Softball Video Guidance
Having high-quality video is an important part of the recruiting process. Before recruiting athletes, college coaches want to learn as much as they possibly can about athletes and one of the best ways to do this is by watching video.
FieldLevel has spoken to numerous college softball coaches about what they want AND don’t want to see in an athlete’s video.
Here are the most important things you can do to impress college coaches with the best video possible.
1. Create a Highlight Reel
Your highlight reel is a chance to showcase your best moments as an athlete and catch a coach’s eye. Be sure to demonstrate your offensive and defensive skills. If you’re a pitcher, show how you can pitch and field your position.
|Your highlight reel should …||Your highlight reel shouldn’t …|
|– Include an introduction of yourself at the beginning to show coaches your personality.|
– Showcase your best clips first — ensure they are high-quality and shot from helpful camera angles (behind the catcher, behind the pitcher, from the side, etc.).
– Include metrics or stats from validated/reliable sources like Blast Motion or Diamond Kinetics.
– Display your best positions/tools:
Pitchers: show your best pitches, strikeouts, and moments when you hit your spots. Don’t forget to show how you can field your position, and communicate with your catcher and defense as well.
Catchers: show how well you receive a mix of pitches. Showcase your framing and blocking. Show off your quick release and arm strength. And don’t forget to show how you call and manage a game, including communicating with your pitchers, defense, and coaches.
INF/OF: showcase big plays, demonstrate your footwork and glovework, show off your range, speed, and arm strength.
Hitters: Show your approach and how you can make consistent contact every time. Show how you can hit a mix of pitches. Demonstrate your power but keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be a home run every swing.
|– Include any clips that are shot from behind a fence or that are generally poor quality.|
– Only include clips of you hitting — show you are more than a one-dimensional player.
– Be too long — try to keep it concise.
– Include any music because a lot of coaches like to hear the sound of the contact.
2. Showcase your Positional Skills
Coaches also like watching players go through drills demonstrating position-specific skills. These videos capture game-like situations from clear angles and help showcase your mechanics, range, footwork, body language, athleticism, etc.
Tips for Position-Specific Videos
- Show videos of you working with your pitching coach — college coaches will want to see how coachable you are and if you can quickly implement feedback into reps.
- Record videos of you throwing a variety of different pitches, always making sure to include the pitch speed if possible.
- Be aware of your glove placement and what happens to your drag foot in your videos.
- Include videos of you hitting live pitching or from a machine — only show swings from front or side toss if the other two aren’t viable options for you.
- Show that you can hit to all fields and provide exit velocity if possible.
- Prove that you can bunt. If you’re great at bunting, show off your skills.
- Showcase your footwork, glovework, arm strength, and range.
- Demonstrate that you can field your position including pop-ups, line-drives, ground balls, short-hops, etc.
- Include videos where you field the ball off a live bat, if possible.
Regardless of your position, show college coaches you’re comfortable fielding your position. Put your best reps of various skills at the beginning, replicate game-like situations as much as possible, and make sure all of your clips are high-quality and shot from helpful angles.
3. Feature your Athleticism
While the way you play in games always speaks the loudest, showcasing your athletic ability is important in the evaluation process. Many coaches are looking for great athletes who might be able to play multiple or different positions in college, so upload videos that highlight your athleticism. It’s also important to verify specific measurements for college coaches.
|Your athleticism videos should …||Your athleticism videos shouldn’t …|
|– Inform coaches of your recent statistics — spin rate, exit velocity, pitching speed, and any other data that you can acquire.|
– Include clips of you doing push-ups, pull-ups, and performing a vertical jump.
|– Include false information or embellish your numbers — college coaches will eventually confirm what you tell them.|
4. Have Game Tape Readily Available
Coaches might also want to watch full games to see how you compete and make sure what they saw in your highlights or drills is consistent. College coaches also watch game videos to see how you carry yourself in between plays/innings, interact with your coaches and teammates, react to adversity, lead your team, and more. Having 2-3 games readily available if college coaches ask for it is ideal if it’s possible.
|Your game videos should …||Your game videos shouldn’t …|
|– Prove you’re aware of your surroundings and that you’re always anticipating what’s going to happen next.|
– Show you making things happen on the field — how you react and recover if a play doesn’t go as hoped.
|– Be filmed from too far away — give coaches a clear view of you and the field.|
– Have unnecessary music or edits — coaches need to see plays in real-time.
5. Record Verified Measurables
Coaches will sometimes want 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 include …||Your verified measurable videos shouldn’t include …|
|– Your height.|
– Your weight.
|– Any false information — video doesn’t lie.|
These things will likely impress any softball 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:
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