Creating an effective highlight video (via ScoutingZone)

What does an effective highlight video consist of?

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by our partner, ScoutingZone, in an ongoing series of best practices for college recruiting.

While a highlight video is a necessary part of your Recruiting Player Profile, it isn’t the end all answer your college roster spot. The purpose of a highlight video is simply to pique the interest of a college coach and to prompt them to want to learn more about you, perhaps get on their radar so that they will plan to come watch you play live. 

There are several components of a highlight video that we feel you must include in order for your video to accomplish what it needs to do for you as a recruit. We like to tell players to ask themselves two questions before they create their video:

  1. What & who do you want to come across as in your video?
  2. What are you 3 best “on-field” qualities?

This will give you structure and a foundation for your video.  This should go without saying but keep it positive! This is a HIGHLIGHT video – show your positives. Leave your bloopers off the reel.

Keep It Short & Front Load Your Highlights:

Show your highlights in 3-5 minutes. Humans have incredibly short attention spans and you should take advantage of that in your video.  Your top 5 plays should be your first five plays. A college coach’s time is of the essence, don’t save your spectacular goal or your incredible save for the end of the video hoping the coach eventually gets there. Put your top plays front-and-center assuming they may not get all the way through your video.

Intro to Your Video:

Make a solid introduction in your video of who you are. To make a solid impression, make sure the coach knows who you are. You can either do a video introduction that introduces yourself (our favorite way) and shows a bit of your personality, or a textual introduction slide works too. Either way, recruits should include their name, team & league/level, position, jersey #, grad year and some way for coaches to contact them.

Make Yourself Visible:

Highlight yourself before each clip. Remember, the college coach doesn’t know who you are and most game film is captured from a high angle and it can be difficult to decipher who you are or what number you are wearing from that vantage point. Add a circle, arrow, light, – some indication as to which player they should be watching. Many effective videos will add a pause for 2 seconds before the action starts to place a circle around yourself so it is clear where you are in that play/clip.  The image below is a good example of how to make yourself visible before each clip.

Make It Relevant to Your Position:

Highlight how technically proficient you are at your position. It’s extremely helpful if your video is position-specific and broken down into sections. For instance, a forward could do sections on scoring goals, making assists and movement off the ball. A goalkeeper could do sections for saves, distribution and goal kicks. For defenders, clips should focus on defending, distribution and possession.  Midfielders will want to show off their ball skills but also feature some “hustle plays” that show off how quickly you transition from offense to defense. Wingers will want to focus on including fantastic runs and featuring your athleticism and ability to play without the ball (and a couple highlight reel worthy goals never hurt either).


Be wise on this one. If you are going to use music, make sure it is tasteful (and definitely without profanity)!


No need to spend a lot of money here. There are many resources and options to help create a video. Many players create great videos themselves using iMovie or other very affordable apps; no need to spend $1,000’s.

SZ Player Profile:

You have the ability to house unlimited highlight videos within your SZ Player Profile. Don’t forget to update your SZ Player Profile with your highlight video(s) on the Athletics Tab. You are able to upload unlimited highlight videos into your SZ Player Profile (via YouTube, Hudl, Vimeo or Trace).  This is a perfect reason to email a college coach when you have new highlights. Share your SZ Player Profile link and avoid having to attach a large video file to the email.


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