Hint: It’s not only about what you can do now.
Thanks to NHL’s expansion across the U.S., there are more high school hockey players than ever before. While the upside of that is college hockey coaches have larger pools of talent to draw from, the downside is it’s even more difficult for them to scout recruits in person. And that’s why a highlight video that will get you noticed by coaches is vitally important to your recruiting process.
Unlike the hockey highlight videos you see on television and social media, the content of your highlight video should focus on showing a coach the value you can bring to their team. That means not only showing off your skills, but also your versatility, leadership, and hockey IQ. As forwards, defensemen and goalies all have different roles on the ice, your highlight video should be focused on showing off your skills at your position.
Most coaches will look for skating ability first and foremost, so make sure your highlight video shows your speed and efficiency forward and backward. Your stickhandling, passing, and puckhandling skills as you drive toward the net should also be on prominent display. Needless to say, your shooting technique, follow-through, power, and accuracy should also be highlighted.
As with forwards, college coaches look for defensemen who can skate well forward and backward. As a defenseman, however, your highlight video also needs to show off your skill at positioning yourself against opponents in your own zone, as well as your stickhandling, puck possession, puck control, and zone clearance abilities.
Showing off your clutch saves can be a part of what coaches want to see from a goalie’s highlight video, but the larger emphasis should allow a coach to observe your goaltending style (butterfly, hybrid, or stand-up). In addition, your highlight video should show off your edgework and lateral movement ability, your body and glove positioning in relation to the net, saves on a variety of shots, and your rebound control skills. In addition, try to include some footage to show your aggressiveness and skill in playing the puck outside the crease.
Assembling Your Video
Now that you know what coaches are looking for, you can start putting your video together. Assemble as much video from varsity, club, or tournament games, and make sure the video you include uses game footage against tough competition. Look for footage that was shot wide enough to follow the development of the entire play and shows you with and without the puck, your vision on the ice, and your passing skills. If necessary, highlight yourself in the video using a circle or arrow.
To grab a coach’s attention, start things off with five or six of your strongest clips. Follow that with 15 to 25 more clips. The video shouldn’t exceed four minutes, so don’t feel like you have to jam in every clip you have. Just make sure everything you do include shows off the skills a coach wants to see from your position. Remember to add a slide at the beginning and end of the video that includes your name, position, contact information, and your coach’s contact details.
Put Your Video To Work
Once you’ve assembled an attention-grabbing highlight video, put it to work for you. Post it to Youtube and include a link to your online recruiting profile. Then, post the link on all your social media accounts and remember to add the link or embed the video on your profile page too. Then, reach out to coaches at schools on your target list via email, and be sure to include a link to the video in that introductory email.
Finally, keep your highlight reel updated as you sharpen your skills and let coaches know whenever you do so they can follow your progression. Remember that, to get on a coach’s recruiting radar, you need a highlight video that will show them what you’ve got now while reminding them of what you can bring to their team the next four years!