College coaches expect you to have high-quality game film and highlight reels available online. Videos are an important part of your introduction, and can easily be shared via YouTube. Videos allow the coaches to analyze for themselves what they’re looking for in a player. The coaches want more than a highlight reel, they want to see how you are as a player.
Make sure your online video includes these critical things:
- Video shots should be centered (as much as possible) from behind the baseline, corners if necessary.
- Keep the whole court in view, don’t just zoom in on the player
- Clearly identify the player being highlighted on every play (shirt color or number, or any other identifiable marker).
- Videos should be 3-5 minutes long.
- The focus should be on as many game aspects as possible (passing, setting, hitting, blocking, defense, shots, serving, etc.)
- Try to keep skills grouped together:
- Hitting - show multiple angles hit, good sets/bad sets hit, line turns, all in quick views.
- Shots - line shots, jumbos, angles, tight cuts, snap rolls, etc.. From both sides of the court if possible.
- Serving - different type of serves.
- Make the video as exciting (and fun) from start to finish, but particularly on the start and finish with the most spectacular play.
- Game situations preferred. Limit the amount of practice video used.
- Include at least one long rally.
Remember, you’re trying to stand out and get this coach’s attention. Spend the time to edit these videos and make them exciting.
What Do I Look For in a Video?
How did the play end? Did the lose the point? If so, was the player’s head down, head up, smiling, angry, determined, or were they blaming the partner?
One of the MOST important things I’m looking for before, during (critical) and after the play - is this player ready for anything to happen and ready to react? Are they ready on serve receive? While ball is on other side of net, are they ready and alert or are they standing up vertical and just waiting for the ball to come back over? My biggest pet peeve are players who are not 100% ready at ALL times while the ball is in play - check your video for this. If you’re standing straight up and not ready, choose another clip to use.
Footwork, platforms and approach.
Footwork on serve receive -Was it quick movement to the ball? Squared up to target? Arms out early and fully extended? Flat, symmetric platform? Bent at knees, not at hips?
Footwork to ball? Hands up early? Squared up to target? Timing of contact with knees bent? Too early? Bump setter only? Good extension with hands to target?
When are they beginning movement? Prior to hit/shot, at contact? Position of lead foot to target area? Are they moving in good angles? In it a straight line? What defensive system are they working in?
What type of approach do they use? 2, 3 or 4 step? Do they engage core and use all mechanics to initiate vertical and power in their attack? What is their knee-bend angle? Are they goofy-footed? Do they use upper body rotation to generate velocity and hitting angles? Where’s their contact point, at apex? Do they use snap? Or do they hit flat? Do they approach the ball the same whether they’re hitting or shooting? What is the approach angle? Do they have the entire court to hit at, or are they limited by their approach angle? Is the timing good regardless of set or do they need a perfect set? How well do they hit off the net? Out of system? Are they creative with their shots? How many shots do they have in their arsenal? How is their hand control? How many defensive looks do they take on their approach? 1, 2, 3? None?
Are they focused? Do they have a clear serving goal? How many different types of serves do they use (Float, spin, skyball, top spin jump, float jump, drop/short)? Is it a strong, effective serve? Are they using the wind correctly? Do they come into the court ready and alert or do they slowly make their way in to defense positioning?
How do they communicate with their partner? Positive, smiling, encouraging? Blocking signals? Calling partner’s open shots after set? Talking throughout play?
Footwork to net? Timing to hit? Hand movement? Sealing your area? Coming off the block ready for transition set? Strong hands? Identifying a hit or a shot?
Those EXTRA Things
Are they a good partner? Do they elevate their partner? Do they cover the block or just stand upright? Do they do the extra movements and proper things to ensure best performance? Do they get down on themselves? Do they have good court sense? Volley IQ?
This all sounds like A LOT of things, but it really isn’t. A good coach can evaluate most of this in a very short time. In most cases, your video is going to answer the majority of these (or at least should). So be sure to carefully select the videos that are going to help, not hurt you. For example, a play with a huge hit can be great, but no so good if during that same play you look lazy, unready, set poorly with bad platform, shank the original pass, don’t play defense, etc.
Make sure to include at least one multiple side/touch rally. And include a great “out of system” play that you were able to convert on.
The coach wants to know that you can handle out of system plays, have endurance to last in a long rally and also make good decisions. They just want to know that you’re a complete player.