One of the questions that seems to always pop up with parents and athletes who want to play sports in college is “How do I get noticed? How do I set myself apart from other athletes?” It’s a very easy question to ask, and now, answer. Video.
I’ve spent my entire professional career in television sports. I’ve called it the ‘toy department in the department store of life’. In the past 20 years I’ve been a producer at CBS, a featured producer for ESPN, and did a nice stint at a start-up television network.
For the past six years, I have been using my gifts and abilities to help athletes get the opportunity to play sports in college with my company, MediaExperts.tv. I’ve seen the power of the picture. Video can lift, and propel human lives, stories, even causes. It can change lives. And as a student athlete, on the cliff of a new chapter in your life, it can absolutely change yours.
Video: The Missing Link
In order for a college coach to see you in your sport, one of several things needs to happen. You need to be a Blue Chip athlete and you are already on everybody’s radar. If that’s true, you don’t need a video. A coach needs to physically come and watch you play; or you need to send that coach a video.
With the economy being what it its, college programs have less money to spend on recruiting. For every Division 1 powerhouse with a bucket of money, there is another program with an eye dropper of cash to spend on recruiting. They still need athletes, they still have programs to run, they just have less money to go out and seek quality athletes.
So let’s look at the idea of a coach coming to watch you play in person. He or she makes the trip out to your area to catch a few games. Yet, let’s suppose you have a bad day, or you’re out of the line-up during that time, or you are sick. It happens. Does that mean your chance to play for that coach is gone? No, not hardly. Video, a well done video, can get you that scholarship chance.
Stand Out From the Crowd
What makes a good video? Something that captures the coach’s eye. You want to stand out from the crowd. It all starts with pictures. And with all respect to your Uncle Bob, or Mom and Dad, they are not professional videographers or editors. It’s being able to track the action, anticipate the flow of a play, having the right equipment, and staying removed from the excitement of the game.
Run, Johnny, Run
I can’t tell you how many home videos that I have seen where the video is bouncing all over the place, and you can hear Mom yelling, “Run, Johnny, Run.” That noise you hear is the coach turning your video off. Your video should be short: 4-8 minutes.
No coach has time to watch five hours of VHS tape or DVD’s from games. They are running a business. They don’t have time to sift through it all. It should be labeled well, with contact information. There are lots of other items you can do to improve your video (highlight circles, drop shadows, video email, etc). More on this in future articles.
A Powerful Tool
My stepson was a good high school baseball player, but really wasn’t on anyone’s hot list. Yet after sending out his video, and targeting several schools, he did get noticed. He’s now living his dream by playing baseball at a D-1 school. It takes talent, no doubt. But if nobody sees you play, how are you going to get noticed?