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How to Make a Soccer Recruiting Video Coaches Will Respond To

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 that’s on their radar. That’s where a well-done soccer highlights 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 soccer highlights 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 with their video highlights.

How to make soccer field player and goalkeeper skills videos during COVID-19

As in-person recruiting opportunities are more limited than ever, college coaches agree that the best way to evaluate potential recruits is by seeing their soccer recruiting video. In the video below, former D1 player and D1 and NAIA soccer coach Lindsey Boldt breaks down what soccer field players should include in their soccer skills video, including:


Soccer players interested in landing a goalkeeper roster spot shouldn’t be afraid to get creative with their footage. In fact, many of the technical skills coaches want to see—reflexes, hand-eye coordination and an innate ability to focus and react when necessary—can be demonstrated both indoors and outdoors, with or without a soccer ball!

NCSA Recruiting Coach Lindsey Boldt has watched hundreds of soccer recruiting videos as a former D1 player and D1 and NAIA college coach. In the video below, she provides a great overview of what potential soccer recruits should display when creating a soccer goalkeeper skills video, from their ability to perform multiple reps at game speed to their form and footwork skills.


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Where should video footage be obtained?

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 see 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 women’s soccer player? It’s showing their best game footage in their video highlights.

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Find the right angle to film the recruiting video

When it comes to filming, finding the right angle and keeping the camera steady are the two most important things you can do. Here are some pointers on how to get the best shots:

Looking for more tips on how to gather footage for your women’s soccer highlight video? Watch former D1 and NAIA college coach and college soccer player Lindsey Boldt outline three of the most common mistakes women’s soccer recruits make when putting together their recruiting video (and what recruits should do instead)!


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What to include in a soccer highlights video

The highlight 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. For goalies, skills footage from training should supplement game footage.

Outside Back, Defenders:

Not sure what skills you should display in your women’s soccer outside back highlight video? Former D1 women’s soccer college coach Lindsey Boldt shares what attributes D1 college coaches look for when evaluating a women’s soccer outside back or defender highlight video. Essential skills include speed, physical strength, good defensive footwork and smart attacking plays, plus:


Defenders:

Midfielders:

Wingers:

Defensive center-midfielders:

As a former D1 women’s soccer college coach, NCSA Recruiting Coach Lindsey Boldt has watched a lot of highlight videos to identify top level players. Check out the video below to see what she says are the most common things college coaches are looking for when evaluating a player’s recruiting video. These include:


Attacking center midfielders:

College coaches want attacking center midfielders to have great pace and creativity in their plays, remain calm under pressure and showcase their ability to run at players 1-on-1.

In the video below, former college soccer coach Lindsey Boldt breaks down the types of skills D1 college coaches are looking for when they watch highlight videos of women’s soccer attacking center midfielders, including:


Centers:

What do D1 college coaches look for in women’s soccer center back highlight videos? Watch former D1 and NAIA women’s soccer coach Lindsey Boldt cover what coaches are paying attention to, including:


Forwards:

What do D1 college coaches look for when evaluating a women’s soccer forward or women’s soccer outside midfielder? NCSA Recruiting Coach (and former D1 college coach!) Lindsey Boldt breaks down the essential skills to have, including a great overall pace, ability to finish and score goals and how creative and confident you are in your plays. 


Goalies:

In the video below, NCSA Recruiting Coach Lindsey Boldt uses her experiences as a former D1 college coach to share what D1 college coaches want to see in a goalkeeper’s highlight video, including quickness off the line, ability to distribute the ball and overall technical abilities. 


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General tips to remember in the editing process

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. To kick things off, start the video highlights off strong with the best 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 highlights 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 soccer highlights video.

Creating a soccer highlights video requires technical skills and an eye for editing. For anyone struggling to make a video that will create the right kind of impact, we have a team of video editing experts who know exactly how to make recruiting videos stand out. If you’d like to learn more, email our video team at video@ncsasports.org or call us at 866-495-5172.

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