From a loud cafe in Seoul:

In mid-2011, I made a basketball highlight reel for a local player. That highlight reel got him into St. John’s University in New York City. Today, he plays basketball for the University of Nevada Las Vegas. How did his basketball reel get him to where he’s at right now.

Story telling.

If you want to make the absolute best college reel for a high schooler, tell a story. Don’t just show how good they are, let the player tell the story. They tell the story on the field.

If you want to make the absolute best highlight reel, look at how major cable sports networks do it. ESPN and FOX Sports are the absolute best at this. That effect where the player is bright while everything else is dark is HELPFUL for coaches. Honestly, I saw another highlight channel do it and decided to make it look even better.

How did I get the footage? I either went to film the game myself or I personally asked the coach. If you can have a relationship with the coach and/or player(s), getting film shouldn’t be too hard. If you have a way to film the game and get great angles, you will be fine.

Many people think engaging highlights include just the player. That’s not true. Coaches need to know WHERE the players are at. Coaches need to know how well they play on DEFENSE also. Coaches need to know how versatile their potential players are.

A college recruitment reel doesn’t just show what they do in athletics. College coaches want to know what the player is like personally. Interview their mentors and their high school coaches. Doing this will increase a student’s chances into getting recruited.

Let’s review:

Study how major sports networks make highlight reels (you don’t have make fancy graphics like this)

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Film top and/or floor shots of the player.

Use graphics to showcase the player on the court/field/pitch.

Interview their mentors and coaches.

If you’re an editor and you have questions about making great highlight reels for high school students, leave a comment below!

Take care and peace and love!