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Basketball recruiting video tips

Basketball Recruiting Video Tips: How to Cook Up Highlights

Video highlights and the various platforms that host them have completely changed the landscape of basketball recruiting, and those fresh to the process may need some tips to help navigate the waters.

Putting together a highlight tape used to be complicated, but not anymore. All you need is a good cell phone or tablet. It does take some expertise, but it’s a lot less difficult now than when you had to compile footage first, then send it off to someone else to cut it up for you. Plus, with social media and YouTube, it’s never been easier to get your video out there for the world to see.

The accessibility of video in the modern day makes it easier than ever cook up a highlight tape, but it also offers lots of opportunities for missteps. Here are some tips for how to get the most out of your basketball recruiting videos.

Basketball Recruiting Video Tips

Keep It Short & Sweet

Your highlight tape should not be any longer than three-to-five minutes long. Coaches will tune out of a video that’s too long, but you also don’t want to only send them three plays in 20 seconds and nothing else.

The three-to-five-minute range allows a nice sweet spot for you to showcase your game and what you have to offer without overloading a coach with too much to analyze.

This is a good example of a basketball recruiting video.

Show All of Your Skills

If your basketball recruiting video is just clips of you scoring, a coach won’t be impressed.

Rebounding, defense, ball handling, and hustle plays are all important parts of basketball. Sure, scoring is, too, and having footage of your buckets is a great thing. But it shouldn’t be the only thing. A coach will want a player who can do more than score, and not just that, they’ll want a player who wants to do more than only score. If that’s all you show them, what message do you think that sends about how you view the less glamorous aspects of the game?

Free-throw shooting is not necessary to include, especially if you have enough jump shots in your video.

Good Footage

The tape has to be clear, and it’s important to be close to the action. Unless you have a powerful recording device, the distance makes a huge difference. The video needs to make it clear to the point where players are easily distinguishable.

If a basketball recruiting video is done correctly, there should be no need for arrows and circles. It should be easy to tell who the focal point of the footage is based on the clarity.

Don’t Forget the Tunes

I’m of the opinion that rhythmic music helps. Music has a strong influence on our visual experiences, so think of your highlight tape sort of like a music video.

There are many different genres of music that can be used, but don’t use music with foul language or music that touches on subject matters that will cause college coaches to question your character.

Posting to Social Media

Basketball recruiting videos posted directly to social media should only be about a minute or so. College coaches surfing social media usually don’t have a lot of time to stop and spend minutes on one video. Upload the three-to-five-minute bigger video you made to YouTube, then link that in the social media post so coaches can easily find where to go to see more if they’re interested.

Keep the focus on your strengths. If the highlights capture the attention of a college coach, they’ll then be looking for something longer, along with some full-game footage, too (which is why adding the YouTube link initially is so handy).

As far as tagging college coaches, just be realistic. Who you tag makes a statement about you and/or your advocate are.


There is a variety of ways to present footage of a player through highlights, so take your time. Make sure the footage is high quality, then send it to coaches individually instead of mass emailing or mass tweeting. Coaches will pay more attention to what you post if you’re not just randomly tagging or spam emailing a bunch of coaches and schools.

Good luck!

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