled skills and drills footage from goalies that allows them to see the recruit’s skills up close, but all other positions should exclusively consist of game footage. This is so college coaches can see recruit’s put their skillset to the test in high pressure and unpredictable situations against top talent. All goal scoring positions should begin their video with a clip of them scoring a challenging goal.

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How long should a hockey highlight video be?

Hockey recruits should keep highlight videos between three to four-minutes long. This timeframe allows for roughly 20-30 clips from varsity competitions. To grab the attention of college coaches right from the start, begin highlight video with the top five clips that demonstrate the position-specific skills listed above. Remember, college coaches watch hundreds of highlight videos as they go through the recruiting process, so it’s likely that they won’t make it through an entire video.

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Position-specific hockey skills video guidelines 

Forward: Demonstrate the ability to skate forward and backward with strong stick handling skills. Highlight good puck control when receiving and passing the puck and progressing toward the goal. Show ability to shoot the puck with power and accuracy, using proper technique in following through. 

Defense: Highlight physical positioning when challenging offensive players, as well as the ability to skate backward and forward efficiently. Demonstrate good stick handling skills and stick possession on puck. Highlight good puck control when gaining possession and clearing the puck from the defensive zone.

Goalie: Showcase the athlete’s goalie style (hybrid, stand-up, butterfly) and skating edge work with lateral movements. Demonstrate strong positioning, aggressiveness, glove positioning in the crease and playing the puck outside the crease. Include footage making various types of saves and controlling rebound. Because an above-ice view is not always the best way to capture these skills, goalies should consider shooting both skills footage and competition footage to include in a recruiting video. 

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How to use your hockey highlight video to get noticed by college coaches

College coaches browse NCSA’s recruiting network every day, but recruits cannot assume that college coaches at their prospective schools are just going to discover them without taking some initiative. To let a college coach know that a recruit is interested in their ice hockey program, recruits should reach out in an introductory email. This email should state why the recruit is interested in the hockey program and what makes them a good fit for the team. To show that the recruit is committed to continuing the conversation, they should set up a specific time that they plan to call the coach or invite them to a tournament or game that the recruit is attending. 

College coaches will also need some basic information, so be sure to include the following:

General information: name, graduation year, high school and club name

Academics: GPA and test scores

Athletics: sport specific stats and relevant measurables

Contact information: phone number and email, as well as your club and high school coach contact info 

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Where to post or upload your hockey recruiting video

Highlight video allows college coaches’ recruiting efforts to extend beyond the region where their program is located to regions across the US, where talent may not be as easily accessible to them. In order for a recruit’s highlight video to truly service this purpose, it needs to be accessible to college coaches.

  • Upload recruiting video to the recruit’s NCSA profile.
  • Post the video to YouTube with a link to the recruit’s recruiting profile in the description.
  • Send an email to college coaches with the unique link to the video that YouTube provides.

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