AH360 Photography

How To Make A
Highlight Video

Are you or your child a High School Athlete trying to get noticed by College or NCAA recruiters and Coaches?  What you are going to need, hands down, is an exceptional Highlight Video that sets you apart from the competition.

Getting Noticed By College Coaches With A Sports Highlight Video

As a High School Athlete, or as the Parent of a High School Athlete, you have probably have hopes of creating an amazing Highlight Video that will eventually lead to getting a Full Scholarship (Full Ride) to a College Or University.  For some, the spotlight of college recruiters and coaches came naturally, but for many parents and athletes it seems a whole heck of a lot more difficult than you thought it would be.  

The truth of the matter when it comes to College Recruiting is that there are just way too many athletes, at way too many schools, for the coaches/recruiters to see everyone (2 Million to be exact).  That’s why college recruiting these days isn’t about being found, it’s about getting yourself, or your son/daughter noticed, and the best way to do that is with a Highlight Video!

Why Make A Highlight Reel?

Coaches and Recruiters don’t just watch a ton of footage from the athletes they know about, they also spend hours on end going through videos that are sent to them by the athletes they don’t know about.  And guess what?  they watch them all!  The reason is simple really- They can’t afford to miss a good player no one else knows about.

The main reason video works, especially in 2018, is that video can be seen anywhere at any time.  It can be saved, tagged, shared, and even go viral (The ultimate Goal).  Pictures and Stats are great, but they still lack the power of motion.  That being said, great photos in a slideshow video do improve upon the shareability of Sports Photography, and should be part of any Highlight Reel/Video Recruiting Package.

What Do College Coaches Look For In A Video

College Coaches are looking for Highlight Videos that show the Style anf Form of an athlete.  Sure, you made a great play here or there, but how did you go about making that play.  

  • Did you make a great read most players don’t or did you simply take advantage of a mistake?
  • Did you have good form and maintain it from play to play and game to game, or were you sloppy?
  • Were you a Good Sport? 

College Coaches are also looking for sign of being able to handle adversity. 

  • Were you absent during big moments of games, or were you usually the one to step up?
  • When your team was losing, did you play as hard?
  • Did you learn, evolve, or improve in some way(s)

Remember these factors when pulling clips for your highlight reel.  Remember that (Most) Coaches care just as much about the work ethic and attitude of a player as they do the performance because in College you are supposed to develop, and they need to bring in people they can teach and groom.

What Makes A Good College Recruiting Video?


Everyone is using a phone or a pocket camera, if you can swing it, use better gear and avoid the shakes.


A video should be about 3-4 minutes long unless a website cuts you off.  Not going long shows you respect a coaches time.


Put your information, a picture of yourself (Athlete), and of course your stats and awards.  Make coaches remember you.


All to often people make videos and don’t take the time to make it easy for a coach to identify them in the footage.

Sport Specific

Make sure your highlights are meaningful to your sport.  Example:  In basketball what you do away from the ball can matter, not so much with Football or Baseball.

Minimal Editing

Coaches are not interested in neat transitions, only the substance, so make your cuts fast and simple between clips.

Where To Post And Edit College Recruiting Videos

Below I have listed just a few websites offering platforms for Videos and that also include software for creating highlight reels.  It should be noted however that some of these sites require hefty membership fees that schools usually pay for, so if your school is not involved with these websites you may not have access to their best features.  A great free resource for help on a lot of college recruiting efforts will be MaxPreps and NCSA.  Try these out first and check out some of their recommendations for where to post or create highlight videos, because it’s largely going to depend on Budget, School of Interest, and your particular Sport.

Video Review Tools For Teams and Athletes.  Largely known for Football highlight Videos.

For both Athletes and Coaches.  Features Tagged Game Film, Stats, Sharing, and Highlights.

Bills itself as a website for helping to connect Coaches and Athletes via multiple channels. 

Best Software For Highlight Videos

To the right, I have included a short video where some basic and some advanced video editing tools are discussed.  For a College Recruiting Highlight Video, I would suggest using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (Apple or PC).  As I had mentioned above, your highlight video doesn’t need anything fancy, you are essentially making a slideshow of video clips.  Both of these programs allow you to easily add text, simple transitions, and anything else you will need to make the best Highlight video in your school, maybe even the County.  If you have Adobe you can also try a program called Spark, it’s the simplest I have used yet.  

Full Service Sports Highlight Videos

Your time being recruited will be stressful, but it’s only going to happen once, so make it memorable.  spend time and have fun making your video.   It won’t take much to make a video that tops 90% of those being made out there.  

However, if you simply don’t have the time as an athlete, or are a parent that would rather enjoy the games, there are several services that you can contact that will either shoot and edit your highlight video or simply take your footage and do the editing for you.  These services are fairly simple, so if you are looking to stand out, this type of mass production may not be your best bet.