The preferred way for coaches to evaluate recruits is to observe them in person at club tournaments, but that doesn’t mean they will have an opportunity to see every recruit who’s on their radar compete in person. That’s where a well-done recruiting video can play a big role. The video will serve two key purposes: Provide coaches with a way to make their initial evaluation of an athlete, and if the coach cannot see them compete in person, the video might be the only way that coaches will get to see a recruit play. Here’s how it typically works:
In this article, we focus on what athletes need to include in the initial highlight video that they’ll be sending around to college coaches. There are specific skills to showcase and different techniques to use to ensure athletes are making the best first impression.
Getting noticed—and evaluated by—college coaches is integral to the soccer recruiting process. Fortunately, creating a soccer skills video provides a great opportunity for potential soccer recruits to reach out or follow up with coaches and programs they’re interested in.
Check out the video below where former D1 player and D1 and NAIA soccer coach Lindsey Boldt shares her expert tips for shooting a soccer field player skills video, including:
Men’s soccer players interested in landing a goalkeeper roster spot should make sure they include a good mix of drills run in a traditional practice, show off what they’re doing in their spare time to improve their skillset ahead of next season and not be afraid to get creative—in the video below, a soccer goalkeeper uses ping pong and tennis balls to display their impressive hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes.
Check out former D1 and NAIA soccer coach and D1 player Lindsey Boldt break down what a soccer skills video should convey to coaches, from movement, balance and footwork to focus, reactions and great instincts!
In general, college coaches want to know how athletes respond in a game, so they’d prefer to see game footage over practice footage. Most coaches want to observe how athletes see the pitch—they need to judge their decision-making and skills. Think about it: If a college coach isn’t going to have the opportunity to watch someone play in person, what’s the best way for an athlete to showcase their talent as a men’s soccer player? It’s showing their best game footage.
The recruiting video should be 3–6 minutes long and include 20–25 clips of game action for field players. Any longer, and it will run the risk of having the coach lose interest. Position players should create a men’s soccer highlight video with game footage. Goalies should create a men’s soccer skills video that’s supplemented with game footage and highlights.
Once the footage is shot, the next step is to edit it down to the best 3–6 minutes, which includes 20–25 game clips for field players. Start the video off strong with big highlight plays. Recruits have about 30 seconds to make an impression on the coach, so pick opening plays or skills that will leave an impression. From there, make sure to add in other key skills that college coaches want to see. The goal is to get coaches hooked in the first 30 seconds, so they continue watching the video to see the depth of the skillset. During the video, athletes can distinguish who they are in each play by using a simple arrow, a circle, a spotlight—something clean and simple to alert the coach who they should be watching.
Remember that every touch and play doesn’t have to be perfect. Coaches are also interested in how players adjust to imperfect situations. Recruits should also include their contact information (name, email and phone number) and their coach’s contact information (name, email and phone number) at the beginning and end of their recruiting video.
Creating a video requires technical skills and an eye for editing. For anyone struggling to make a video that will create the right kind of impact, NCSA has a team of video editing experts who know exactly how to make recruiting videos stand out. Those who would like to learn more can email our video team at [email protected].