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September 24, 2021

Dos and Don’ts of Making Highlight Videos for Athletes

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I remember watching the ESPN Top 10 plays every morning before leaving for school, and in recent years, Zion Williamson has been dominating social media with gravity-defying dunks. America loves highlight reels, the jaw-dropping athleticism, the crowd reactions, all of it, so as an athlete looking to play collegiate sports, highlight reels are one of the best ways to impress potential coaches. Every sport has different expectations for highlight films: what they need to show, when to put them together, and how to give them to coaches at the schools you’re interested in attending.

Hudl provides schools and coaches access to thousands of highlight videos, and though Hudl is the most popular highlight marketplace, sites like 247Sports and Rivals are also important to keep your recruiting profile up to date. LRT Sports has interviewed hundreds of college coaches of multiple sports and gotten their personal takes on what they look for on an athlete’s highlight film. The purpose of this article is to inform prospective college student-athletes on the Do’s and Don’ts of Film Highlights.

Related: Coach Ratings


Start making your highlight film when the recruiting process begins: Coaches can begin recruiting you in September of your sophomore year of high school. The consensus among coaches is that once the recruiting period begins, start making your highlight film. The easiest time to compile highlight videos is in the offseason where you can compile clips from your entire previous season.

Make your film less than 5 minutes long: Coaches have more to do all day than watch your film.

Send your film to coaches: Once your film compilation is posted on Hudl, send it to as many coaches as possible.

“The function the highlight tape has for us is to encourage us to watch a kid that we haven’t seen.” – University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Head Coach Anson Dorrance.

Related: School Ratings


Include practice highlights: The performance pressure in practice is not high.

Include trick-shot videos: These do not show the fundamentals of your sport or sport IQ.

Forget to pause the film and highlight yourself: Coaches want to be able to identify you easily on the playing field/court/track.Have your parents contact coaches: Coaches are recruiting you, not your parents