Your film is your Résumé, and it's the single biggest tool that college coaches will use to evaluate you. Your highlights are meant to work as a "preview" for your game film and entice coaches to look further at your tape. While you can’t fix bad film, having a poorly made highlight reel can ruin your chances of ever getting the rest of your film seen in the first place.
Do yourself a favor and commit a couple hours to fixing up your highlights- follow the tips below to give yourself the best chance!
This is A-number-one, without a doubt the biggest problem found within any OL/DL Highlight film you watch. If you pay attention to college coaches on Twitter, you will see that this is a pet peeve of many.
There's nothing worse than watching an entire play just to find the player highlighted at the end, right when he’s about to make his contact. Coach will have to rewind (which is not easy to do on the Hudl video player) and find you pre-snap. It's a huge waste of time and the easiest way to get your film turned off after one snap.
Do this: Aim to highlight yourself as early in the play as possible, ideally before the snap takes place. This way, the coach will see your work from start to finish and will be able to evaluate both your footwork AND finish.
Tip- don’t be afraid to use the arrow as well when it does a better job of getting you identified. Also, tighten it down- you don’t want the arrow or circle highlighting the 3 people next to you as well as yourself.
SET THE HOOK
This is the second most obvious problem I see when evaluating OL/DL Hudl tape; I will get about halfway through their film and then, 16 plays in- Boom! An earth shattering, violent long drive block with a pancake-- their single biggest and best play on the tape. Many guys probably do this because they just put the plays in by order in which they happened during the season, and don’t pay any thought to the order of the plays.
I don’t have a scientific statistic on this, but I think it's conservative to say the average viewer of your highlight tape turns it off before the halfway mark, if not earlier. You probably have about a minute to "woo" the viewer into being a believer. This is why movie trailers place the explosions and speeding cars at the beginning of the preview- even though that scene is from the end of the movie.
Do this: Take a piece of paper, go through your highlights one by one and rate them on a scale of 1-10, on how good you think that highlight is. Once done, go through and pull your very best plays into the front of the highlights. If you rated anything at or below a 5, consider scrapping it if you can afford to cut some time off of the tape.
There needs to be a positive correlation between the quality of your tape and the length of your tape. Simply put, you can’t have a bunch of crappy plays on a long tape. Unfortunately, that’s what I see more often than not.
If you want to be recruited, try to make your film a bit more concise and don’t add bad plays just to add length. Look to trim time by cutting the lead-in time before the snap down to about 1 second, and don’t waste time letting the camera follow the ball all the way to the endzone. Once you’re out of the frame for good, give it about one additional second and then end the clip, and on to the next.
Bottom line: try to keep the tape around 4 minutes, less than 5 and more than 3 minutes. Quality over quantity here!
It’s important to show coaches that you have multiple skills, whether its playing multiple positions, playing O and D, or kicking and long snapping.
This is not a good reason, however, to let an “unsexy” play into your top 10.
Get them hooked by showing them the best of the position you want to be in college, and then later in the tape sprinkle in highlights from the other side of the ball and special teams.
College coaches usually have their sound off anyways, but my advice here is to have fun with it. Silent highlight films are boring. Just try to stay away from the songs that you recognize as “classic Hudl music”- I swear, they have like 50+ songs to pick from and 90% of you all pick the same annoying one.
Don’t waste more than 90 seconds thinking about this. Pick something that speaks to your attitude or "style" and run with it!
This should go without saying, but it is a surprisingly common offense. When someone Googles your Hudl, they’ll typically land on your Hudl “Timeline” and not your most featured highlight page itself. Unless you pin your main highlight to the top of that page, they might have to scroll down to find your highlights.
What's worse is, if they don’t know to scroll, they’ll watch whatever single game or old highlights are at the top of your page. Bad news!
RESHARE, RESEND, RETWEET
Use this opportunity to reach out to a coach you have been in contact with. Send him an email or tweet a message and say something like “Hey, Coach ___, I’ve recently updated and improved my highlights! Take a look and I hope you enjoy!”
Like any sales job, this is about touches and interaction; any reason for them to hear your name and look at your film is a good one so go for it!
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