Highlight videos are an essential part of the recruiting process in women’s lacrosse. Because college lacrosse coaches don’t have the budget to travel across the country to watch every recruit compete, a highlight video is an easy way for coaches to make an initial evaluation of an athlete’s skills. Student-athletes should create a three to four-minute highlight video that shows their athleticism, versatility and lacrosse IQ. We outline what college coaches are looking for in a highlight video, how to capture footage and how student-athletes can share this content with coaches during the recruiting process.
College coaches are looking for varsity game footage where the athlete is playing their best lacrosse. Rather than shooting separate skills footage, student-athletes should choose game footage that showcases their skills clearly. Coaches want to see how student-athletes use their skillset in competition under high pressure, rather than during skills drills.
With in-person recruiting and evaluation opportunities more limited than ever, putting together a lacrosse recruiting video is essential for women’s lacrosse recruits looking to land a roster spot. Fortunately, shooting a lacrosse skills video doesn’t have to be difficult! In fact, recruits can include a variety of drills they run during practice or on prospect days for coaches to see and evaluate their athleticism and technical ability.
Former D3 lacrosse player and D1, D2 and D3 college coach Elizabeth Ellis shares her expertise on what can make—or break—a women’s lacrosse skills video. Check out her tips below to learn where to film if you don’t have access to your traditional field, why lacrosse recruits should suit up like they’re getting ready for a game, and how getting creative—from trick shots to mixing up cones (straight lines, diamond, triangle)—can help recruits stand out!
Student-athletes will need to record multiple varsity games and edit down the footage to include only those plays that give college coaches a well-rounded picture of the athlete’s skills. Athletes should select 20-30 clips that clearly communicate their lacrosse IQ, versatility and athleticism. Below we’ve included best practices for capturing highlight video footage.
Footage should be shot at multiple varsity and club games to give the athlete enough content to find 20-30 clips that demonstrate the athlete’s talents during competition.
All footage should be shot from an elevated perspective. We suggest shooting from the stands or a press box.
We suggest shooting your footage on an iPad, tablet or professional camera. Use a tripod to prevent shaking footage. Tripods are available for rent.
Footage should be shot in landscape to capture the entire progression of play.
Don’t lose track of the ball or the primary player.
Shoot footage with a wide angle to show the progression of each play, as well as athletes working with their teammates.
Separate the field into thirds (offensive, middle, defensive) when filming. When the ball is in one third, make sure you the entire section is included in the shot.
High school and/or club coaches often take footage at games. Athletes can ask their coach if they have any footage that could work into a highlight video.
Keep cheering to a minimum to avoid distracting from the play.
Not only do college coaches not have the budget to watch every recruit compete in person, but their busy schedules don’t allow them time to watch more than three to four minutes of video footage per recruit. A good rule of thumb student-athletes should follow to keep their recruiting video under four minutes is to include 20-30 strong plays that give coaches the most comprehensive picture of their abilities. These 20-30 clips should capture moments of solid athleticism, versatility and a high lacrosse IQ. Below is a more in-depth look at what goalies, attackers, midfielders and defenders should specifically include in their recruiting video.
Leadership is one of the most important qualities that college coaches look for in goalies. When selecting footage for a recruiting video, goalies should identify clips that demonstrate their in-game leadership ability. College coaches want athletes who communicate well with defenders and take the lead in high-pressure situations. Goalies should also include clips of solid clearing game that creates opportunity for the offense, big saves, the ability to be athletic outside the cage and impressive body and foot positioning.
Game footage gives college coaches the most accurate idea of how strong and talented a student-athlete really is. When the pressure is on during competition, coaches want to see how well lacrosse field players handle themselves. Offensive players will need to show that they can score, transition, assist, play groundball and make athletic offensive plays. Defensive players will need to focus their video content around solid stick skills, groundballs during transition, one vs. one play, takeaways after turnover and good double teams to show how the defense works together. Below is an outline of what college coaches expect from each field position.
Attack: Video footage should capture the athlete’s ability to handle the ball and take command over the offense during high pressure situations. Demonstrate athleticism with solid change in direction and vision, scoring highlights and terrific feeds. To highlight the athlete’s versatility, include footage of the athlete being ambidextrous.
Midfielder: Middies need to impress college coaches with great defensive skills and vision, ability to win faceoffs, accelerate during transitions, make strong groundball plays and score.
Defenders: Defenders need to serve as a physical presence on the field, controlling the game and the competition. College coaches are looking for footage of impeccable technical skills, ball handling, takeaways, groundballs and strong clearing game threats.
Student-athletes have roughly 30 seconds to capture a coach’s attention. A highlight video should lead with a clip of an extremely impressive play that will intrigue the college coach. To hold the coach’s attention through the remainder of the video, student-athletes should follow the initial clip with 20-30 additional clips following the video guidelines for the athlete’s specific position that are mentioned above. To help college coaches follow along with the right athlete in the video, athletes can distinguish themselves during each play with an arrow, stoplight or circle.
Be sure to include the athlete’s information, including name, phone number and email, at the start and end of the video. Doing this makes it easier for college coaches to further research the athlete and/or contact them after they watch the recruiting video to follow up (assuming they watch the video after September 1 of the athlete’s junior year).
What are the best sites to post lacrosse recruiting video? Student-athletes can create a free NCSA recruiting profile where they can upload video that is accessible to college coaches across the country. Creating a recruiting profile makes it easy for coaches to contact student-athletes after they watch a recruiting video that particularly interests them. YouTube is another great platform that student-athletes can upload their recruiting video on to increase visibility. Recruiting videos should be titled: “[Full Name] Lacrosse Recruiting Video Class of 20[XX]”. On YouTube, student-athletes should link to their NCSA recruiting profile in the description section. After a student-athlete has posted their recruiting video, it’s time to send an introductory email with the unique YouTube link to college coaches.