Creating a MUST-WATCH Highlight Tape + Intangibles College Coaches Look For
Follow these steps to boost your recruiting today!
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It is nearly impossible to get recruited in today’s era without having a solid highlight film.
College coaches always say “the film never lies” and for good reasons.
With college recruiting happening at earlier ages, it is extremely important to get some film to your name.
Knowing how to make a tape and distribute it across the web is vital.
But first, you need to know what coaches are scouting for.
What College Coaches Look For in a Highlight Tape
The highlight tape is the trailer to the full game film.
It takes coaches 2-3 plays to judge if you’re athletically gifted enough to play at their level.
If you pass the initial test, they’ll watch more of your highlight tape before moving on to a full game film and then possibly coming to see you play live in person.
For example, the AIR app was built entirely off this concept of being able to quickly evaluate talent and then find more information if you liked what you saw off the first glance.
Keep in mind coaches aren’t just scouting your talent level.
They want to see things such as:
running off the playing surface
being a good teammate
how physical/tough you are
motor and tenacity
body language and attitude
You don’t want a college coach to stop recruiting you because of something you had 100% control over. As my AAU coach always said “control the controllables”.
How to Set Up Your Highlight Tape
There is a formula you can follow to maximize the effectiveness of your highlight video.
Use this as a rubric when creating your tape.
Name | Position | Height | Weight | Grad Year | GPA | School (state)
John Doe | WR | 6’1 | 190 lbs. | 2023 | 3.5 GPA | Goldland HS (TX)
Best Plays Up Front
Most athletic plays first
“Wow!” the evaluator
ex. 90 yd. TD run showing speed, fast break alley-oop dunk
Showcase Your Versatility
what can you do? show it in the tape
Spotlight Yourself Before the Play
circle yourself for the first few plays
then stop as the coach will learn where to find you
Avoid the Extras
use instrumentals for music (most coaches mute the tape anyway)
no wild animations
don’t use slow-mo!
Tape should be 3-6 minutes long
quality over quantity
coaches will move on to full tape after a few minutes
This is the formula for success when creating a highlight tape. No matter what the sport is - follow these 6 steps.
Now that you know how to make the tape and what coaches are looking for, where should you be posting it to increase your exposure?
Where to Post Your Athletic Highlight Tape
The more eyes that see your highlights - the better your chances of getting noticed by a college coach.
Three phrases I continually find myself saying to HS athletes:
put time and effort into making a good highlight tape (it’s your future at stake!)
if you can spend hours playing video games, you can spend a few doing this
ask your friends/family to repost and share your highlights
Best Places to Post Your Highlight Tape
Keep in mind, you should be posting as many places as possible. But here are the most important places.
The go-to platform for most high school athletes to gain access to their games and clip them up into a highlight tape.
I would use their creator to make your initial video and from there you can post the final highlights on all the other platforms we’ll be discussing down below.
Hudl Highlight Tape Guides:
If your high school uses a different video platform (like Qwikcut or Sport Scope) adjust accordingly as it should be very similar.
This use to be the main way to create and share a tape before Hudl, but it’s still important.
Download your full Hudl tape and upload it to YouTube.
instruction tutorial on how to do this
Google owns YouTube (and it’s the largest video marketplace in the world) so you never know who might come across your highlights.
3. Social Media
The entire world is at your finger tips thanks to social media.
Although these platforms weren’t built specifically for college recruiting, it may be worth a shot to upload your highlights and see what happens.
Here are some to consider:
After creating, uploading, and posting your highlights to Hudl it’s important to get them on to the AIR app as soon as possible.
You can upload the best plays (which should be the first 30-90 sec) into the videos section, which is what college coaches see when using the swiping feature.
The algorithms and filters help coaches discover you organically.
On other platforms such as Twitter, coaches have to actually search for your highlights, which means they need to know who you are before watching.
AIR helps you get discovered and puts the power of exposure back in your hands as an athlete (or a liaison trying to help athletes get noticed).
It’s important to build up your resume and share your AIR profile link because if a college coach googles your name - your AIR account will show up in the results.
Use that to your advantage!
Highlight Tape Final Thoughts
It’s all in your hands.
Get it done on the field and your film should showcase the rest.
With coaches having tools like AIR and Hudl, you’re only one click away from getting recruited.
Control what you can control and use this guide to make an effective highlight tape.
The Petcash Post
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