Your softball skills video is arguably the most important part of your recruiting profile. Coaches use softball skills video to make their initial evaluation of recruits, and it can be the deciding factor between whether a coach wants to recruit you—or move on to the next athlete. And in modern recruiting, it’s sometimes the only way coaches get to see their recruits’ athleticism and skills.
Creating a softball skills video is one of the best ways to get on a coach’s radar and show off your athleticism, skillset and talents as a softball player. But what should potential softball recruits include in their softball skills video? What makes a softball skills video different than a highlight video?
In the video below, NCSA Recruiting Coach and former D3 Head Softball Coach Renee Barrows breaks down key essentials every softball athlete should know before filming their softball skills video:
In other words, you need to make your softball skills video really stand out! Before we break out softball skills video tips by position, here are a few general filming tips to keep in mind:
Softball recruiting video tip: You want to keep your softball skills video short—around 2-3 minutes. Coaches are scanning through these videos quickly, and most don’t have the time to watch a 10-minute video.
Every softball position requires its own unique set of skills that college coaches look for when recruiting talent. In the video series below, NCSA’s Holly Bruder, former D1 head softball coach, shares what skills student-athletes should showcase in their highlight video by position.
Most athletes will need to include hitting in their softball highlight video. In general, the pitcher should throw batting practice-type fastballs or you can use a pitching machine. Some athletes will hit off a tee, which can work, but isn’t ideal. In the hitting portion of your softball highlight video, you need to show two different camera angles:
If you’re a speedy softball player, you should show off your base running. Set up the camera at the 3B side of home plate. Take a swing and run through 1B, and then take another swing and run for home. If sliding is a big part of your game, you can slide into home.
Softball recruiting video tip: The “open side” refers the side the batter faces when they are hitting. Similarly, a pitcher’s open side is the side she faces as she’s pitching.
The easiest way to capture you at your best is to film a whole bunch of pitches and pull out your best ones during the editing process. You need to film from two different camera angles:
Softball recruiting video tip: Team up with your catcher when you’re working on your softball highlight video. While you film your pitches, she can film her catching skills—it’s a win-win!
Catchers have a lot to cover in their softball skills video! There are four main skills coaches want to see in a catcher’s softball highlight video:
Both SS and 2B should take all ground balls from SS to show the maximum arm strength and range. If you’re a second baseman only, it’s OK to field plays from there, but most general infielders will throw from shortstop.
Position the camera about 4 ft. to the left of the mound for half of your throws. Then, set up your camera 4 ft. behind 1B for the other half of your throws. Here’s what you need to show:
ground balls hit directly at you
Coaches also want to see how you execute double plays. You want to show 4-5 feeds from second base come across the bag, with you making the throw to 1B. Set up your camera 2 ft. behind the mound for the first 2-3 shots and 4 ft. behind 1B for last 2-3 shots.
Finally, you need to show fielding from SS position, throwing to 2B. Position the camera 2 ft. behind the mound for the following:
For first basemen, coaches want to see how well you cover the bag during your softball skills video. Set up your camera behind home plate and about 4 ft. to the left for the best vantage point during the following:
You also need to record film of you fielding about 3-4 bunts.
It’s important to show off your strength and accuracy through hard ground balls, slow choppers and bunt coverage. For half of your fielding, position the camera in front of you and about 4 ft. to the right of home base. For the other half, set up your camera about 1 ft. behind first base. Your softball skills video should include:
Softball recruiting video tip: To save time it’s easier to have someone throw hard grounders to your athlete rather than hit them.
No matter your position, coaches want to see outfielders take your groundballs and fly balls from right or centerfield. There are three main camera angles to capture film from:
Softball recruiting video tip: If you need any help with your softball recruiting video, we have a whole team of professional video editors who offer softball skills video services.
Former D1 head softball coach Holly Bruder breaks down the most common mistakes recruits make when putting together their softball skills video.