What Do I Look for in a Recruiting Video

I was asked to be part of a video conference for the AVCA and USAV’s Gateway Region recently.  One of the questions that was asked was “What do you guys look for in a recruiting video?”  That was enough to get me working on a post to discuss that.

There’s a catch though.  I don’t have permission to use other people’s videos.  That makes things a bit rough.  If you do better visualizing things, head to my YouTube channel.  I keep old LLCC footage there–and since my job as a two-year college coach involves helping with recruiting to move on, not just move in, we try and do our videos to maximize their value for recruiting purposes rather than scouting opponents.

I’ve got one example here–this is how we set up with two courts in play:

We don’t have a great way right now to get our camera with any elevation.  We’ve set it up in the corner away from a line judge (so that the LJ doesn’t block the view).  Wherever possible, we set the video up so the near-side baseline is at the bottom of the screen and the antennae are at the left and right of the screen.  Nope, we don’t have that here.  So, I was faced with the question of what SHOULD go on-screen.  I decided it was more important to keep all of our side in view and not worry as much about the other side of the net, thus you can tell that the other team’s left back corner is out of view…which means if someone watches the next set, our LB corner will be out of view.

So why the decision?  Because we use these for placing athletes.  It’s important that a coaching watching can tell exactly who is whom–whether by uni number or hair style.  Looking at the other side of the net, it’s nearly impossible to tell the numbers.

The basic setup of your video and making it easy to watch is important.  I’ll watch any/everything, but if a video is set up in a way that makes life easy on a coach (behind the baseline, stationary), it helps.

For me, I prefer it if the match just runs.  Once I know the player and where she is starting, I’ll watch.  It’s easy to tell if someone has the proper skill-set quickly.  They may not say it, but I think coaches know within 1-2 minutes of watching a player whether she has the appropriate skills for the coach’s level.

So why let it run or make a big video if I need seconds to evaluate a skill?  Well, I’m less interested in the skill than the other things–how does a player interact with teammates?  How does she act when her team is down?  How does she act during a timeout?  How does she take coaching?  These are all little things that make a big difference once the recruit is part of my program.

The other reason it is important to let the video run is it means you haven’t edited it.  Editing means you’re eliminating stuff–and the cynic in me always wonders if that includes a dozen consecutive net serves or maybe taking a swing at one of the officials.   I already know you are sending me a video that you think makes you look good–so again, what does that mean if you have to edit stuff?

Another thing to avoid is slo-motion effects.  Actually, you can delete all of that stuff–you don’t need slo-mo, you don’t need fancy-schmancy graphics, don’t repeat the same shot several times in a row (coaches aren’t stupid), and for the love of God, please stop putting bad music to go with the video.  The best thing you can do is just send me volleyball…

Since it is parents videoing, whoever is sitting by the camera should probably refrain from talking too much.  If I have the video on, you’re who I hear–and that’s part of the impression I get, so if you are complaining about the ref, the coach, the playing time…I’ll know–and I’ll know that if your child is on my team, you’re going to do the same thing to me.  –>I’ve ignored this in the past and regretted it *every* time.  I won’t do it again.

In terms of graphics, they aren’t necessary.  I don’t care too much about the score.  If you aren’t sure I can tell who is whom, it is okay to put in an arrow to show her starting spot on the court–after that, it isn’t necessary.  Without trying to be snarky–as a college volleyball coach, if I can’t keep track of where people are (once I know who I’m looking for) in a rotation…I suck.  So–other than at the start of a set or if she’s come out and you do it the first point she comes back in–that’s fine.  Otherwise, the arrows get in the way.

So the short of it:

  • Endline rather than sideline
  • Make sure it’s clear who I’m supposed to watch
  • Let the video run / don’t edit it
  • Special effects / music are unnecessary

Hope this has been useful.  Please consider hitting ‘Follow‘ for notification of other posts.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to put them in the comments!


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