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College Volleyball Recruiting Videos - 3 best practices

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How to proactively use your College Volleyball Recruiting Video 

I have had the honor of helping many high school volleyball players create college volleyball recruiting videos.  These videos showcase the skills and talents of a player in 3 to 5 minutes.  The videos usually live on the web (ie: Youtube), where search engines find them and include them in results for searches such as “libero, Class of 2023” and the like.  These videos can also be added to online recruiting services via a link. 

More directly, links to your video can be sent directly to a college coach with an introductory email expressing your interest in a particular volleyball program or college/university.  The beauty of this method, is that it allows a player who wants to play college volleyball to be proactive in her/his marketing.  A player can actually approach college coaches and make a connection to get the ball rolling for future conversations.  College programs are always looking for players, and players are looking for a college program - the trick is in making the connection to find the right fit for both parties.  

3 Best Practices for using your College Volleyball Recruiting Video

1. Do your homework!  What are your educational goals for college? What sort of volleyball program would you like to play with: DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, J.C., in what part of the country, etc.. What schools fit your criteria? Use the web, and your high school counselor.   Create a spreadsheet with the schools, locations, coaches, email addresses and urls, and any additional information pertinent to your search and interest.  Add schools/programs as you come across them.  Use this master spreadsheet to keep track of who you contact by email, if you hear back from them, what you hear back, any notes regarding your correspondence/conversations, and what you need to do next, etc.. This document will help keep you on track and organized.

2. Create an introductory email template which you will use to contact the coaches you have listed in your spreadsheet.  The email should be friendly in nature, concise, and respectful.  Your style, approach and information will be unique to you.   Here is a example of what it might be like:

Dear Coach ________,

My name is Joanne/Joe Smith, and I am a student at Central High School in Hometown, State.  I am in the class of 2____, and play (position/s) on the _________________ high school team, and the _______________ club team here in Hometown.  

I am very interested in ____________ college/university and the volleyball program.  (Tell the coach why you are interested in their program in particular/ what did you learn about their volleyball program/academic opportunities from your research that aligns with your interests?)

In my college search I am looking to find the right fit for my volleyball and academic goals and am very interested in learning more about the opportunities at __________ college/university.  I am including my contact information below, along with a link to my recruiting video.

(You can also tell them what tournaments you will be at and when they can see you play.)

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  I appreciate any feedback you have on my recruiting video.  Thank you for your time, and have a great season!

Sincerely,

 

Name

Contact information

(Link to Recruiting Video)

 

3.  Customize each email you send.  Make sure you have the correct coach (recruiting) and their name is spelled correctly!  Have an understanding of who the college team is and what the college/university offers, and tell the coach what appeals to you about this.  Ask questions if you have them – it starts a conversation!  Respect the coaches’ time - they are very busy people.  Therefore,  you’ll want to get your message across clearly and concisely.  Be prompt to follow up if they reply to you - it’s a great way to make a good impression and shows you are serious and dependable - good recruit potential!

Bonus best practice:  To help get a feel for what kind of college is a good fit, go visit some local colleges.  Take the admissions tour, and see what the local schools are all about.   Visit a variety - big and small.  When you are on the road, take a couple hours to visit campuses in the area.  This really gives you a good feel for what you like and don’t like - helping you narrow down your focus to the type of schools which would fit you best.  You want to make sure that both the academic offerings and athletic opportunities appeal to you.  And enjoy the process - there are many great schools and volleyball programs out there!

Photo: Dave Decker ©2019

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Using FaceTime for remote video production

Our Portland interview site...

Our Portland interview site...

Recently we had a need to conduct an interview with a key person for a video who was located in California, and about 50 miles from a major airport.  I contemplated flying down myself with a camera package, renting a car, and driving out to film the interview and then flying back the same day.  This was during a very busy production period juggling multiple projects - so I started looking for a videographer in the area who I could partner with.  I was happy to find Curtis Smith of Smith Cinematic who was very close to where we needed to film.  We discussed what was needed, and made arrangements with our interviewee and client.  Curtis and I tested our FaceTime system to make sure it would work ahead of time.  We used a laptop (above) as our primary gear on this end, and an iPad elevated to camera level (below, right of camera) on location.

Our production crew in California prepping for our interview… notice the iPad right of the camera.

Our production crew in California prepping for our interview… notice the iPad right of the camera.

On the scheduled day, I was able to conduct the interview via FaceTime with my clients here in Portland, while Curtis filmed the interview in California.  We were able to engage with our interviewee, ask follow-up questions, and see how he looked via the iPad.  This worked out wonderfully, ended up being more cost-effective for my client, and took less production time on the whole.  I have done phone patches in the past with voice talent for narrations and voice overs (including Waylon Jennings back in the day!) - but this was the first time we were able to use FaceTime for remote production here at Mercury Productions.  We received the video files electronically that night, and we were good to go to start editing the next day.  Being able to harness this technology to help tell stories is wonderful thing.

Rolling on the interview.

Rolling on the interview.

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