Your highlight tape is your resume.
It is your hook and you must put it together with that in mind.
This is the best presentation of yourself; what will make a coach want to see more of you.
At the end of the day, the performance that is showcased on the film is the most important part of your highlight tape.
Improving that performance and increasing the amount/level of highlight plays you are producing per game are not something that can be covered with a "how-to" guide.
That can only be done by improving your skills, understanding of the game, and overall playmaking ability.
However, we see many error's being made in one's highlight tape that can frustrate the viewer and turn them off from wanting more.
This guide will help you ensure that your skill level, and nothing else, is the focus of your highlight tape.
First, let's think back to the factors that determine a young athlete's placement at the next level.
Let's add another layer to athletic ability, because it is worth mentioning on it's own...
If you are fast, showcase that with your film. If you are not fast, do NOT showcase that with your film.
Also, note that there are 3 governing ideas to always consider when you are putting together your highlight tape:
Where do you host your highlight tape?
Hudl. For a young football player, it is as simple as that.
Hudl is a massively successful company; it has the trust of every college coach and is used by nearly every high school football program in the country.
This means that nearly every high school athlete is on their platform.
A football coach expects your film to be on Hudl, and a Hudl page and highlight is all you need as a young football athlete.
If you do not have a Hudl profile, post your film on Youtube and then talk to your head coach, boosters, and teammates to get your team on Hudl.
The coach clicked “Play” to watch you play ball.
That means you want to get to your game film as soon as possible.
Your intro page will simply give context. Include your name and what the film is. (i.e. Junior Season, Senior Mid-Season, etc.)
A single still photo can help if it shows off a college level body type.
You want your film rolling ASAP!
Keep your highlight tape clean
Want to know how to frustrate the viewer? Waste their time.
Additional still photos, excessive time before the snap of the play, and keeping the film rolling during a play that drags on are all wastes of time.
Cut that out. You want big play after big play.
Also a waste of time? Using the same play twice, but with two different camera angles, just to make your tape longer.
If you think a college coach, who watches film more than he sees his own kids, is not going to notice, you are wrong.
Lastly, your tape does not need to be longer than 3 or 4 minutes. If they like what they see, they will want to see more. If they don't like the first minute, they likely won't watch the rest anyway.
Game tape only!
This is football. While athletes of some sports can showcase important skills for their specific sport with drills and practice, football is all about game film.
The violence, complexity, and anxiety that comes in a football game cannot be recreated anywhere else.
Keep your film limited to game film only.
If you do not yet have game highlights your focus needs to be on improving that situation!
Earn that starting role! Become a better ball player.
If you can show speed against competition, use that. Otherwise, nothing other than game film is valuable for your recruiting process until you get some highlights.
Make it easy to watch.
We see this far too often.
The coach is looking for you. Highlight or circle yourself BEFORE THE SNAP.
Post-snap is chaos. Do not highlight yourself right before you think your big play occurs. The coach wants to analyze what you do the entire play.
Highlighting post-snap is a key way to frustrate the viewer and make them think,
“Shut this thing off!” Even if you are balling out....it is still frustrating.
Film angles are also HUGE.
There is the WIDE camera view (the one from the press box)
And there is the ENDZONE view (the one from the endzone)
Certain positions call for certain camera angles to properly showcase the strengths and deficiencies. The endzone view often brings the most clarity.