Do I Need A Skills Video?
By Kim Gwydir - Former Division 1 College Softball Coach
And Founder of FPOS
I am often asked “Does my daughter need a softball skills video?” or better ”My travel coach says I do not need one”.
As a former NCAA D1 and D2 coach I used video as a key component of my recruiting process. Video helped me decide who I would spend travel funds and valuable recruiting time on to see play live at a tournament. There were a few times in my coaching career where I offered a scholarship solely based on video because I liked what I saw but was not able to see the player live. So, based on my experience let me give you some tips about skills videos.
So who needs a skills video?
It is actually easier to explain who does not need the video. If you are a Sophomore in high school and college coaches, representing schools that interest your daughter are already making it known that they have you on their list (they can legally do this by talking to your coach and asking them to relay that information to you) then you may not need a video.
I used to say if you want to go to college locally that you do not need a skills video but I have changed my mind. Having a short inexpensive video like the “mini skills” that FPOS does at all our recruiting camps is a very helpful tool to send to local colleges. This gives them the opportunity to evaluate you before they come to watch you play in a tournament. Also, a short highlight video that you can produce yourself would be acceptable for this type of situation. Doing an expensive, edited skills video may not be necessary in this case. A shorter, less expensive video can help do the job and bring the coach of the local school to attend the event and watch you play. Additionally, they may have already seen you the year before or they have heard of you already through the local media.
Here are some keys
1. The farther away from your home you are looking at colleges – the more important the skills video.
2. If you believe yourself to be a “blue chip” talent then you will need a skills video earlier in the recruiting cycle. Recruiting is happening earlier and earlier – it is not unheard of for a college coach to get a verbal commitment from a 10th grader – this means they identified their talent in the 9th grade! In this situation, it is important to get a skills video to college coaches early so they can identify you and make arrangements to see you live.
3. Many college coaches, as well as myself, suggest a few short videos instead of one long one. A skills video and a highlight clip are ideal. I did a blog article earlier this year about an iPhone app called iMovie that lets you create an edited video using footage taken using your iPhone. This is an easy inexpensive way to create great highlight video.
If you have not already selected list of colleges to target by the end of your sophomore year it is extremely important to get a quality video done at the end of the summer before your junior year of high school. It is highly suggested that you update this video as your skills improve. An inexpensive way to get a quality video is at an FPOS recruiting camp as all of our recruiting camp events include some type of video.
If you have any questions that we I can help you with, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.