Welcome to Interview #67.
I am pleased to share with you the wisdom of NCAA Division 1 Women’s Soccer Coach of Iona University, Sarah Brady.
Coach Brady is going to help us break down one of the mysteries of the recruiting process, the recruiting video.
Before coming to Iona, Coach Brady was an assistant at Manhattan College, while also serving as technical director at Parsippany Soccer Club in NJ. Brady has served as a successful youth coach with NJ ODP ‘99 Girls, Region 1 ODP camp staff and STA Soccer Club. Brady has a USSF B license, an NSCAA premier diploma. Brady played 10 seasons in the Football Association Women’s Premier League with both Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs. Coach Brady’s full bio is at the end of the interview.
What is a recruiting video?
A recruiting video is a first impression. It is a Perspective Student Athlete’s (PSA’s) first opportunity to capture the attention of coaches and let us know what type of player you are out on the pitch.
There are two basic kinds of recruiting video, the highlight video and the game film. Can you talk about the benefit of each?
Highlight videos are a short compilation of clips that aim to capture the attention of a coach. A game film is a more in depth opportunity for a coach to see a players overall impact on a game. Coaches have preferences. Some like highlight videos, some like to see a full game and some do not bother at all with film so my advice would be ask a coach what their preference is before you send over any type of game film.
How long should the highlight video be? The game film?
Again it comes down to a coach’s preference but I believe a good rule of thumb for a highlight tape should be 3-5 mins. A game film should be an entire game but again the preferences of each coach is different so ask how much/little they would like to see and/or what particular aspects of your play they want to see. If you are a GK I would l ask you to send me in highlights of your distribution using your feet in a game along with your general handling and shot stopping.
What do college coaches want a highlight video to look like?
Honestly all we are looking for is a good quality film that clearly shows us your style of play within the team’s approach to the game.
Do you have some tips to help a highlight video be of use to a college coach?
Use a tripod or other form of stand to hold the camera. There is nothing worse than the “seas-sickness” of a handheld camera of an excited parent. If you can clearly identify yourself as the player we should be watching that is very helpful. Many affordable software packages are available to help with this.
What are some common mistakes or annoying things that players send in that coaches don’t want to see?
My personal preference is NO MUSIC or parental commentary over the clips. I just want to see your style/level of play so keep it simple.
Should a professional be hired to film or edit the recruiting video?
It can be helpful to ensure quality but it is definitely not necessary. As I said earlier there are many affordable software packages available that will assist you in putting a quality video together.
What are some options if the player’s parents are not able to film games?
When you attend tournaments many offer the services of a professional company to film the team’s games and then you can purchase the film as a team and split the costs. With the technology available today though there are loads of options; IPads, cell phones etc. There is always something that can capture film.
What is the best way to get a recruiting video to a coach? (DVD or YouTube)
I tend to receive a lot of YouTube clips. It seems like the simplest, most cost effective method.
When should athletes begin getting recruiting videos to coaches?
The recruiting process is getting earlier and earlier so my advice would be as soon you identify the schools you are interested in. I would begin to build a relationship with the coaching staff and ask them if they would like to receive highlights/game tape from you.
Should athletes follow up after they have sent a recruiting video or link to a video? How long should they wait before following up?
College Coaches are incredibly busy people and many programs do not operate with a full staff so I would be very mindful of those facts whenever you write to a college coach. If you send a tape and do not receive a reply when the staff are in season (August-November) then follow up no earlier than two weeks later. If out of season then following up a week later is advised. If a coach does not get back to you, reach out a second time. Be persistent! Coaching staffs receive hundreds, sometimes thousands of emails every week so don’t lose heart if it takes a few attempts to get through.
Will a coach offer a scholarship based on a recruiting video or what’s next?
Personally I would not. A highlight video/game tape is not enough information to make a decision on whether or not our team would want to spend 4 years with that person. A tape can be a valuable resource in the process but highly unlikely to be a determining factor of a scholarship offer.
Bonus Question: Is there anything important that you would like to share directly with high school athletes or soccer players in particular as they navigate the recruiting process?
The recruiting process is all about relationships. If you take the time to sincerely invest in a school/program/coach you greatly improve your chances of being recruited. All coaches want good people and good players in their programs so make the personal approach to the recruiting process a priority.
To see more about Coach Sarah Brady, click here for her full bio from Iona Women’s Soccer.
Next, take a look at Interview With University of Northern Colorado Assistant Volleyball Coach. This article is all about the recruiting video as well, but from a volleyball coach’s perspective.
LIKE WHAT YOU READ? Please take a moment to share it on social media to benefit other prospective college athletes, by clicking on the “sharing is caring” buttons below Coach Brady’s profile.