basketball highlight video

There is little doubt that a well planned basketball highlight video is an important part of the college basketball recruiting process. A good basketball highlight video can gain you the attention that you seek, and a bad highlight video can have you thrown into a pile, never to be acknowledged again.

It sounds harsh, but that is the world that college basketball coaches live in. Having friends, family and acquaintances in that line of work, I have seen it first hand. Here are 5 tips on how to make the best basketball highlight video.

5 Tips to Creating a Basketball Highlight Video

#1 Keep the Highlight Video Short

College coaches are incredibly busy; between planning practices, creating schedules, organizing players and staff, making recruiting calls, the list goes on and on. A college basketball coach’s time is very limited. The last thing a coach wants to do is sift through a 7 minute highlight video that includes clips of a player shooting free throws.

Highlight videos should be 3 to 3 ½ minutes long MAX! This means that you are going to have to cut out clips that may show diversity or defensive ability, but no coach wants to watch more than 3 ½ minutes of highlights. Keep all of your clips short and to the point!

#2 Include an Entire Game after your Highlights

The purpose of any highlight video is to get the coach’s attention. But coaches aren’t dumb. They know that any player can put together 3 minutes of highlights and make themselves look like an All-American.

If you are fortunate enough to get their attention with your basketball highlight video, they will want to see you perform in an unedited game. A highlight video might suggest that you can shoot or pass, but coaches know that there is so much more to a player than highlights.

Can a point guard handle pressure? Can a shooter make the correct read when coming off of a screen? Does the player take care of the ball? Does the player encourage his or her teammates? Does the player talk on defense? These are all the things coaches look for in a full game. Tip #2, include a good game after your highlights.

#3 Skip the Music and other Bells and Whistles

The first thing a coach is going to do if you are lucky enough to have one of them pop your DVD into their computer or click the video link, is turn the volume down. The bells and whistles are a distraction and a coach does not care how cool it makes the highlight video look or sound. This is not a “mixtape” to get you more followers on social media. This is a tool used to help you get recruited!

Also, you don’t need to use unnecessary graphics in your basketball highlight video. Highlight videos that pause and add circles or arrows only serve to slow the film down and take up more of the coach’s time. If a basketball player thinks that they are hard to find in a “highlight”, then unfortunately it is not a highlight and should be left out of the video.

#4 Focus the Video on a few of your Strengths

When coaches watch film, there are a few things that can really catch their eye: can the player shoot? Can he or she get to the basket and finish? Can they create baskets for themselves and their teammates? Can they pass? Can they rebound? Can they block shots?

Players should focus on their three best skills and organize the clips accordingly. It is much more powerful for a coach to see 10 straight clips of a player knocking down 10 straight three pointers than it is to show one three pointer, one pass, one drive, then another three, then a free throw and so on. Check this highlight video out for a good example of breaking down highlights by skill.

For example, if a player wants to highlight their shooting ability, their passing ability and their driving ability, they should structure the film with 8-10 clips of outside shooting, followed by 5-10 clips of good passes and 5-10 clips of driving and finishing at the rim. At the end, if time permits, players can add in hustle plays or other clips that don’t fall into the three areas of focus. This structure creates a much more powerful and memorable highlight video.

#5 Include all the Necessary Information

Again, coaches must maximize their available time. The last thing a coach wants to do is become interested in a player’s film, only then to be frustrated by the fact that they can’t find their contact information. Players should include an opening screen with the following information:

  1. Name
  2. City
  3. High School
  4. Graduation Year
  5. Grade Point Average
  6. Jersey Color and Number
  7. Contact Information (email and phone number)
  8. High School Coach’s Contact Information (email and phone number)
  9. Height
  10. Position

It is also helpful to include a clear headshot within this screen. See the example below.

How to Make a Highlight Video
There are many details to consider when making a basketball highlight video. We hope you find these pointers helpful and that they lead to the attention you are seeking. 

Want more advice on how to play basketball in college? Read our blog on the subject here!

Logan Kosmalski is a former Davidson Wildcat and European professional basketball player as well as the co-founder of Pro Skills Basketball and co-director of Pro Skills Basketball Charlotte.

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