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Reference Videos: Coach | Current Teammates | Parents | Opponents Coach | Teacher
I actually think reference videos could be more important than any highlight or skill video. Reference videos would have others highlighting your athletic and academic ability as well as other positive characteristics including your character. Your coaches, teammates, teachers, parents, opponents, other teams coaches could all be potential reference videos for you. Why do I think this is important? As the old saying goes “Self-praise is no praise at all” but if you have others praising you, it will hold more weight with college coaches.
You can provide these individuals with some questions as a guide but obviously let them expand and talk about you naturally (especially if they have a lot of good stuff to say about you). Questions you could have individuals answer on a video could include (let’s say in this example the athletes name is John Smith):
Current High School or Club Coach
• What qualities as an athlete and a member of your team come to mind when you think of John Smith?
• Can you provide some details around John Smith’s work ethic and coachability?
• Can you provide some insight on John Smith’s leadership qualities, relationship with teammates and overall character?
Current teammates are great ones to create a video with because if they are trying to be recruited as well you could record videos for each other.
• What qualities as an athlete come to mind when you think of John Smith?
• Can you provide some details around John Smith’s work ethic?
• Can you provide some insight on John Smith’s leadership qualities, character and being a teammate?
You might think it is crazy to create a video of your parents talking about you but coaches are often concerned about “over the top” parents who are way too involved in every detail of a potential recruit’s career. If you can create a video of your parents that shows their support while communicating that they are normal, grounded people, this will only be a positive for you. All things being equal, if it were to come down to you and an athlete whose parents were potentially “over-the-top” and “pushy” the coach is going to be much more willing to give you an offer. Coaches don’t want the additional stresses and difficulties some parents can add to their jobs and programs by being overbearing. Questions for your parents might include:
• In what type of program and school would you like to see John?
• Over the years what has most impressed you about John as an athlete?
• What qualities do you think John will bring to a college team?
• What is your best memory of John playing sports?
An Opponent’s Coach
If you can get a coach of one of your opponents to do a video for you this could be extremely valuable. If an opponent’s coach knows about your skill/level of play and is willing to talk about it in a positive way this can be very powerful in hitting a cord with college coaches. College Coaches know what it is like to strategize and try to contain a quality opponent and having a coach talk about you in that way is a big statement about you as an athlete. Questions for an opponent’s coach might include:
• What comes to mind when you think of John Smith as a player?
• Would he be the type of player your team would acknowledge and strategize against prior to a game?
• How does he rate among the best players in the conference?
*Remember you can edit these videos before posting
Having a teacher or school administrator do a reference video for you can help a college coach better understand how important academics are to you as well as giving credibility to your character outside the athletic environment. Coaches want to know they are recruiting good people and not just good athletes. Questions you could have a teacher or school administrator answer could be:
• What comes to mind when you think of John as a student and member of your high school community?
• Can you give some background of John’s academic work ethic and preparation when it comes to exams/projects?
• Please describe John’s character and attitude outside athletics?
Remember, these questions are just a guide. If you can think of some better questions that would provide better answers and position you in a better light to college coaches you should use them.
I try to keep these questions at a very high level (not overly specific) and let the individual talk and expand their answer naturally. These videos should not be long, 2-3 minutes per video tops. These coaches do not have the time to watch long videos nor do they want to. Also, remember the goal of these videos: to engage with coaches and schedule a next step (i.e. visit, meeting, phone call, etc.), not to tell your life story.
Next Page: How To Create These Recruiting Videos