How To Structure A Highlight Reel As An Athlete

highlight reel athlete jumping in endzone

I’m sitting here writing this article on my bed thinking “How can I make a highlight reel as an athlete?” Well, I’m here to tell you it’s a lot easier than you think. Making a highlight reel really comes down to:

  • Engaging Early
  • Keeping It Concise
  • Letting it Flow Naturally
  • Show Off Your Best Plays
  • Ending With A Bang!

Why Making a Highlight Reel Is Easier Than You Think

After doing some research I found that the average highlight reel takes at least 1-3 days to make depending on the amount of film. If it’s a relatively easy position to track like a football kicker it might take you less time.

However, creating a highlight film takes time and sometimes money if you hire someone to do it for you. In my opinion, just do one for yourself and keep it simple.

No one will put the same amount of passion and attention to detail into a video than you will when it comes in terms of getting scholarships.

Be careful because so many “experts” claim to know how to make a film and then end up screwing over the athlete. It happened to me when I thought they would make some really good looking film.

All they did was take all the videos I sent them, did nothing to change them, added circles, and called it finished. I spent $300 on that video, great! Save your money, please! Just keep it simple, follow these tips and you’ll be fine!

How To Film A Highlight Reel

Typically, when you are gathering or making your film, you will find that HUDL, is the hub for most coaches and how they organize film. That is 100% an option.

Personally, I was fortunate to have a family member film my games with an 1080P HD camera. Therefore, you’re able to be different from you’re competitors, get more attention to yourself, and have higher quality video to provide.

All of these little details matter when getting recruited. Be different, find a way to stick out!

Whether you use your own camera or the one the school does for you, you want videos of yourself performing at high levels.

Just from experience and what I’ve seen from friends that I’ve spoken to, the players who are remembered have something that they provide on film that not many else do. The HD camera could be the difference maker.

Again most players use HUDL to film their highlights, be different if you can!

Another thing to look into is making a skills video, we will cover this in future posts.

Key Components Of A Highlight Reel

There are many parts to a highlight reel. And if we can just get these core principles down, we will be golden!

Engaging Early On Your Highlight Reel

After your contact information/sports/academic stats, The First and last clips of your video need to grab attention!

How do you expect someone to offer you a scholarship if you haven’t done anything interesting in the first 20 seconds? A few college coaches I spoke with over the years say that they decide on the athlete’s talent within the first 15-30 seconds of a video.

Get your biggest and best play in the beginning because you need to have people on the hook!

this is going on his highlight reel

Keep It Concise

Do not make your highlight reel over 8 minutes. Naturally, retention (Amount of time a viewer watches the video) will go down the longer a video is, unless you make it full of good plays.

You want them to feel like they can’t look away.

Again, make your highlight reel short, sweet, and awesome!

Let Your Highlight Reel Flow

For me, being a kicker and making highlight film has never been too complicated. But for someone who plays running back, quarterback, water boy, whatever. You’re going to have more success letting things flow smoothly.

It would be best to categorize your plays from long runs, short goal line plays, and blocks in their own place on the video. Just try not to have a random succession of videos.

Things will be more smooth when they are organized and tell a story.

Typically most people put music in the video, just keep it to a simple instrumental beat if you do and you’ll be alright.

Show Off Your Best Plays

This one goes without saying but only include the best of the best. Anyone can jog downfield after another teammate makes a play, but how often do you see someone sprinting downfield to make a play to help the team?

Obviously, some people may not have 6 minutes of their best plays, so find 4 minutes of gold and 2 minutes of you making plays even when you don’t have the ball.

For example, if your teammate is running down the field, sprint next to him/her to look for a block you can make. I promise you, if you do the little things right, coaches will notice.

End With A Bang!

Now with 95% of the tape done, find another amazing play to end the video with then you can flash your contact info, sports, and academic info at the end.

Imagine watching a movie that had a great plot for 80% of the movie and then just ended with no message, no finish, it just started rolling credits. It wouldn’t feel complete right?

So why should a highlight reel be any different??

End your highlight reel with a bang and leave an impression for all coaches to see!

Umhb highlight reel

Before You Post The Highlights

When you have made all your edits and you feel like you’re ready to post it, go back through everything and make sure that it flows nicely.

Then, do it 1 more time to make sure you will be proud of the video you’re posting to 100’s of places.

Just know these college coaches get so many emails so please please please have a clickable subject line. “Eric Piccione K/P Highlight Reel 3.8 GPA 13/18 FGS” Is wayyyy better than “eric piccione film.”

Make it catch their eye!

What To Do After Your Highlight Reel Is Made

Now, this is where it gets fun. I remember all of the emails, letters, visits, and phone calls you get from colleges, it’s exciting!

So do everything in your power to put in the work to get yourself noticed.

I mentioned it earlier, but no one will put in the work to get you recruited like you will. You are your greatest fan so start by following and messaging every single college coach you can find on social media.

Create a personal message for the coaches with a quick summary of your season stats, academic GPA, test scores (if they’re good), etc. Then at the end of the message include your film.

The same goes for email. Reach out to both the recruiting coordinator and the player-specific coach who you will be working with (for me it would be special teams coordinator)

Give yourself as many opportunities as possible to succeed! People put in half effort and get half results. Go all in and give it all you have! IT WILL PAY OFF!

It only takes one school to say yes to you.

In Conclusion

While there are many highlights you think will be worth showing a coach, choose the one’s with the biggest impact.

A great highlight tape will have all of these qualities because how else will these athletes set themselves apart?

Again the main things to do when developing your highlight tape is to:

  • Engage Early
  • Keep It Concise
  • Let it Flow Naturally
  • Show Off Your Best Plays
  • End With A Bang!

By doing these 5 things, you will be able to stand out from your competition and get those offers!

If you guys or gals have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. The point of this channel will always be to provide instructions or guidance on how to get better.

Leave a comment below if there’s something you would like more information on and i’ll do my best to provide it!

If you enjoyed my article, be sure to check out some of my previous posts on core workouts, legs workouts, workouts for hip strength, meditation, mindset, at-home workouts, or even athlete nutrition plans!

Thanks for reading and stay amazing!

  • Eric

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