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The huddle

July 9, 2015

Time to Shine: The Video

Save to my locker

Let’s first remember that not every high school athlete will have the chance to play in front of the coaches of their choices. Coaches do not have all the resources to travel across the country to watch young prospects perform so your job is to make sure you can flaunt your talents.

My experience was a bit different due to the sport. I did not create a recruiting video because it was not necessary for me. With tennis being an individual sport, there are often national tournaments with big venues and recruiting events to which a multitude of coaches will travel too. The big tournaments I played a part in were events such as Jr. Davis Cup at the U. of Illinois, Winter Nationals in Tucson, National Clays in Del Rey, and other national open events which coaches in the region would get an opportunity to attend. I will get into more detail on this in the next post.

However, while I did not send a video, I did make one. The keys of the video are as follows:

Full Spectrum: The Full Spectrum is the total picture. For tennis, there are groundstrokes, volleys, serves, and the general game play. The technique is shown across the board. For other sports like basketball, this includes offensive and defensive facets. The video should show off your complete game from all angles in a condensed video.

Strengths: Strengths are a MAJOR piece of the video. In my high school days, my video would capture a skinny kid who could crack a serve, a few laser groundstrokes, speed and finishing points at the net. I was not a ground-and-pound guy who was going to rally with you for 5 hours. Instead, I was the guy who was going for the kill and would make you play my game. Therefore, my strengths on the video were points demonstrating this.

Fluidity: Now what does Fluidity mean. Fluidity is the grace or athleticism that you possess and use in your game. For example, it’s that diving grab in the outfield, or the ability to explode off the floor for a kill in volleyball. This is definitely something a coach needs to see in order for them to see where you can fit in on his/her team.

Style: By style, I do not mean what type of Jordan’s you are dunking in or what new dri-fit you are rocking when you are training. I am talking about the personality and the chemistry facet of your game. My style was a high-energy power player. There isn’t anything wrong with this, however, imagine a coach has 15 of these guys on a team. The players are going to butt heads and this is not practical for success. I was a leader and liked to be in control through example. Again this is fine, but if there are 15 leaders on a team, the team will be going in 15 different directions. In your video, show what type of personality you have in the game and what kind of game you sport. If you are the drive and dish role player who feeds off the other guys while supplying assists, make sure that is what is shown!

Weaknesses: Do you know anyone who is perfect? I didn’t think so. The video should not show you making 100% of shots or breaking the ankles of every defender you encounter. Instead, have a brief snippet of something that needs work so it shows that not only are you human, but you’re providing an honest video. The MOST important thing after showing a weakness, is how it is followed up. For example, if I missed a shot, I’d grit my teeth, take a breath and move onto the next one. However, if I missed a shot and smashed my racquet or yelled in disbelief, a coach is going to be turned away by this. The reason why this has an asterisk on it, is the fact that it should be the shortest part of your video and should not be longer than 25-30 seconds.

Length: The duration or length of the video should not be longer than a few minutes. 5 minutes at the absolute max! A coach gets most likely hundreds of these or has other things to do so make sure you capture his attention with a short video that summarizes what you are going to bring to the program, how you are going to do it, and who you are as a player as well as a person.

Now that you have some ideas about your new recruiting video, go give it a try and see what you come up with! You may even see something on there that you want to change in your own game.

Take advantage of the opportunities and if you have the chance, try and have a company tape/edit it for you to make the process as easy as possible.