(Updated for 2020) If you’re an athlete trying to get recruited to play in college, then you KNOW you need to have video. You have several options for creating your video from doing-it-yourself to hiring someone who specializes in recruiting videos. I’m a big believer in starting with the cheapest option first. If nothing else, after you create a video with your phone, you will appreciate that much more the professional’s product that you eventually get. So I’ve collected a list of resources you can use to shoot video with your smart phone. (I may receive a small commission for some of the products.)
If you want a general overview, start with my post on 9 Resources for Creating Your Own Softball or Baseball Video. I’ve listed below the one must read resource from the post so you can skip it if you want to get started right away.
Step 1: Know How to Use Your Phone
If you haven’t tried to use your phone as a video recorder, I suggest you try first to establish what you don’t know about using it. The easiest way to do this is to just try to record something outside–you know, learning by doing. Then visit these websites for more information.
- How To Shoot Better Video With Your Phone (video)
- Pro tips on taking great video of your vacation — right from your phone
- How to Video Sports With a Phone
- 12 tips and tricks for getting even better videos on your iPhone 11
- 16 tips for shooting better video on Android
- Everything You Need to Shoot Good-Looking Video With Your iPhone
There’s a lot of resources out there on how to shoot video on your phone and more is always being added. Be sure to try a search for your own specific phone or operating system. Also try searching using “baseball” or whatever sport is appropriate. You may hit the goldmine.
Step 2: Get Your Equipment
The easiest way to dramatically improve the quality of the video is to use a tripod. You can get a tripod for the cost of a pair of batting gloves. There is no reason not to.
You have two choices. Get a generic tripod and an adapter for your phone or a custom tripod for your phone. The generic option will cost you more in the short-term, approximately 2 sets of batting gloves. The custom option is the cheapest but then you can’t use the tripod for other camera uses.
Many of the “how to shoot video” websites make recommendations on microphones. This shouldn’t be an issue in a recruiting video. As I mention in Step 4, you’re going to eliminate the sound from the video anyway. If you buy an external microphone, do it for some reason other than making a recruiting video.
Step 3: Plan Your Video
When you create a recruiting video, it’s critical to plan your skill shots. At the minimum you’ll need one other person to help, two would be better. Ideally, one person will be throwing the ball to the player and another will be doing the video. Having to go and check the video every five minutes to see if everything showed up properly can be tiring. One thing to keep in mind is that depending on the position, you may be able to get some of the shots from pregame warmups.
Step 4: Edit Your Recruiting Video
Remember, this is about making it as easy as possible for the coach to evaluate the player. For example, you’re wasting the coach’s time if you don’t cut out all of the time a batter is waiting at the plate for the pitch. All of a player’s at bats in a single game should come in under two minutes. With a video editing program, it should be easy to add the player’s information as text at the beginning and end. This helps the coach since it’s easier to copy text, if he needs to, rather than listen to the information and then write it down.
- Download a free video editor iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.
- Cut as much dead time as possible, length should be between 2 to 5 minutes.
- Eliminate the sound.
- Do not add music.
- Include an introduction with the player’s name, class, and positions.
- End with the same information and an internet link for more information.
Tutorials and Help
- How to Use Movie Maker | Step-by-step Guide for Beginners (2020)
- How to Use Windows Movie Maker
- Movie Maker Tutorial for Beginners (video)
- How to use iMovie on iPhone
- A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started in iMovie
- iMovie 2020 **FULL TUTORIAL** (video with PDF)
Step 5: Post Your Recruiting Video
Recruiting websites such as Playced, BeRecruited, and CaptainU have free options for posting your recruiting video. These are convenient because you can easily add other relevant information such as athletic and academic information.
Whenever upload new recruiting video, you should let the coaches at the schools you’re interested in know. This is just a short email with a link to the video. It also makes for a great opportunity for you to ask if there are specific types of video the coach would like to see. Use the DIY College Search Spreadsheets to target the right schools for your video.
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