Being an ex-player and a current coach, I am in the shoes of both parties quite often, and my goal is to help one side understand the other. Today I want to give you guys an opportunity to learn some Do’s and Don’ts to creating a highlight tape. In this day and age, we have the unique ability to get in front of coaches at a higher rate than ever before, but when it’s your turn to be viewed what kind of impression will you leave on the scout that just gave you a chance.
Get to the point
We see a lot of players creating tapes and having an overly long intro filled with pictures and workout clips. Although it is aesthetically pleasing, it’s not something that a college or pro scout, that only wants to give you 45 seconds of his or her undivided attention, is trying to spend time watching. We recommend creating two tapes one with high-quality production and one bland tape for coaches that “gets to the point”. Another way to get to the point is to decrease the time between plays. You don’t want to show you breaking the huddle and going in motion for 5-6 seconds before the ball is snapped. Get to the point. Limit time in pre-snap as much as possible.
Keep it short
Coaches and scouts watch hours of film and highlight tapes daily. If you want to increase your chances to get views from a team make sure that your tape isn’t unnecessarily long. We often see kids put every tackle they ever made on their tapes and turns into a film session of underwhelming proportion. I suggest you take the best plays you can find to fit in 2-3 minutes of tape. Then what we will do is organize your best plays towards the front of that 2-3 mins. That way if a coach only sees 30 seconds of your film, he sees your best 30 seconds. Don’t feel pressured to make your tape 3 mins if you cannot find 3 mins of super-human standout plays. You are trying to make a coach thirsty to watch more game film or give you a call. So, if you only have 1:30 of highlight-worthy plays, be it.
Make sure you are visible
There is nothing more annoying than watching tape and spending most of your time trying to figure out which kids are the player you are scouting. Athletes; stop hiding yourself make sure you distinctly soloed out in your film. Don’t be extra with the highlighting either, a simple circle or arrow will do. Another nuisance in watching the film is not highlighting your self before the play. When you start to highlight yourself in the middle of a play, I will have rewind, guess, and follow you to the end of the play again. I have now spent 15 mins actively watching your 5 min tape and am now aggravated. Make it easy for the coach to watch your film. Point yourself out before the play so the coach can follow you through the progression and not have to ever touch his mouse.
Make accessible as possible
The last step towards making a highlight tape is always getting into the right hands and having it with you. When I was growing up a common practice was to have your physical tape on you at all times, which meant walking around town with a CD in your pocket and ready to give it to anyone who could get it to a program. Today that is not as necessary because of platforms like Hudl and YouTube. UTILIZE THEM! Every athlete should have a huddle page and Youtube page titled with their government name (not a nickname), position, number, and contact information. Make sure you utilize social media to post your content and connect with coaches and scouts on there. If you are already connected with them share the link of the video with them to give them a chance to see your film. It's not a bad idea to periodically send the film to them just in case they miss one.
If you have any questions specifically on Highlight tapes please feel free to reach out to