A well-crafted highlight video can put a recruit on a coach’s radar and secure them a second in-person evaluation. The truth is coaches just don’t have the time (or budget) to travel and see every prospect compete. So, more often than not, a highlight video is a student-athletes first chance at making an impression. Follow these guidelines to create a video that stands out.
A basketball highlight video could be the reason a student-athlete secures an in-person evaluation. Even though it seems complicated, piecing together a highlight film isn’t as difficult as you may think. Before you set out to film, ask your high school coach if they have footage already available. Online video services for high school coaches, like Hudl, are popular resources that could come in handy. And remember to choose games against the best competition, such as varsity games, high-level AAU games or any nationwide tournaments. College coaches want to see how a student-athlete measures up against top talent. Usually clips from two or three games is enough.
As you gather footage, think about what coaches want to see (depending on your position): shooting ability, technical ability, quickness, athleticism, ball handling, game awareness and decision making all matter to coaches. Frontload your video with the absolute best five or six plays. Some college coaches won’t watch past the first minute, so it’s crucial to show them your most difficult and impressive plays against high competition right at the beginning. Cap the video at 20 to 30 clips and keep it under four minutes.
Shooting a women’s basketball skills video doesn’t have to be difficult—as long as recruits showcase their athleticism and technical abilities, college coaches understand now more than ever the constraints of not having a basketball season or a chance to attend camps and tournaments.
Former D1 women’s basketball head coach Nicole Scholl breaks down what basketball players should include in their skills video, including:
Follow these straight-forward tips to create a video that truly stands out:
A well-edited highlight video gives student-athletes a chance to show college coaches their strongest skills, athleticism, versatility, and basketball IQ—all in just a few minutes. Coaches look for recruits who have the right technique, game awareness and can execute on the fundamentals. They want to see footage against high-level competition where the recruit was truly tested and showed an elevated level of athleticism—think varsity high school games, AAU national tournaments, showcases and elite camps. If the highlight video does its job and captures the coach’s attention, then the coach will also want to evaluate performance from an unedited full game. That’s why we always recommend sending a brief and impactful highlight film, as well as one full game.
Music can set an energetic tone, but it shouldn’t take away from an athlete’s performance. For that reason, we typically don’t recommend including music in a basketball highlight video. And to be honest, coaches don’t care too much about the frills; they just want to evaluate the recruit. In fact, if there’s excessive background noise, like cheering, it’s best to mute the sound completely.
Student-athletes need to quickly capture a coach’s attention—and we mean fast. Basketball highlight videos should be under four minutes with 20–30 superb plays that demonstrate the athlete’s strongest skills. Typically this footage is from two or three games total. In addition to a brief highlight film, student-athletes should separately provide full game footage. If the coach is interested in recruiting the student-athlete after watching their highlight reel, they’ll want to evaluate one unedited game as well.
College coaches want to evaluate the strongest parts of a center’s game. They look for technique and the ability to overpower players. Height and wingspan are key physical tools that will stand out as well.
In the video below, Recruiting Coach Nicole Scholl—a former NAIA D1 athlete and D1, D2 and D3 college coach—breaks down what women’s basketball centers need to include to get on a college coach’s radar, from size and length to good versatility.
Point guards who can take control, possess leadership skills and have a take-charge attitude will stand out.
In the video below, former D1 women’s basketball college coach Nicole Scholl provides a great overview of what women’s basketball point guards should showcase in their highlight videos. From good speed, stamina and communication skills to confidence and consistency on the court, see what types of plays will help point guards stand out.
Power forwards need to have a dynamic skill set and be able to demonstrate their ability to shoot, especially at mid-range.
With more than 13 years of experience as a women’s basketball college coach—and six at the D1 head coach level—NCSA Recruiting Coach Nicole Scholl has watched hundreds of highlight videos. Check out the video below to see what power forwards need to include in their recruiting video, from mobility and versatility to stamina and quickness.
Coaches obviously want to evaluate a shooting guard’s ability to score, but they’re also looking at their technique and whether they can execute the fundamentals.
According to former D1 women’s basketball coach Nicole Scholl, women’s basketball shooting guards should show that they can handle the ball and pressures on the court. In the video below, Scholl breaks down what plays can get women’s basketball shooting guards on a college coach’s radar along with insider tips from her own experiences evaluating highlight videos.
Versatility is important among small forwards.
In the video below, former women’s basketball college coach Nicole Scholl shows small forwards what they need to include in their highlight video to get on a coach’s radar and land a roster spot—plus some insider tips on what they shouldn’t include.
Online video services for high school coaches, like Hudl, are becoming more popular in basketball. If a college coach is interested in a recruit after watching their highlight film, they will also ask to see full-game footage. And that is when Hudl really comes in handy. If student-athletes are using Hudl footage to create a highlight video, they should follow the standard guidelines:
Coaches generally prefer a simple, no-frills editing method. They want a quick and clear evaluation of an athlete’s skill set. That’s why some families choose to use a professional videographer who can quickly turn disorganized raw footage into a cohesive sequence of highlights. Plus, an experienced videographer knows exactly which plays to showcase first.
As part of NCSA’s recruiting suite for student-athletes, our full-service video editing team offers professionally edited video. In fact, they edit more than 40,000 highlight videos each year. And, depending on the membership level, they’ll produce multiple highlight videos for the athlete and help them identify the best schools to send it to. If you’re interested in learning more about NCSA’s video offerings, call our Video Team at 866-495-5172.
Due to federal privacy regulations, your student-athlete has to be 13 years old to create an NCSA profile.
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While you’re here, we invite you to educate yourself on the recruiting process. Here are two of our most popular articles:
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