The recruitment process can become overwhelming, and most athletes and parents have no idea where to start. What are the coaches looking for? What should I include in my recruitment video? Am I good enough? Am I wasting my time? Just take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. This post discusses the recruitment video process.
What are coaches looking for in recruitment videos: Before even considering an athletes ability to play, coaches check grades, extracurriculars, and watch how you interact with your teammates. Every coach is different, so we are not talking for everyone, but this is something that parents and athletes must consider. Most athletes send “Highlight Videos” showing 5-10 minutes of their best hits, serves, and digs edited from multiple games. Coaches want to see their athletes at their best and worst. The coaches we have talked to prefer 5-10 minutes of a match with 2 minutes of highlights.
Player Introduction: This is a short 30-second clip that introduces you. The athlete says their name, positions, height, year in school, GPA, and thank the coach for taking the time to watch the video. Also, if your game footage has you wearing a uniform number, identify which number you are. The introduction is essential because this is your short elevator pitch. Coaches look for confidence, passion, and a good personality from athletes. Remember your audience, this to a respected elder, keep it professional but do not lose your personality. Take the time to practice avoiding filler words like, “Um, yeah so, like, you know?, and like I said.” Also, make sure that the environment is quiet and has good lighting. Some athletes do their intro videos in a volleyball gym, making it a bit hard to hear if others are playing around you.
Game Footage: Remember to identify which athlete you are. Some athletes have different uniform numbers in high school and club. If this is the case, pick one. If you are bouncing back and forth between numbers 5 and 10, the coach will have difficulty keeping track. The coaches watch how you interact with your coach and teammates, and how handle yourself when you win a point AND lose the point. How quickly do you get out of your head if you make multiple mistakes? Do you adjust independently, or do you rely on coaches to tell you what to do? They look to see how consistent you are. In the 10 minute video, how many errors did you make vs. how consistent were you? The most simplified way to win a volleyball game is to be on the team that made the least mistakes. Your video does not need to show perfect form the entire time because that is unrealistic. How many times have you played or watched a game where a team won 25-0? When a game finishes with a score of 25-23, one team potentially made 25 errors, and the other potentially made 23. The point of the Game footage is to clearly show the coach the actual athlete that they will have if they recruit them. It shows your personality, how serious you are, your volleyball IQ, and how mature you are.
Highlight Video: This is where you put a few minutes of your best clips and show skills that you cannot show in the in-game footage. For example, if all your game footage is of you as a middle hitter, but you can pass and hit as an outside hitter, this is where you put the extra footage. If you do serve receive in a practice environment, make sure you have three people with you to simulate how you communicate with teammates. If you do hitting, have blockers in front of you. It is rare to hit on an open net in college volleyball, so you want them to se how you hit over and around the blocks. If you show serving, make sure you show spot serving short and deep. Include if you can jump serve and show your floor serve as well. Record the serving videos from the side so the coach can see your form and contact points. If you are setting, show setting to all locations on the court and sets from passes that are out of system. Show setter attacks and the ability to run plays. Sometimes you can’t show that in the game footage because you don’t have good passing. This is where you add it.