High School Basketball Dunk

How to Make a Highlight Video for Men’s College Basketball


Coaching staff members in the sport of basketball would love to be able to observe their most promising prospects in person. However, they simply do not have the resources or time to view every potential client in this light. Basketball highlights are on the way. A recruit's chances of getting a second in-person evaluation increase when they submit a well-produced highlight video to a coach. To make a video that stands out, follow these guidelines. 

The importance of a college basketball recruiting video

The hard truth is that most coaches don't just "discover" potential recruits. It's impossible for them to see every player in person because of their limited resources. Since high school and college basketball games are spread out over a longer period of time in comparison to other sports, it's nearly impossible for coaches to travel during the season. That's why recruiting in basketball has become so reliant on highlight videos. They are able to attract the attention of coaches in a matter of minutes and help student-athletes receive a second evaluation. Think of it as the first step toward getting noticed by a coach and securing an opportunity to be evaluated in person in the near future.

How to make a basketball skills video

Shooting a men's basketball skills video has the advantage of not necessitating the elaborate production values of a traditional highlight reel. The quality of your basketball skills video doesn't have to be perfect; it's more important to play at game speed and demonstrate your athleticism and technical proficiency than it is to have every shot go in. 

In the video, coaches want to see multiple reps of drills that showcase your skills, including: 

  • Ball handling and shooting drills
  • Change of speed and direction
  • Jumping and leaping
  • Strength training and conditioning workouts, like box jumps and speed ladder work
  • Shooting range and consistency

College basketball recruiting video tips 

It's possible that a video of a student-best athlete's basketball plays could lead to an in-person evaluation. It's not as difficult as it sounds to put together a highlight reel. Create a video that stands out by following these simple guidelines: 

  • Ahead of time, check with your high school coach to see if they have any existing footage. Hudl, an online video service for high school coaches, is a popular option.
  • Take part in high-level AAU games or national tournaments if you want to challenge yourself against the best. Coaches want to see how you stack up against the best players in the country. Videos from two or three games should be sufficient, but you have the option of using more.
  • Make sure the student-athlete is clearly visible while focusing the camera from the middle of the court. People on the court or those crossing the street should not be in the way of the camera's field of view.
  • A shaky camera can be avoided by using a tripod.
  • You shouldn't be zooming in and out all the time.
  • The person filming the match should not be cheering. Mute the video completely if the background noise is too loud or distracting. Don't even bother with adding any background music.
  • A title card that includes your name and graduation year, such as "John Doe Basketball Recruiting Video Class of 2021," should be included in your basketball highlight video.
  • Start with your best clips when stacking your clips. In most cases, you'll begin your video by showcasing your ability to shoot.
  • Organize your clips around your top three or four strengths and use them to your advantage. Showing six straight three-pointers, for example, is far more impressive than one three-pointer, a pass, a free throw, and then perhaps another three.
  • To keep your video under four minutes, limit it to 20 to 30 clips.
  • One unedited full-game video should also be sent to college coaches. Following a look at their highlights, they'll want to check out the rest of their game.

Basketball highlight videos are used by college coaches to evaluate prospective recruits.

Highlight videos are a great way for student-athletes to showcase their best attributes to college coaches, including their athleticism, versatility, and basketball intelligence, all in a short amount of time. It is important for coaches to look for recruits with the proper technique and ability to perform the fundamentals. For example, they want to see footage from varsity high school games and national tournaments, as well as elite camp and showcase footage. In order for a coach to get a sense of the recruit's basketball IQ and game awareness, he or she must look at the player's performance in an unedited full game, which provides additional information. Therefore, in addition to one complete game, we always recommend sending a brief but impactful highlight film.

Can you recommend any good music for a basketball highlight video?

An athlete's performance shouldn't suffer because of the music they are listening to. As a result, adding music to a highlight video of a basketball game is generally discouraged. There is nothing more important to a coach than evaluating a new player, so they don't give a hoot about the finer details. Because of excessive noise, like yelling, I recommend turning off the sound completely.

How long should a highlight video of a basketball game be?

Athletics student-athletes must be fast and effective in order to draw the attention of their coaches. Basketball highlight reels should be no longer than four minutes long and feature at least 20 of the athlete's most impressive plays. Student-athletes are required to submit a full game film in addition to a brief highlight reel. Once they've seen the player's highlight reel, the coach will want to see them play in an uncut game to get a better idea of their potential. Highlight your shooting prowess in your video.

Organize your clips around your top three or four strengths and use them to your advantage. Showing six straight three-pointers, for example, is far more impressive than one three-pointer, a pass, a free throw, and then perhaps another three.

To keep your video under four minutes, limit it to 20 to 30 clips.

One unedited full-game video should also be sent to college coaches. Following a look at their highlights, they'll want to check out the rest of their game. 

Center highlight video

College coaches want to evaluate the strongest parts of a center’s game. They look for technique and the ability to overpower players. Height and wingspan are key physical tools that will stand out, as well.

  • Shooting ability (range) and ability to finish around the rim
  • Ability to score against traditional post defense
  • Rebounding
  • Shot blocking and defensive ability to disrupt flow and passes (even when not blocking shots)
  • Successfully guard multiple positions
  • Quickness and footwork
  • Properly executed pick and roll plays and defensive stops
  • Game awareness—ability to process in-game time and make the right decisions 

Point guard highlight video

Scoring and shooting ability is the most important aspect for perimeter players. Point guards who can take control, possess leadership skills and have a take-charge attitude will stand out.

  • Shooting ability (range) and scoring
  • Ability to penetrate and finish at the rim
  • Ball handling and passing (making the right pass, knowing when to pass—and when not to)
  • Court vision and controlling pace of the game
  • Good decisions in transition
  • Quickness
  • Defense rotations and ability to guard bigger players and multiple positions
  • Game awareness—ability to process in-game time and make the right decisions

Power forward highlight video

Power forwards need to have a dynamic skill set and be able to demonstrate their ability to shoot, especially at mid-range.

  • Shooting ability (range) and ability to finish around the rim
  • Rebounding
  • Shot blocking and defensive ability to disrupt flow of the game (even when not blocking shots)
  • Successfully guard multiple positions
  • Quickness and footwork
  • Game awareness—ability to process in game time and make the right decisions

Power forwards are highly sought after by college basketball programs, and hopeful recruits should be prepared to show that they are a well-rounded player. Athletes' strength on the court is what coaches look for in their players; this includes everything from regaining possession of the ball after it has been lost to demonstrating their defense, blocking shots, and adapting to the other team's style.

Shooting guard highlight video

Coaches obviously want to evaluate a shooting guard’s ability to score, and they’re also looking at their technique and whether they can execute the fundamentals.

  • Shooting ability and range 
  • Ability to make shots when moving off the dribble (catch and shoot movement)
  • Defensive ability to stop penetration
  • Active hands and touches on the ball
  • Ball handling—this is a must for shooting guards
  • Court vision
  • Quickness
  • Defense rotations and ability to guard bigger players and multiple positions, as well as help defense when opponent is driving by
  • Game awareness—ability to process in game time and make the right decisions

In the video below, former men’s basketball coach John Pugliese breaks down what shooting guards should include in their highlight videos. Recruits interested in competing at the next level need to display more than their shooting and scoring abilities to land a roster spot—they also need to show college coaches what separates them from their competition.

Small forward highlight video

Versatility is important among small forwards. Similar to shooting guards, small forwards need to be exceptional shooters, especially at the short-to mid-range scoring area.  

  • Shooting ability and range
  • Ability to make shots when moving off the dribble (catch and shoot movement)
  • Defensive ability to stop penetration
  • Active hands and touches on the ball
  • Ball handling
  • Court vision
  • Quickness
  • Defense rotations and ability to guard bigger players and multiple positions, as well as help defense when opponent is driving by
  • Game awareness—ability to process in game time and make the right decisions

Student-athletes interested in landing a small forward roster spot should highlight that they have a variety of skills on the basketball court. College coaches look for recruits who can use their size and strength to guard and defend multiple positions, are multi-level scorers and can play defense, finish and transition.

A tutorial on how to create a hudl basketball highlight video

Basketball coaches are increasingly using online video services, such as Hudl, to help them train their players. Hudl's standard guidelines for creating a highlight video should be followed by student-athletes: 

  1. Take part in high-level AAU games or national tournaments if you want to challenge yourself against the best. Coaches want to see how you stack up against the best players in the country. Videos from two or three games should be sufficient, but you have the option of using more.
  2. The student-athlete should be clearly visible and the camera should not be obscured by the crowd, other players on the court, or bystanders walking by when taking the photograph.
  3. You shouldn't be zooming in and out all the time.
  4. The person filming the match should not be cheering. Mute the video completely if the background noise is too loud or distracting. Don't even bother with adding any background music.
  5. A title card that includes your name and graduation year, such as "John Doe Basketball Recruiting Video Class of 2021," should be included in your basketball highlight video.
  6. Start with your best clips when stacking your clips. Shooting prowess is usually the first thing to be shown in a video. Post players should be able to do all of the following: shoot, finish around the rim, rebound, block shots, move quickly, and be able to defend (guarding multiple positions). Perimeter players should have the ability to score, penetrate, and finish at the rim, as well as ball handling, court vision, and defensive skills (guard bigger players and multiple positions).
  7. Organize your clips around your top three or four strengths and use them to your advantage. Showing six straight three-pointers, for example, is far more impressive than one three-pointer, a pass, a free throw, and then perhaps another three.
  8. To keep your video under four minutes, limit it to 20 to 30 clips.
  9. One unedited full-game video should also be sent to college coaches. Following a look at their highlights, they'll want to check out the rest of their full game

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