An athlete’s recruiting video is their chance to make a great first impression on a college coach. It shows the athlete’s skill level and athleticism, and it helps coaches figure out who might be the right athletic fit for their team. There’s a lot riding on an athlete’s recruiting video, so families need to take the time to really understand what coaches are looking for, how to capture the right footage and what it takes to put the finished product together.
From making a great first impression to remaining on a coach’s radar, a women’s volleyball skills video is key to getting noticed. The best part of a volleyball skills video is that it doesn’t need to be as polished as a traditional highlight video.
Former D1 volleyball coach Jason Holt shares his expert advice for what volleyball recruits should—and shouldn’t—include in their volleyball skills videos. From including drills that demonstrate speed, power and agility to ball control, setting footwork and consistent, solid reps, check out his tips below!
An athlete’s recruiting video—also referred to as a volleyball highlight video—should be the first thing that they send college coaches when they contact them. If the coach likes what they see, they might request full game footage or more clips. At the very least, it will encourage the coach to strike up a conversation to learn more about who the recruit is as a student-athlete if the coach’s interest is piqued by the video.
Generally, coaches will watch the first 10–25 seconds of a recruit’s volleyball highlight video and have a good idea of if they are interested in pursuing that recruit. So, make those first 10–25 seconds extremely impactful. Families should put their best footage at the beginning to really capture the coach’s attention right away.
Volleyball recruiting tip: Many recruits make the mistake of creating one volleyball recruiting video—and then stopping! Instead, families should create a new video after every major tournament (such as a national qualifier, super regional, etc.). Then, they should send the new video out to coaches of interest. This is a great way to stay on coaches’ radar and continue communicating with them. Try sending a new video every three or four months.
A volleyball highlight video should be no more than three to five minutes long. It should focus on showing multiple repetitions of a few specific skillsets based on the athlete’s position—and it needs to make the recruit look like an all-star! Don’t waste time with clever transitions and music; keep it to the basics and really highlight the athlete’s best plays.
Many families opt to pay for a volleyball recruiting video service to create their volleyball highlight video for them. This can be extremely beneficial, as the right video service will know how to create a seamless video experience. Here are a few video recruiting video services that can help families put together a great film:
The first rule of filming a volleyball highlight video: avoid moving the camera around too much. Set up the camera on the baseline of the court on the side your athlete is playing on. Make sure you’ve set it far enough back to capture the whole court, but there won’t be people walking back and forth in front of it. Avoid filming by hand, following the ball with the camera, and zooming in and out. The smoother the video experience, the more coaches will be able to focus on the athlete—not the shaky videography.
When editing the video, start out with a quick slide that gives a few basic pieces of information about the recruit: their name, grad year, position, jersey number, club team name and height. Recruits can also add some key stats, like vertical jump, etc. Families should also make sure that they add a drop shadow, arrow or some other indicator of who their daughter is, so the coach evaluates the right athlete. From there, athletes have about 10–20 seconds to capture a coach’s attention, so put the best plays at the very beginning of the video.
Volleyball recruiting tip: Many clubs film the games for their athletes. Families should check with their club coaches about how they recommend capturing footage for a recruiting video.
The next step that the coach will take depends in part on their division level. If a D1 coach is interested in a recruiting video, they will likely add that recruit to their database and arrange a time to watch that athlete compete in person. For the other levels, if the coach is in the region, they might try to arrange a time to watch the recruit compete in person. If they aren’t in the athlete’s region, they will likely base their recruiting of that athlete entirely off video.
Coaches might also ask to see full game film, so families should make sure that they have it ready. Remove all dead times—such as side changes, time outs, substitutions, etc.—so the coach can focus on the athlete.
According to former women’s volleyball coach Sue Webber, outside hitters should incorporate hits, footwork, arm swings, blocking, passing and defense in their highlight videos, but also make sure they come across as a great, positive teammate when assisting or even when not handling the ball.
In the video below, former women’s volleyball college coach Sue Webber breaks down what coaches look for when evaluating opposite hitters, and what types of additional footage—passing, setting and defense—will help opposite hitters’ videos stand out.
There are a few key skills middle hitters need to include in their highlight videos. In the video below, former D1 athlete and college coach Sue Webber says potential recruits should include clips that display their blocking and hitting abilities, transition footwork and tempos and receive and block-to-hit attacks.
In the video below, Senior Volleyball Recruiting Coach and former D1 athlete and college coach Sue Webber breaks down what works and what doesn’t in a setter highlight video and offers some insider tips, like including off-the-net passes that will help setters set themselves apart from their competition.
In the video below, Senior Recruiting Coach Sue Webber—a former D1 athlete and D1 and NAIA college coach who’s watched hundreds of highlight/skills videos—breaks down what college coaches want to see from potential women’s volleyball recruits competing for a libero roster spot.