College coaches will spend a majority of their off seasons traveling the country to watch and recruit some of the top high school athletes. Competition for recruitment can be fierce, and coaches do not have nearly enough time to travel and see every single player in play in person. For this reason, creating a strong highlight reel is a crucial aspect of the college recruiting process for nearly all athletes

Why Create a Highlight Reel?

Allowing coaches the opportunity to see the best of what you can offer will give them a sense of who you are as a player, whether or not you would be a good fit for their program, and whether they are interested in seeing more. It is unlikely that a coach would travel to see a player play, or invite a player to come practice with their team, without first understanding what that athlete brings to the table. 

According to NCSA, college coaches are ten times more likely to visit the profile of an athlete with a highlight tape compared to one without. Excluding a highlight reel just gives coaches a reason to look the other direction when your name appears.


While college coaches will be most interested in recent footage, that being from your junior or senior season, highlights captured during any point in your high school career could be an asset when creating your reel. That being said, do not be afraid to begin collecting footage earlier on. There are a number of ways you can collect the necessary videos. You could request a copy of game footage recorded by your school or coach, you can purchase a camera and ask a family member or friend to record games, you can ask teammates' parents for anything they may have captured, or you could hire an outside source to film the games. 


Once the necessary footage has been captured, it is time to compile the best clips to create your reel. This will require some form of video editing software, and a bit of time and patience. You can attempt to edit yourself, ask a friend or family member with the desired skills, or employ a professional source. It is recommended that you include only the best highlights, those that will demonstrate the skills or attributes you wish to exemplify most to coaches.

Recommended Software: iMovie, CapCut, or Canva.

It is also recommended that the reel itself be kept concise, somewhere in the range of two to five minutes. It is crucial that coaches are aware of which player you are in each clip, freeze frames, and color highlights can be of assistance in this regard. Adding a musical overlay to the video is one way to make the reel a bit more enjoyable to watch.

Example: Athlete highlighted in yellow so coaches recognize specific athlete


Once you have created a strong reel, distribute it to as many people as possible. While collegiate coaches may be the primary audience, the larger the audience you reach, the more coaches will see your video through processes such as referrals. You can send your reel to coaches directly via email, attach it to your profile on college recruiting sites, and or distribute that clip directly on your social media profiles. You should take advantage of all of these channels, and any others you may possess, as the goal is to reach the greatest possible audience.

We know as coaches that watching your athletes dreams come true is one of the most rewarding things to see. This service is also a great way to bring your team, club or league more business. Prospective clients will notice your dedication to making lifelong dreams come true. 

Playbook will continue to act as a resource to all coaches and sports organizations. To learn more about how we can help your business click here!

Posts by Topic