From Behind the Camera

I spent Friday at a Softball Showcase in Lockport, New York filming a great softball player for an upcoming highlight reel.  Tons of coaches were there to see her and she played great!

Also, had a lot of windshield time (about 5 hours!) to think about things in general and this tournament in particular and what I saw.

As I was thinking about what to write, it occurred to me there were some great life lessons I was reminded of while filming these games.

college-recruiting-showcase-highlight-videoForget About the Last Play

The player I was filming had a great 2 games.  Not every play was perfect (though most were) but her reaction was steady whether she performed well or had a disappointment.  I’m sure the coaches in the stands saw what I saw – that she forgot about the last play and got herself ready for the next.  And, she did.  That was great to watch and I saw multiple coaches approach her after the game.

 

Remember, it is a Game

There was a play where there was a collision and, as part of that, a blown call.  All credit to the coach who FIRST asked if the player (on the opposing team) was alright and only after confirming she was, CALMLY discussed the play with the umpire who ultimately got it right.  Then, another disputed call and the same coach again calmly discussed the play while reminding everyone (including himself) this was a showcase for the young ladies which kept everything on the right note.  Great job, Coach!

Course Correction is a Constant

The player had a tough time at the plate.  But, what happened next was fantastic.  The father jumped up on the next at bat and filmed her with his iPhone and he and I both looked at the swing in slow motion and saw that it was a minor adjustment to correct which I am sure she did for the rest of the weekend.  Lesson here is the difference between success and disappointment is sometimes just a fraction of an inch – certainly the case here.  We always have to be ready to make adjustments to optimize our performance and often they are smaller than we think.

Your Body of Work is Important – Player and Parent

This was a showcase for softball players in the area and there was a lot of talent there.  The young lady I was filming had several coaches in the stands to see her which is a testament to how she prepared day in and day out to get into this position and way before this tournament.  Great parenting too as they didn’t say a word to her during the game.  Often times, parents are way too involved and this only makes it harder for the player.  Letting them “figure it out” is one of the great teaching moments and builds confidence.

Have Fun and Stay Loose

The first game didn’t go well for the team overall and they had about a 2 hour break before the next game.  Rather than focus on the loss, they came back having fun, laughing, encouraging each other and putting a smile on the face of everyone at the game – me included!  Oh, they scored a bunch in the first inning and kept scoring throughout the game.  I believe there was a direct connection between attitude and results.

Fundamentals and Repetition are Key

As I watched both games this morning on my computer, I saw the player doing the same thing each pitch.  Same footwork, moving toward the plate on each pitch, backing up the play, reading the ball off the bat, anticipating and knowing exactly where to be next.  This didn’t happen on Friday – it happened in practice starting years ago.  “Practice makes perfect” or as my Dad used to say “perfect practice makes perfect”.

Coaches Building Coaches

In the second game in particular, both coaches were fantastic at motivating and teaching in a positive way.  Always upbeat and using self deprecating humor to make a point which was well-received by the players.  And, I cannot help but think that these lessons will transfer into these young ladies as they continue their softball careers and their careers after sports.  I think about the impact they will have on the people they will influence throughout their lives.

So, I hope there are some encouraging things here for you and your athlete to consider.  Have a great week and finish the Summer season strong!

John

 

Soccer Video Examples

Good Morning!

I often get asked to share some soccer video examples that we have produced for various sports.  Today, I would like to showcase some of our soccer players from across the country.  Enjoy!

Micah Curry – Frisco, Texas

 

Madison Marshall – St. Petersburg, Florida

 

Sideris Kosaris – Vancouver, Washington

 

Landon Davison – Apopka, Florida

 

Music, Game Sound or Silent?

We can produce your videos with music, leave the game sound in or just take the volume out completely.  It is all about your personal preference.  One thing I often say to parents and athletes is that a great player will get noticed either way!

 

If You Would Like to Get Started With Soccer Videos

We love helping athletes achieve their dreams – it is the passion behind ProspectReels.com and Prospectsites.com!

Either drop us a note or go directly to ProspectReels if you would like to learn more.

Have a great season!

 

John

 
ProspectReels.com was founded on the principle of giving serious high school athletes the ability to improve their chances to get recruited by showcasing their talents online and sharing those talents with college coaches and others involved in college athletic recruiting so that they can get recruited and perhaps even earn an athletic scholarship.

How to Shoot Great Sports Videos

We work a lot with parents and athletes who video their own games.  Many people are worried that the quality of the cameras on their phones or tablets won’t do the job.  Not true!

Today’s phones and tablets are packed with great camera technology enabling you to capture your son or daughter’s game in amazing quality and clarity.

Having said that, we have some tips for you to get the most out of your sports videos.

For All Cameras

  • Don’t zoom in too close!  The tendency for most people is to try and follow their athlete too closely.  This puts a lot of pressure on the videographer and actually takes away from what is happening “off the ball”. You’re better off pulling back a little and then let the editor zoom in if necessary to capture the larger play.  Generally, in field and court sports, try to capture 1/4 – 1/3 of the field of play.
  • Watch the Game Through the Finder.  Yes, it’s hard to do!  But, if you are able to do this, your video will turn out exponentially better.  And, now that you’re pulled back, all you have to do is (smoothly) move the camera to keep the play in the frame of the camera.
  • Get a Tripod.  This is the best way to get steady video of a game.  They are available for cameras and Smartphones.  You can find one locally or check out Amazon below.  Just make sure the tripod is able to pivot to follow the play.

  • Keep Rolling!  Unless there is a stoppage in the game, keep the camera on for the entire game so that you capture everything or, more importantly, you don’t miss anything.   From an editing standpoint, it is better to have too much footage.

For Smartphone and Tablet Cameras

Shoot the Game in Landscape versus Portrait. This is the best way to capture the game.  When you shoot in landscape mode, you are capturing more of the field and the editing is much easier and the quality of the video will be higher.

 

 

Where to Position Yourself and the Camera

It varies by sport, but generally you want to be up above the field of play and positioned in the middle of the field of play.  This is not always possible so the best advice is to get to the best possible vantage point to capture the game and your player to the best of your ability.

Final Thoughts

Final word of advice is to practice before the game – just like your athlete!   Spend some time practicing and following the play before the whistle blows.

So, I hope this gives you some ideas on how to video your athlete like a pro!  Hope your Summer is going well.

John

Marketing Your Athlete to College Coaches

One of the questions I often get asked after completing a video for them is “How Do I Market My Athlete”?  And it is the right question to ask.

Your Athlete is the Product

Think of your athlete as the product and you are trying to launch the product into the marketplace.  And, as you think about a product that you have purchased, what did the company your purchase from do to encourage you to follow through?

The Product Itself

First, the product needs to have features that a prospective customer would find compelling.  At the most basic level, please consider the following:

Performance – The core of the product.  What can you expect from it.  In recruiting, how does your athlete perform on the field of play.

Features – Beyond performance, what additionally can you expect from the product.  For an athlete, how do they perform off the field i.e. grades, community service, leadership, etc.

Reliability – This is the promise that the product will perform as expected repeatedly.

Durability – Similar to reliability, durability is the ability to perform over time.

Marketing the Product – The Assets

So, the next step is to break these down by category and determine what assets or actions you need to align with each categories.

Performance – The best asset you have is your recruiting video.  This is the commercial for your athlete.  It is the evidence that they can actually play and play well enough to be considered for a roster spot.

Features – This is where an athlete website or profile comes into play.  If you do not have a website for your athlete, you should consider one.  There are many out there and we offer these at our companion site Prospectsites.com.  The point is that a website offers you the opportunity to tell the rest of the story – grades, leadership, community involvement, recent events, upcoming games and more.

Reliability – Reliability will be the responsibility of the athlete and something they need to perfect on a daily basis.  Word of mouth is the best advertising that applies here.  Their coaches, teammates and anyone who knows them.  It can also include their social media (which I will get into in another post).  For now, just know that coaches will search your athlete’s social media to ensure that their character aligns with their performance.

Durability – In terms of the athlete, this means performing at their best every play, every game, every day.  I watch a lot of video.  The athletes that have this same intensity throughout the game are the ones that go the furthest in the recruiting process.  When a coach asks for full game video, this is one of the things that they are looking for.  So, again, this is the responsibility of the athlete.

Marketing the Product – The Plan

I highly recommend finding a database of college coaches.  One that I used for my sons (but am not affiliated with) is Collegiate Directories.  This database is touted as the largest database of its kind for college coaches and administrators.  It has all divisions and schools with email addresses where you can send the coach an introductory email including links to your athlete video or website.

On that point, when you send the email, I recommend the following:

Subject

This needs to grab the coach’s attention immediately.  Something like “6′ 2″ / 225 lb. All State Running Back with 4.3 Speed”, “All Conference Point Guard Averaging 22 PPG and 11 APG”, “All Area Lacrosse Attack/Midfield Player”.  Anything you write here should be humble and accurate!

Body of the Email

Consider saying something like this:

Dear Coach (personalize with the coach’s name!)

My name is _____ and I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about the possibility of earning a spot on your roster.  I am a (Junior, Senior) at _______ high school and I also play for the _________ (Club Team).  Playing college sports has been a lifetime dream of mine and I have dedicated myself every day to contributing to the success of every team I have played for through effort, leadership and listening to my coaches on areas where I need to improve.  I am ready for the next challenge!

I would appreciate it if you would take a look at my website (or video) which is (insert link).  If you believe that there may be a potential fit within your program, I would welcome the opportunity to explore that with you further.

Sincerely,

(Athlete’s Name)

On that point, this needs to come from the athlete.  This shows commitment and effort – 2 things college coaches are definitely looking for.

Summary

I hope you found this post to be helpful.  This is a very exciting time and brings together all the years of hard work to reach the ultimate goal.  Please drop me a note with any questions or comments by clicking here.

Enjoy the journey!

John

Spring Sports Highlight Videos

It has been a busy month working with athletes and their parents to produce spring sports highlight videos for their recruiting efforts. Here are a few tips to make sure your video is the best it can be:

Get the Camera Out!

And, any camera will work. Whether it’s your phone, tablet, mini camcorder, make sure you capture your player during the game. For best results, stay steady and try to capture about a third of the field of play and try to keep the action in the middle of the view finder.

Organize Your Videos

It’s always a good idea to find room on your computer and organize the videos – ideally by date and opponent in separate folders. You might also consider doing a quick write up on the game to remember games where your player had their best showing.

Put Together a Sports Highlight Video

At a minimum, you should consider a 3 – 4 minute sports highlight video for each season. And, if their level of play shows improvement during the season, consider multiple videos and organize them by season.

Start a YouTube Channel

One way to organize your sports highlight videos is to start your own channel on YouTube. This will make it easy to send links to college coaches and get on the radar when it is time for the recruiting process to begin.

We Can Help!

We are both thankful and proud to be a part of your college recruiting journey and have helped many families with high quality, produced videos to showcase the athlete’s talents. Whether you are interested in attracting the attention of college coaches or just want a keepsake for you and your athlete, we will put a video together that puts your athlete in the best light.

Hope everyone had a successful Spring Season and that your Summer Season is full of great memories.

The College Selection Soccer Summit

I am honored to be participating in this upcoming College Selection Soccer Summit event as one of the speakers. Buford Mobley, who is leading the event, is doing great things to help high school soccer players get recruited to play at the college level. He has assembled quite a diverse group of speakers on a variety of topics to help your athlete reach their full potential.

College athlete recruiting is hard work and it goes way beyond just the performance on the field.  Grades, fitness, nutrition, college recruiting videos, athlete websites – just to name a few – our absolute essentials in winning the prize!

Buford has also pulled together several soccer coaches who will speak at this online event.  It’s a must see!

Please plan on joining the event. Here is a link to learn more.

https://thecollegeselectionsoccersummit.com/ref/jswigard/

 

COLLEGE ATHLETIC RECRUITING AND WHY WE WERE CREATED
ProspectReels.com was founded on the principle of giving serious high school athletes the ability to improve their chances to get recruited by showcasing their talents online and sharing those talents with college coaches and others involved in college athletic recruiting so that they can get recruited and perhaps even earn an athletic scholarship.

College Selection Soccer Summit

Wanted to let you know about a college selection soccer summit coming up on the college recruiting process for soccer players.  This is hosted by Buford Mobley and is scheduled for October 2 – 7, 2017.  This is a free summit featuring several speakers (including me) and will show video interviews of several experts in the college recruiting field.

College Selection Soccer Summit

College Recruiting Summit for Soccer Athletes

The summit will be focusing on the following:

  • How you can get your athlete noticed and recruiting by College Soccer coaches
  • How to find the right college for your athlete – academically, athletically and socially
  • How to do all of this without breaking the bank!

The summit will feature an incredible line up of soccer coaches and trainers, youth sports mental trainers, sports parenting experts, soccer parents and players, and others.  You will also hear other great topics including athlete profiles, athlete videos, sports nutrition, training and much more.

Please visit https://thecollegeselectionsoccersummit.com/home to learn more!

COLLEGE ATHLETIC RECRUITING AND WHY WE WERE CREATED
ProspectReels.com was founded on the principle of giving serious high school athletes the ability to improve their chances to get recruited by showcasing their talents online and sharing those talents with college coaches and others involved in college athletic recruiting so that they can get recruited and perhaps even earn an athletic scholarship.

Learn How to Shoot Sports Highlight Videos Footage

We are disrupting the sports highlight videos market because we are showing parents and high school athletes a way to save money and get their high school athlete recruited!

One of the key questions that we get asked is whether or not you need to pay someone to video your athlete’s games.  Answer is no.

Learn How to Create Your Own Sports Highlight Videos

Sports Highlight Videos

Most of our sports highlight videos are put together with footage from a cell phone, hand held camcorder or an iPad.  They shoot perfectly good video which we can download and clip to make a memorable video that college coaches will take action on.

A couple of tips will help you get the best possible video that we can work with and here they are:

  1. Zoom in.  Best thing you can do to get the best footage is to make sure you are zoomed in close enough on the athlete.  Just make sure you are not too close so coaches can see the rest of the players within a reasonable distance.  If your athlete is at the plate in baseball, get both the pitcher and the batter.  If football is your sport, make sure you pick up the athlete clearly but also those around them so we can see the play develop.  In basketball, let’s see the ball handling, passing, etc. Again, with enough space to see the player clearly andthose immediately around them.
  2. Steady.  Best advice here is a tripod or leaning against something to minimize the “bouncing” of the shot.  It’s a fine line between zoom and steady, but that is the key.
  3. Cell Phone Videos.  We prefer landscape versus portrait.  Again, allows more of the play in the picture.
  4. Move with the play and in sync with the play.  This takes some real concentration but can be done.  You just need to commit to viewing the play through the eyes of the camera versus following off screen.  Inevitably, there will be a lag and a quick “catch up.”  Takes a little practice but you will get it quickly.  On that point, practice before the game (just like your player).  That way, you’ll be ready when the whistle blows.
  5. Get lots of video.  It’s much better to sift through a ton of video than to hope you catch the right play at the right time.  Gives us both more to choose from that we can edit into an impactful video.

Some of the best memories I have are those moments during the game with the camera rolling knowing that not only did I see the play real time but can relive it with my sons again – even years later.

So, prepare, be confident and go get those games on video.  Leave it to us to help you organize it so we get you toward the ultimate goal – a visit to a college and a chance to play at the next level!

We always recommend integrating your sports highlight videos into your online athlete profile. And, we can help there as well.  Just visit prospectsites.com to learn more.

To get started, just click here to see our pricing.

Of course, please reach out if we can answer any questions.

 

John

Summer is tournament time for many sports including baseball, softball, soccer,volleyball, lacrosse, track and field and many more. This is the time to start thinking about a sports highlight video.

sports highlight video

And, the college sports recruiting season is just around the corner so time is of the essence to get noticed by college coaches.

The good news is that during a tournament there are many games played and you should have a lot of hi

ghlights for your athlete. Particularly if they played well.

So, it makes sense to get those clips organized into a highlight reel that you can quickly send to college coaches. If you are a rising high school senior, that becomes even more important as college sports rosters are already filling up with commitments extended and accepted.

At this point, you do not have weeks to wait. You need to take action now. And, you have the tools in your hand to get the video you need of your athlete. Whether it is an iPhone or an inexpensive HD Video Camera, you can capture great video of your athlete  to put together a compelling sports highlight video. That is where we come in.  See our gallery for examples of videos we have created.

For just $129, we can help you organize your sports highlight video and get it in front of college coaches quickly. Our turnaround time is just 48 hours once we receive your clips. This is super easy and if you have any questions, we can help guide you through the process. Just call us and you will how working with prospectreels.com can be.

Victory goes to those who move decisively! Your athlete has been trained that way to perform on the field, do what it takes to win and the same applies for college athletic recruiting. Take action!

Let’s get started and get your high school athlete noticed. You will be glad you did.

High School Athlete Sports Highlight Video

In order for you to be recruited by college coaches as a high school athlete, you will need to develop a high school athlete sports highlight video which shows your capabilities.Sports Highlight Video

A lot of people I talk to seem a little overwhelmed by the thought of pulling together a college recruiting video. Thoughts come to mind like:

– Creating a college recruiting video is really expensive. I need the best equipment, etc.
– How do I know which shots are the most important?
– Once I have the sports highlights video, how do I pull it together?
– How long should the sports recruiting video be?

I’m sure there are many more….

What I want to do in this article is help reduce the anxiety of creating a high school athlete sports highlight video for your high school athlete.

Let’s start with the basics.

 

 

The First Thing You Need is a Camera

Not rocket science here. But, what is misunderstood is that your camera doesn’t have to cost $2000. I have personally used a Sony DVD camera and my personal phone to film all of my son’s videos.

Some can be taken on a tri-pod and some are hand held, it depends on the athlete’s sport and position. You can get a camera that does the job for less than $300.

Which Shots to Take

I think the most important thing here is just using common sense. The best advice is to showcase your high school athlete in action in a way that would encourage a college coach, and others involved in college athletic recruiting, to contact them and set up a recruiting visit. If your son is a running back, I’d highlight his best sports highlights showing acceleration, change of direction, catching the ball out of the backfield, blocking, etc. Try to put yourself in the position of being the coach or those in the college recruiting process and try to imagine what he or she might want to see.

 

How to Pull the Video Together

Actually, there are a lot of options here.

First, you can buy video editing software for less than $100. I have two that I have used. First is for Windows and it is called Power Director. Very inexpensive, highly featured and allows you to add your video, text, images, and more to produce a high-quality video. Many of my son’s first videos were produced in Power Director.

The other video editing software I have used is iMovie on my Mac. Very simple, highly featured and does a great job. You cannot go wrong with either one.

Now, we use both Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premier.  Both set a higher standard for video production.

Secondly, you can contact us and we will be happy to produce your video for you, we offer the lowest price you will find, just $129. Take a look at our gallery at the following link: http://prospectreels.com/gallery/

How Long Should the Athlete Recruiting Video Be?

I get asked this question a lot. Rule of thumb from my perspective is 3 to 4 minutes. Long enough to show everything you want to show but short enough to get to the point. And, that brings me to another thought – when you are pulling in your clips into the video editor, cut them down so that you can see the sports highlight right away. Don’t have the coach waiting for 10+ seconds to see the highlight.

We Produce Sports Recruiting Videos

 

At Prospectreels.com, we have had the privilege of producing many sports highlight videos for aspiring college athletes. We use a very straight forward approach and apply the principles listed above. And, they work. Our athletes get the attention of college coaches and get you where you need to be – in front of a coach at a college recruiting visit.

So, hopefully I have given you some tips to help you get started and not to be overwhelmed by creating an athlete highlight video for recruiting. This may be the single most important thing you can do to get exposure. So, get started and take a shot!

If you need any help, just drop me a line or click here to take advantage of our sports highlight video products and services.

 

John