What is a Highlight Reel?

Highlight Reels have become an integral part of the recruiting process. Many people do not know where to begin when they want to put a highlight video of themselves together. We believe that finding your own clips is a very important skill to master. Read below to learn why you should find your own clips, and some tips on how to make the best highlight reel possible!

Without video, college coaches could only see a limited number of student-athletes by attending recruiting events. Especially in this time of COVID-19, which has limited attendance of college coaches at recruiting events, it has never been more important to have video that is easily shareable with the programs that you are interested in.

A highlight reel can be compared to a movie trailer or a promo video. It is a compilation of clips that show off your best plays from games that were filmed. It shows your athletic skill and what kind of player you are. This is a taste for the coach of what they can expect from you as an athlete. This is the most popular form of video in recruiting, and hundreds of athletes use SportsRecruits each year to get their highlight reels created!

Selecting Your Own Highlight Reel Clips

Selecting your own clips can feel like a daunting task, however, selecting your own clips is one of the best things you can do as a student-athlete.

  1. Film review is a major component of college athletics –  Getting a head start on reviewing film will be extremely helpful for you in the long run. Most college programs review practice and game footage nearly every day. Therefore, finding highlights is a great entry point to honing your skills on this. 
  2. You will have the best idea of where your best plays happened in each game- Since you actually competed in these games, you will have the best idea of what games you were at your best! This is why it is important to go through video once it becomes available 
  3. You know which clips are your strongest – A highlight reel should only consist of what we call 4-5 star clips, 4-5 star clips are ones that you are performing the best. You will be the best person to determine which clips are your 4-5 star plays.
  4. You know the intricacies of your sports – Asking for someone else to do film review for you (whether it be your parents, friends, etc.) could be a risky decision. If they do not have a full understanding of your sport and the intricacies of what coaches want to see, it’s possible that they will miss some plays that you probably wouldn’t have! 

Tips to Make Going Through your Highlight Reel Clips Easier

  1. If you get game footage sent to you shortly after an event, review that game right away- Leaving yourself 6,8, or 10 games to review at the end of your season will make this process feel a lot scarier than it should. After each tournament, event, or game that you compete in, try to go through that game once the footage is available to you. Keep a running list in a word document or spreadsheet that you can update each time you go through new footage! Once you get to 15-20 clips that you are happy with, then would be the time to start putting a full highlight reel together!
  2. Try to keep your highlight reels in the 2-4 minute range-  This typically means about 12-20 clips total. Our data shows that the average time a college coach will view a highlight reel is 3 minutes and 18 seconds. 
  3. Use the 5 star method- Here at SportsRecruits, we advise families to use the 5-star method when going through film for a highlight reel. When you go through film make sure you write down the name of the game, the clip times (start and finish), a description of the play, and then rate the clips on a 5-star rating system. Obviously, 5 being the best and 0 being the worst. Write down this information as you go along and watch film. This can be something you do over time as you collect film.
  4. Show your versatility-  Coaches want to see an athlete who can do more than one skill well. Don’t show them the same skill over and over again. Give them plays where you take risks, and that show a variety of different skills.
  5. Show how you hustle- Show that you are scrappy. Coaches want to see student-athletes who will rise in times of adversity in a game. It is okay to show that you make an error if in the same clip you work hard to make up for it with a great play.
  6. Strength-  Show that you refuse to get pushed around and that you can stand your ground.
  7. Order Matters- Make sure you put your best, 5/5 star clips towards the front of the reel. This maximizes the chance that the coach sees you at your best! 

How Can SportsRecruits Help me with my Highlight Reel?

We recommend taking a look at the highlight reel process of SportsRecruits creating a highlight reel for you, which you can find here!

How Do I Access My SportsRecruits Profile? 

If you already have an account with us you can log in here

If you are interested in signing up for SportsRecruits for free, click here!

Mike Babich is one of the Insights Analyst at SportsRecruits. Mike has experience in collegiate athletics as a former football student-athlete at Mount Ida College, as well as a Graduate Assistant and Assistant Football Coach at Long Island University. He also served in the role of an Admissions Counselor for two years at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York. He has a passion for helping student-athletes better navigate and understand the recruiting process.

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