ReelAs important as preparing on the field is for high school student-athletes looking to play in college, it is just as important to prepare off of the field. One of the most vital areas in the recruiting space to prepare for is ensuring you have a highlight reel.

A highlight reel is crucial for an athlete looking to attack the recruiting process, because it gives the college coach something to evaluate. It’s a great first-step and serves as an introduction. The highlight reel is the bait you use to get a coach to want more. If the coach likes the highlight reel, it likely means they will want to see you play in person.

Here are five things to know about highlight reels.

5 Things To Know About Highlight Reels

1. Show, Don’t Tell.

There is an adage in Hollywood that suggests movies should show – and not tell – an audience what is happening. The same can be said for highlight reels. Don’t just tell a coach you can play – you need to show them! A highlight reel introduces your skillset to a coach, and let’s them immediately see if you are a player that fits their system.

2. You Need Source Material.

To produce a highlight reel, you will need game video. While this sounds self-explanatory, it can be a huge problem if it’s not carefully considered. Be sure your high school games are being filmed if they are not already! If you are attending a camp, tournament or showcase, more often than not there are packages available that include game film. Be sure to get this film! It’s the source material that will ultimately be edited into your highlight reel.

3. Keep It Short.

The ideal highlight reel is about 15-20 plays and runs about 3-5 minutes in length. Coaches will not have the time to watch much more than that, so be sure you are making the clips you choose a good reflection of your skillset.

4. Make Sure You’re Visible.

Don’t make college coaches search for you in the video. Be sure you are using technology to your advantage by adding things like isolation effects to ensure you stand out. Whether you are making the reel yourself or you are using a professional service, it’s imperative the coach knows where to find you in the reel.

5. Send Your Reel To Coaches Prior to An Event.

Before you attend a recruiting event, you will want to supply your “target list” of 20-30 schools with a highlight reel, full game, academic information and event schedule. An easy way to think of this: You want to give the coaches on your “target list” of schools a reason to come see you play in person. The way to do this is to have them see what kind of player you are on film before the event so they want to see you live.


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