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Recruiting Video Guidelines for Women’s Tennis

When it comes to evaluating potential recruits, many college coaches don’t have the time or budget to watch recruits compete in person. Instead, coaches rely on athletes’ recruiting videos to review and determine whether potential recruits are worth pursuing. To find recruiting videos, college coaches search recruiting databases, like NCSA. To help student-athletes create a recruiting video that highlights what college coaches are looking for, we’ve outlined the process below, starting with capturing footage and then what to do with the video when it’s completed.

Why you should create tennis recruiting video 

If an athlete doesn’t have a recruiting video on their NCSA Recruiting Profile, they hurt their chances of being noticed and recruited by college coaches. Many times, a recruit’s first impression on a college coach is made through a recruiting video. To make the most out of their recruiting budget, college coaches will start the recruiting process by watching recruiting videos. After the coach has reviewed an athlete’s skillset in a recruiting video, they can decide whether they want to allocate any of their budget to see the athlete compete in person. Creating a tennis highlight video increases the recruit’s exposure to college coaches.

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What college coaches want to see in a tennis recruiting video

 When capturing recruiting video footage, student-athletes need to highlight their grasp of the fundamentals and how they use their physical power and tennis IQ to elevate these basic shots, which include forehands, backhands, serves, returns and volleys. To highlight these shots, capture footage of the athlete rallying with a partner feeding a variety of different shots, like wide balls, short balls and spin. This will help the recruit demonstrate how they react to different shots, as well as their speed, agility and endurance when it comes to footwork. Demonstrate how the recruit sets themselves up for each shot and recovers to the middle quickly after returning the ball. 

Aside from skills footage, recruits should also include match footage. This gives coaches an opportunity to see how an athlete sets up points and follows through. Be sure to include footage from matches against tough competition to show how the athlete handles pressure and how they carry themselves on the court when challenged.

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How to make a tennis recruiting video 

Below we’ve outlined the three main steps to creating a recruiting video. Before a recruit starts this process, they should first review the section above on what college coaches want to see in a tennis highlight video.

  1. Capture footage: Using an iPad, tablet or professional camera, recruits should capture rallies and match footage from an elevated area that easily shows the ball position on the court. Using a wide-angle shot, capture the entire court and the player's full movement. When positioning the camera, recruits will need to shoot from the back corner of the court on both the same side of the court as the recruit and the opposite side. Enough footage should be captured to cover a three- to four-minute time span.
  2. Edit footage: Start the video with the 5–10 most impressive clips to draw in the coach’s interest and then follow with 20–25 clips of the athlete performing the skills that college coaches are most interested in evaluating. To help coaches identify the athlete at the start of each clip, use an arrow, circle or spotlight. Include the recruit’s basic information: name, email, phone number and their coach’s contact information, at both the start and end of the video.
  3. Promote your video: Posting the recruiting video online is crucial. Upload the video to the recruit’s NCSA Recruiting Profile and on YouTube where it’s easily accessible. 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. Don’t forget to send the recruit’s video to college coaches in an introductory email to increase their visibility. 

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How long should a college tennis recruiting video be?

Do not exceed three to four minutes when creating a recruiting video. College coaches only have so much time to spend evaluating recruits, so athletes need to catch the coach’s attention within the first 30 seconds of their recruiting video. This is why it’s so important to lead with the strongest clips that highlight the recruit’s skillset.

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What should a 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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Tennis recruiting video services

Creating a recruiting video doesn’t have to be a daunting task. NCSA has a team of talented video editors that are dedicated to helping recruits turn raw video footage into a well-crafted, cohesive recruiting video that can be used to promote their skillset. A professionally edited recruiting video looks great on an athlete’s NCSA Recruiting Profile, which college coaches can easily access.

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