• Player Recognition

5 Tips For Making The Perfect Highlight Tape

Highlight Tapes have always been one of the most important part of recruiting for coaches and scouts at all levels. Like everything, some are good, some are bad and some are just plain ugly. Not only is this how coaches evaluate a large amount of their prospects, but the majority of the time, it's the first impression they'll have of you.


With that being said, here are a few tips on how to optimize your highlights for recruiting.

1. Make 1 Highlight For Friends - Make Another For Coaches.

As much as your favourite song, footage of you pregame and some sweet action shots liven up your highlight, coaches and scouts reviewing it want to get straight into business. This is not to say that you shouldn’t include this content in a version of your highlight, just not the one you’ll be e-Mailing to dozens if not hundreds of coaches and scouts.

A highlight tape that you plan to send to coaches should include you personal and contact information, your physical attributes (height and weight), a short breakdown of stats, and of course your highlight tape. Another option would be to have them look at a recruiting profile like Player Recognition where all this info is readily available in one place.

2. Put Your Best Plays First.

If you had a once in a lifetime catch, a crazy pancake block or a touchdown saving hustle tackle, don’t make coaches wait to see it - pull them in right away.

As we’ve said multiple times, coaches are reviewing over 100 films in any given session, so if you don’t captivate them from the beginning, they may not hesitate to move on to the next. Start by stacking the best of the best at the very beginning of your tape, and slowly funnel/transition into some of the more routine/fundamental plays.

3. Keep It Short & Sweet.

If you can genuinely fill up a 12 minute highlight tape with unbelievable plays that will leave the coach more impressed with each play that passes, then go for it. The reality is, coaches will be able to get what they need from a 3-6 minute tape, and realistically don’t have much more time than that to devote to it anyways.


Once your impressive plays and demonstrations of athleticism are out of the way, cut it off. There’s not need to include every catch of tackle from a given season or game. If you find yourself including a simple throw on a swing pass, or lockdown coverage on an overthrown ball, you’ve gone too far.

4. Segment Your Highlight Tape.

Not too many people do this, but it is definitely something that a coach will appreciate. Segmenting your highlight tape basically means breaking it up into different sections. These sections could be any of the following:

Playing Multiple Positions: (Segment 1: Wide Receiver - Segment 2: Safety)

Breaking Down Your Position: (Segment 1: Catches - Segment 2: Blocking - Segment 3 Special Teams)

By doing this, you allow a coach to know exactly what to look for, which allows them to breakdown and evaluate your film that much easier. You can also take this a step further by adding timestamps to the intro or in your e-Mail / message to them. Ex: Catching: 1:43-2:55 - Blocking 2:55-4:12.

5. Don’t Be 1 Dimensional.

This is arguably the most important point to remember when creating your highlight tape. When recruiting, especially at the higher levels, coaches are not just looking for pass catchers or just looking for good run blockers. You need to be able to show them that you can do a lot of things very well rather than 1 thing exceptionally.

If you’re a receiver, you can’t just include 5 minutes of catches, you need to throw in blocks, solid routes, special teams and hustle plays. Just because it doesn’t get the glory or the attention as the touchdown catches do, it doesn’t mean that coaches don’t want to see it.

If you’re looking to start a Player Recognition account and get recruited today, start here. And feel free to chat with us on how to optimize your profile.

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