Paying for a fancy skills video can cost a lot of money. The good news is you can make your own for little or no cost! Coaches will value a simple homemade video as much or more than they will a video that is professionally done. In this article, we tell you what to include and how to make a quality recruiting video with nothing more than a smart phone (or video camera), internet, and a teammate.
Today, a skills video has become essential to the recruiting process. Coach Bennett does a great job of explaining why in ‘You Need a Skills Video’. While college coaches may vary in their use of video for recruiting purposes, few would pass up on a 10-second peek (to see if they should watch the rest) if it was dropped into their inbox. Videos are a great way for coaches to get a general sense of your skills and movement patterns, and potentially, a great way for you to get a recruiting dialogue going with a coach. Some schools even sign recruits off of video alone.
No matter how much a program uses video, all college coaches agree that they hate having their time wasted watching poorly made recruiting videos. Since making a good first impression is hugely important for your recruiting process, following KPB’s tips below will give you the best chance of having your video watched. Remember, high quality homemade videos are just as effective as anything made professionally, so follow along below and make a quality 3-minute recruiting video. For more resources on video, read our ‘Everything You Need to Know About Recruiting Videos‘.
Video DO’s and DON’Ts
Video Production DOs:
- Keep your video short and straightforward, and remove excess time in-between action. Coaches do not have a lot of free time. Keep your entire video to three minutes or less and put your best skills at the beginning.
- Make sure to include your name, position, email address, phone number and the year you will graduate from high school in the video. You can do this by adding text to your video or simply taking a photo or a video of a computer screen with the information.
- Put your best skills at the beginning of the video. You have only a short time to capture the coach’s interest.
- Wear appropriate baseball attire, and conduct yourself in an appropriate way. Videos are often a coach’s first chance to see you, and you don’t want to make a bad first impression. Tuck your shirt in, wear your hat straight, wear a belt, and look as clean and professional as possible.
- Ask your parents about posting your video online. Free programs (like YouTube) that are free and allow coaches access to your video by clicking on a link work best. Avoid programs/settings that make your video password protected. Coaches will not take the time to watch a video, even if you provide them with the password. Video links are great because they let the coach watch the video multiple times and at their convenience. They also don’t take up a lot of space in an email. Make the title of your video easy to find with a web search, for example “Jon Smith Skills Video- Jamestown HS 2016”. But before you do any of that, make sure that your parents are ok with you posting the video.
- Use verifiable information whenever possible (radar gun readings, measured out 60-yard dash, exit velocity off the bat, etc.). Showing a 87 MPH fastball on a radar gun is better than saying you can throw 87.
Video Production DON’Ts:
- Pay a lot of money to have a video staged and expect that this will guarantee that it will catch coaches’ attention.
- Send a bunch of files in an email. Put the clips together and use a link to your video.
- Have cheesy music, quotes, or personal pitches to the coach.
- Try to showcase things you can’t do by staging angles or distances. Slow motion is a no-no as well. Coaches want to see what you can do in real speed and will slow it down if they need to.
- Show yourself lifting weights.
- Try to doctor the footage to make yourself look better than you are in real life. This will get your name crossed off a recruiting list in a hurry and coaches will find out.
What to Include in Your Video
Showcase what kind of player you are and be the best version of yourself. If you are a speedy singles hitter, don’t try to hit home runs on video. Coaches are paid to evaluate, and you will not trick them. Showcase your talents, and don’t try to be a player you are not!
We talked with dozens of college coaches from every level to break down what they want to see in a pitching skills video. We’ve linked to that article here, which goes in-depth on everything you need to show coaches, included bullpen action and game film.
For Position Players
We talked with dozens of college coaches from every level to break down what they want to see in a hitter’s skills video. We’ve linked to that article here, which goes in-depth on everything you need to show coaches, including offense, fielding, running, and game film.
We would encourage players who pitch and play another position to read both articles linked above! Your video should focus on your strengths and still be kept short. You can cut down the number of clips for each section and always put your best skills/position first in the video.
While no one can guarantee that an effective video will get you into the school of your dreams, a good video may help coaches see you as a skilled, organized, and serious player worth a second look. The rest is up to you.
Disclaimer: Following our tips is not a guarantee that you will find a college baseball team to play for. Recruiting videos are always best when they complement good grades, skills that match college standards, and quality references.