Guidelines for a Winning Highlight Video! – by: Joe Polifroni CSUB Men’s Soccer Alumni, B.S. Kinesiology

Guidelines for a Winning Highlight Video!


As you start approaching the critical period when it is important to start contacting college coaches about becoming a future star athlete on their team, it is very important that you have video footage of your playing highlights to show off your talent. Sending video will help the coaches see what kind of player you really are, even if they have seen you play in person before. Lets face it, a college coach may only have been able to watch a game where you did not play to your full potential. The right tape could be the difference between getting recruited or not getting recruited to the school you want. It is not uncommon for college coaches to receive hundreds of highlight films from athletes around the country! With so much competition out there, how can you possibly stand out above the other athletes’ videos?

Contact the coach before sending in your highlight video.


Not many athletes will call the coach and introduce themselves, notifying them that they are going to send in a highlight video. This allows the coach to learn more about you and will actually be waiting to watch your video when it arrives. This makes your video more unique and their is now a personal connection from talking over the phone.

Athlete information on the video.


Even if you have been in contact with the coach it is important to put down all of your personal information. Such as email, home phone number, cell phone number, parents’ cell phone numbers, home address, school name and your current coaches phone number. Also remember to include your team’s name, jersey number, and any statistics that will help show off your athletic ability. Common athletic stats to include are mile times, 40 yard dash, vertical jump height, back squat max, number of pushups in a minute, and number of sit-ups in a minute.

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You should also put in playing stats according to your position. Offensive players need to provide goals scored, and assists. Defensive players should also include goals and assists, but need to add the number of shutouts their team had. Academic highlights are also very important. Include your GPA and extracurricular activities that make you different.

Length and content in the video.


A highlight video should be just that, a video of the best moments in your recent playing career. These should have happened within the last 1-2 years. The entire video should not be any longer than about 5 minutes. Remember that coaches receive many videos and unfortunately do not have the time to watch a long highlight tape. The first 30 seconds should be you in front of the camera introducing yourself, including your greatest achievements. The rest of the tape will all be highlight footage.
Attackers/midfielders: All of your best goals and assists should come in the first few highlights. Next you need to include your best ball control and dribbling skills that lead to productive plays. Defensive work is important for coaches to see because it will show your hard work rate and determination, even when playing an offensive position. Put those highlights last.

Defenders: It is most important that your future coach can see how hard and intelligently you work on the defensive side of the ball. Highlights of winning tackles, winning headers, and intercepting passes are good to start with. Any goals or assists you created will be the next highlights that go on the video. The last part of your video will include playing out from the back and being able to pass effectively with the rest of your team.

Goalkeepers: The best saves you have made in the last couple of years will be the first of your highlight footage. Coaches want to know you are athletic enough and have good enough reactions to pull off awesome saves. Kicks and throws will go next. Not only your furthest kicks, but kicks that may have lead to a goal scoring opportunity. Your throws should show how far and accurate you can get the ball with your arms. The last part of your video will include receiving passes from your defenders and making smart decisions about how to start the next attacking play.

All Positions: End the video thanking the coach for watching and putting all of your contact information down again!

Follow up: Once you know that the video has arrived to the coach, you MUST call them until they pick up the phone or call you back. Talk to the coach about their positive and negative responses from the video. Then, ask the coach if they would like to see more of your game footage, or a schedule to come watch you play in person.

The reality of highlight videos is that it probably is not the driving factor that will decide if you get a full athletic scholarship or not, but it is an important enough of a factor to determine if the coach will keep their interest in you, or become interested if they have never met you before. Either way, use these tips and guidelines to create a great video that will show off how great of an athlete you are!

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