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Men’s Tennis Recruiting Video Guidelines

In an ideal world, college coaches would have the time and budget to watch recruits compete in person all the time, but this is not the reality for coaches and athletes. Instead, a recruiting video is often the first time a college coach is introduced to a potential recruit and their skillset. As college coaches search recruiting databases to evaluate talent, they take time to review athlete profiles and watch recruiting video. As a recruit’s first impression on a college coach, it’s critical to create a recruiting video that highlights what college coaches are looking for in an athlete.

In this section, we outline how a recruit can create a truly impactful video, including how to capture footage and what to do with the video when it’s complete.

How to use video for college tennis recruiting

The best way to make sure that college coaches see an athlete’s recruiting video is to send an introductory email. This is a great way to let a college coach know that the recruit is interested in their tennis program and share their recruiting profile and video for the coach to review. To begin the email, state why the recruit is interested in the tennis program and offer a couple of reasons why he believes he is a good fit for the team. Include a link to the athlete’s NCSA Recruiting Profile, where he should have his recruiting video posted. End the email by setting up a specific time that he plans to call the coach or invite the coach to a tournament or game that the recruit is attending. This shows that the recruit is serious about his interest in the program and dedicated to continuing the conversation.

Be sure to include the following basic information, as well:

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

Academics: GPA, 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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What college coaches want to see in a tennis recruiting video

College coaches want to know that an athlete has a strong grasp of the fundamentals and has developed the skillset to elevate these basic shots with physical power and tennis IQ. The basic shots include forehands, backhands, serves, returns and volleys. Include footage of the athlete rallying with a partner who feeds them a variety of different shots, like wide balls, short balls and spin, to demonstrate how the athlete reacts. Coaches are also looking for speed, agility and endurance when it comes to footwork. An elite athlete sets himself up for each shot and recovers to the middle quickly after returning the ball.

When it comes to match footage, coaches want to see how an athlete sets up points and their follow-through. It’s especially important to show footage of matches against tough competition where the athlete must remain positive and focused. This will both demonstrate to the coach how the athlete handles pressure and how he carries himself on court.

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How to make a tennis recruiting video

Creating a recruiting video is an easy three-step process, if the recruit understands what college coaches want to see in a tennis recruiting video, as we’ve outlined in the above section.

  1. Capture footage: Recruits should use either an iPad, tablet or a professional camera to capture rallies and match footage. Footage should be filmed from an elevated area, so the ball position on the court can easily be seen. Shoot at a wide enough angle, so the entire court and the player's movement are visible. It’s also important to position the camera on one back corner of the court to film the player both on the same side of the court as the camera and the opposite side. Capture enough footage to cover a three to four-minute time span.
  2. Edit footage: Aim to include 20–30 clips that capture the athlete’s mechanics, footwork and stroke work. The video should begin with the most impressive clips to draw the coach in and follow with clips of the athlete performing the skills that college coaches most want to evaluate. At the start of each clip, identify the athlete with an arrow, circle or spotlight to help coaches follow along. Include the recruit’s basic information: name, email, phone number and their coach’s contact information, at both the beginning and end of the video.
  3. Promote your video: Once you have a completed video, it’s time to upload it to the recruit’s NCSA Recruiting Profile and on YouTube where college coaches can easily access it. On YouTube, title the video “[Full Name] Tennis Recruiting Video Class of 20[XX]” and include a link to the recruit’s profile in the description. We also suggest sending the recruit’s video to college coaches in a recruiting letter, which we go into further detail in the final section of this page.

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How long should a tennis recruiting video be?

Tennis recruiting videos should be kept to no more than three to four minutes long. College coaches don’t have much time to spend watching recruiting video, so athletes have roughly 30 seconds to catch their attention. It’s important to lead with the recruit’s strongest clips that highlight their skillset.

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What should a college tennis recruiting video include?

When filming rally play, include the following:

  • 10 forehand and 10 backhand strokes
  • 10 forehand volleys and 10 backhand volleys
  • 5 overheads
  • 20 serves, 10 from each side of the court
  • 10 serve returns, 5 from each side of the court

Point play, or match footage, should highlight:

  • Speed, agility and endurance
  • Point set up and follow-through
  • On-court presence

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College tennis recruiting video services

Not confident in creating your own recruiting video? NCSA offers college recruiting video services led by a team of talented video editors that are here to help recruits take their raw video footage and create a cohesive recruiting video that can be used to promote their skillset. Once the recruit’s video has been professionally edited, recruits can upload their tennis highlight video to their NCSA Recruiting Profile, which college coaches can easily access.

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