Having the right video is key to the recruiting process. Coaches want to learn everything they can about an athlete before recruiting them and the best way to do this is by watching their videos.

FieldLevel has spoken to multiple college water polo coaches about what they want to see AND what they don’t want to see in an athlete’s video.

Here are 5 things you can do, as well as some additional position-specific tips, to impress college coaches and have the best video possible.

1. Create a Highlight Reel

Your highlight reel is a chance to showcase your best moments as an athlete. These are the moments that will catch a coach’s eye — without highlights, getting seen is nearly impossible. Post the highlights you do have and continue to upload new ones as time goes on.

Your highlight reel should…Your highlight reel shouldn’t…
– Show a variety of your strengths and skills including your ability to handle the ball, create opportunities under pressure, make a variety of shots, and play multiple positions.
– Show context — what happened prior to the highlight and what happens after it.
– Feature clips from games against a variety of teams at different levels of competition.
– Prove that you have a high water polo IQ — this includes having great awareness and anticipation skills.
– Include an introduction slide with your photo, team name, position, dominant hand, and physical measurements listed.
– Be too long — try and keep it concise.
– Just show one shot or skill — try and show that you’re more than just a one-dimensional player.
– Be complicated — there’s no need to stop, freeze frame, pause, replay clips, or include music.
– Show too many highlights against the same team.

“Everyone has highlights, coaches want to see what led up to that highlight … how the play developed.”

2. Have Game Footage Readily Available

Coaches will also want to study your game tape to verify the talent they saw in your highlights is consistent throughout a game. They will use your game video to see how you move, interact with your teammates, improve from game to game, and to evaluate your attitude and leadership abilities. It’s Important to have game-footage readily available in case college coaches request it from you — we recommend having at least 2-3 full game tapes at-hand and some half and quarter-games as well.

Your game video shouldYour game video shouldn’t…
– Include an introduction slide with information about the game — its location, the league or tournament, and who your opponent is.
– Provide identifying information such as your cap number — circling it in a different color or using an arrow animation will help.
– Show that you are a strong offensive and defensive player who is able to make quick decisions with confidence.
– Be from games where you showcase a lot of different things such as passing, setting up teammates, making solid assists, maintaining ball possession under pressure, supporting your teammates from the bench, and how you adjust for 6-on-5 play situations.
– Be high quality and show the full pool perspective, not just the camera following you.
– Occasionally show clips of the shot clock and scoreboard.
– Be readily available, should a coach request it from you.
– Be against a mediocre team — show that you can play well against good competition.
– Have unnecessary edits, animations, or music throughout.
– Be blurry, shaky, or shot from a far away distance.
– Have a lot of time where you are stagnant as a player — only use video from games where you are active throughout.

“Game video is essential for coaches, especially if they can’t see you in person.”

3. Showcase your Skills

Coaches are interested in seeing clear videos of you going through drills. These videos capture game-like situations from clear angles and help showcase your mechanics and range. Even if you don’t have access to a pool or water polo equipment, upload videos that feature your skills in other athletic situations which can contribute to your progression as a polo player. Additionally, it’s important to upload skill videos for each position you play.

Your skill videos should…Your skill videos shouldn’t…
– Show leg strength drills, egg beater drills, weight ball carrying, and band work.
– Show quickness drills, over the hip speed, reverse sculling, and tennis ball reflex work.
– Feature any impressive cross-training abilities and drills that have continuous movement into different skills.
– Showcase your shooting from various positions including catch and shoot, faking to a shot, and sniper shooting drills.
– Showcase the same skill or shot repeatedly.
– Include any drills that are unrelated to water polo — they should translate into game-like situations as much as possible.
– Be the only video you have available to send college coaches — make sure you have other kinds of video too.

“Be creative in staying active and prove your resilience during this time by simply doing what you can with what you have available.”

4. Feature your Athleticism

The way you play in games always speaks the loudest, but proving your athletic ability is important in the evaluation process. Post videos that highlight your strength and athleticism, and verify specific measurements.

Your athleticism videos should…Your athleticism videos shouldn’t…
– Include your 50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle swim times.
– Include your most recent stats – goals scored, steals, and assists.
– Include false information — don’t inflate your numbers.

“If you fake your athletic metrics, you will be exposed once in the college-level pool.”

5. Record Verified Measurables

Coaches will need to verify that your physical measurements are accurate. Measurable verification usually happens during visits, but you can make it easier for coaches by verifying your measurables with video.

Your verified measurable videos should listYour verified measurable videos shouldn’t list
– Your height
– Your weight (for men)
– Your wingspan (for goalies)
– Your dominant hand
– Any false information — video doesn’t lie.

Position-Specific Tips

These are position-specific videos that college coaches want to see.


  • Show your ability to set up counter-attacks and to create opportunities for yourself and others.
  • Show that you know when to move into open water to improve your scoring angles, your ability to score 5-meter goals, and your ability to make great assists.
  • Show your ability to read goalies and fake to throw them off.


  • Show how you have great awareness and good communication skills, that you know when and where to get into position, and your ability to keep possession of the ball while under pressure.
  • Showcase your step-outs, turns, backhands, and sweep shots.
  • Demonstrate that you can make high-pressure passes.


  • Show your ability to steal balls, read plays and players, and communicate well.
  • Show how you can anticipate shots, deliver great passes under pressure, and make controlled blocks.
  • Demonstrate your ability to stay on your legs, cover the cage laterally and vertically, clear balls effectively, and make 5-meter blocks.

Drivers & Utility Players…

  • Showcase your ability to make great drives with a purpose and create scoring opportunities.
  • Demonstrate your quickness, versatility, and ball-handling skills.
  • Show your ability to draw ejections by outplaying poor defense and anticipate your opponents’ moves.

Center Defenders…

  • Show your ability to anticipate, as well as your awareness and communication skills.
  • Show how you constantly fight to regain a good position and your ability to read offenses well.
  • Feature your steals to set and shot blocks.

These things will likely impress any water polo coach you speak with during the recruiting process. Coaches and athletes — if you would like to learn more or share the information found in this article, you can download our worksheet below.

If you have any questions about video or the recruiting process, the FieldLevel team is here to help you and support you. If there’s anything we can do, please contact us in one of the following ways:

Phone: 888-908-7124

Email: support@fieldlevel.com

Demo: Schedule a Time