Highlight Video For College Recruiting

Athlete highlight videos are a significant part of the college recruiting process. Highlight videos are a way to get aspiring college athletes seen by college coaches across the country and showcase your athletic abilities. A professional highlight video is an important factor to include in your recruiting toolkit so that college coaches will see you and take you seriously as a potential recruit.

EXACT has worked with hundreds of D1, D2, and D3 college coaches from across the county and they all agree that the following top tips work really well when making the best athlete highlight video.

Before we get into these priceless college coach insights, we’ll explain what a highlight video is and why it's important part of the college recruiting process.

What Is An Athlete Highlight Video?.

An athlete highlight video showcases your best athletic moments of a match, tournament, showcase, and/or ID Camp. These athlete highlight videos are an intricate piece of the college recruiting process and most college coaches now require that you have an athlete highlight video and that you include it in your initial email to college coaches. 

Highlight Video OR Skills Video

Highlight Video: Clips of your game footage that highlight your talent and skill. These clips are valuable as they allow coaches to quickly review multiple student-athletes without having to watch  them play in person.

Skills Video: A series of sport-specific actions outside of a traditional game and/or tournament setting.Please note, that a skills video is not necessary for every sport and/or position but can demonstrate your technical abilities of a key skill or skills.

How Do I Get My Highlight Footage?

It’s a great idea to get used to filming your game play, practices, and tournaments as there are nuances to capturing the best video for each sport. Keep in mind that you should try to have a professionally edited highlight video by the end of your junior year and feature varsity-level competition.

Here Are Some Ways To Capture Footage
  • Have your high school/club coach capture video. Note that most coaches typically film games to analyze them, request a copy of the footage.
  • Ask teammates’ families for game footage they captured during games.
  • Purchase a top quality camera (even mobile cameras with advanced technology) and tripod to capture your footage.
  • Here Are Best Practices For Filming
  • Capture footage of multiple games throughout the season.
  • Always film from a birds-eye view where you can see the entire game. 
  • Avoid low and/or close angles/shots. 
  • How To Edit A Highlight Video

    The ultimate goal is to create a video that showcases your top athletic abilities. Here are some key tips for editing a great athlete highlight video:

    •  Include your best highlights.
    •  Keep your highlight video between three to five minutes in length and if a college coach requests to see footage of a whole game, then you’ll know to deliver a longer video to them. 
    •  Put your top clips at the beginning of the highlight video. The first 20 -30 seconds of your video are crucial in holding the attention of college coaches. 
    •  Use freeze frames and spot shadows in your edit so coaches can see the play you’re about to make.
    •  Vary the athletic skills you showcase. Variety of top highlights is key to showcase a broad range of abilities and keep college coaches watching with anticipation.
    •  Include footage from before and after the play.
    •  Provide detailed athlete information at the beginning of the highlight video with a introduction. Include your name, school, jersey number, position, graduation year and contact information.

    How To Send A Highlight Video

    EXACT recommends that you upload your video to a dedicated student-athlete channel on YouTube or Vimeo. When you reach out to college coaches in your emails be sure to include the video link and let them know it’s your highlight video. 

    But the truth is, many aspiring college students select a college based on emotion or a gut feeling. However,  an important decision suchs as this one should undergo a higher level of scrutiny.

    Next Steps After Sending Your Highlight Video

    After  three to five days, it’s important to send a follow-up email or give them a call if you’ve established that type of rapport. Have the highlight video ready to resend when you reach back out, incase they didn’t receive and/or see the video. As you progress in your season, update your highlight video with new clips that continue to showcase your range of athletic abilities.  

    After  three to five days, it’s important to send a follow-up email or give them a call if you’ve established that type of rapport. Have the highlight video ready to resend when you reach back out, incase they didn’t receive and/or see the video. As you progress in your season, update your highlight video with new clips that continue to showcase your range of athletic abilities.  

    Highlight Video Outline

    1. Introduction

    Take 10-15 seconds to give a brief introduction with your name, team, and position. It is ok to be yourself and try to  distinguished your personality from others, but know that your time is limited.

    1. Identification

    Inform the coach on how to identify you in the video. Ideally, you would use your position and uniform number if it’s legible but can utilize highlighting tools to briefly place your location on the field. You can use freeze frames and/or shadow spots. 

    1.  Action Footage

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to the actual content of a recruiting video. Most coaches prefer edited clips. Yet there are a few who like to watch recruits’ games in full. If most of your candidate coaches are asking for a short highlight video, you’ll know which format to use. You can also be diplomatic and incorporate elements of each.

    • Highlights

    If you choose to do a highlight reel, show the video clips in context. In other words, don’t just show yourself making a good pass. Show the buildup to the pass. Employ the 5-second rule: show 5 seconds of play before and after the highlight. The coach wants to see how the play developed and how you were involved throughout.

    • Run-of-Play

    If you have access to high-quality videos in which you are easily distinguished and featured regularly, you might prefer to utilize a more free-running, extended play format. Run-of-play videos can incorporate anything from five-minute unedited clips to an entire game. Don’t show run-of-play action if you are only recognizable in the frame once every 5-10 minutes. 

    1.  Length

    A highlight reel shouldn’t last longer than 3-5 minutes. Run-of-play videos can feature 10-minute uninterrupted spans. Whether a coach will watch it all is another matter, but at least extended play is available if needed.

    If you use extended footage, provide a key that identifies you and your role at specific times on the video. Do at least a little editing, by cutting footage when you’re not on the field.

    Top 3 Do’s and Don'ts of Making A Highlight Video


    • Start making your highlight film before the recruiting process begins, the more footage you have to work with, the better. The easiest time to compile highlight videos is in the offseason where you can compile clips from your previous season.
    • Make your film less than 5 minutes long: Coaches have more to do all day than watch your film.
    • Send your athlete highlight video to as many college coaches as possible and most certainly the college coaches that are on your short list of topic college picks.


    • Include practice highlights, unless it's for a skills video; performance pressure in practice does not compare to your performance in a game. 
    • Include multiple trick-shot videos: Although useful for skills videos, it’s important to show college coaches that you have the fundamentals of your sport or sport IQ.
    • Forget to include freeze frames and/or spot shadows. Coaches need to identify you on the playing field/court/track. 

    Need A Professional Highlight Video? 

    When you attend an EXACT college ID camp you have the opportunity to play for a nationwide network of D1, D2, and D3 college coaches within a multiple game environment. You will have access to all of the game footage from camp and most importantly you can get a professionally edited athlete highlight video made just for you! 

  • High Quality Footage — Games from camp are collected by top quality mounted cameras providing a superior view of your gameplay.  
  • Self-managed Clip Selection — You can pick the best plays you performed well in and tag yourself.
  • Downloadable Highlight Reel — Export Unlimited Highlight Videos.  Want to create a reel with only shots on goal? You decide what to export.
  • Affordable and Accessible Video — this self-managed system is an affordable alternative to the $500+ video packages that are out there.  You select the clips and our professional team of editors, you get a highly affordable price.
  • Compatible with Youtube, PrepHero, Vimeo  & much more — highlight videos can be easily imported and shared with college coaches around the country. 
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    Why Choose EXACT College ID Camps?

    EXACT’s College Network

    When it comes to choosing a college ID camp, you want to make sure that you’re choosing a camp that offers you access to a large network of NCAA coaches. EXACT does exactly that, opening you to a large pool of experienced college coaches from across hundreds of colleges.

    One-on-One College Evaluations

    How do you improve without feedback? At EXACT ID camps, all our coaches are professionals who understand that each player is distinct and uniquely gifted. As such, we give individual feedback that prepares you for the next level.

    Personal Connections

    At EXACT ID camps, you get to meet and greet college coaches, giving you an opportunity to build your college connections ahead of your arrival in college.

    Specific Training for Goalkeepers

    We understand that the role of the goalkeeper in soccer is crucial and distinct. So, we offer position-specific training to goalkeepers. You also put all you’ve learned into action and receive helpful feedback during college-style training and games.

    Mental Performance                                                                      

    Beyond the foundational training that every college ID camp offers, EXACT teaches you how to deal with adversity, stay focused, and remain confident and composed despite opposition during competitions.

    College Training Sessions

    At EXACT, our training sessions simulate college practice sessions and games. They are also handled by experienced college coaches. That way, you’re best prepared for college sports and are sure to settle in seamlessly when accepted into college.

    Compete With The Best

    You get a chance to meet and compete with the best players in the USA and around the globe. Without a doubt, this improves your sports skills as well as social interactions, making you even more attractive to colleges.

    Kickstart Recruiting

    At EXACT, we understand that you’re in a college ID camp because you someday want to be on a college team. So, we bring in college coaches who have handled collegiate sports recruitment time and time again. These coaches give you an insight into how college recruitment really works in person at the EXACT college ID camp. With insider information at your fingertips, you stand a better chance of being recruited to the right college for you.

    Bottom Line

    College ID camps impact your sports career one way or the other. This is why at EXACT, we do our best to offer the best of both worlds—ensuring we have a rich network of coaches from various colleges and teams while ensuring that every student player gets as much feedback and training as is needed for growth.

    EXACT college ID camps check all the boxes, offering you comfortable living conditions, maximum exposure, and one-on-one evaluations in optimal camper-centric matches. You can rest assured that you’ll learn and enjoy every step of the experience.Are you ready to begin your career and be trained by exceptional college coaches? Request an invitation to the top-rated soccer camp in the country today!

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