35 Tips For Making The Best Baseball Recruiting Video

There are two types of recruiting videos that you will want to create: (1) showcase and (2) highlight.

For Both Types

  1. Use your smartphone video camera. Makes it easier to text or email the video in the long-run.
  2. Create a YouTube account and post your videos to this account. It makes it easy to send someone a link to a video or be able to embed videos into emails and texts. Plus its a great way to store your son’s history.

Showcase Video

  1. Make sure the player in his full-showcase travel uniform. No shorts. This is game intensity. Have him do a dynamic stretch and then take time to warm up his arm. He needs to be super loose and ready to go.
  2. Have the player positioned 30 feet up third-base line with his glove in hand. Position camera horizontal and stand three feet or so from the player. Have him clearly state:
    • Name
    • Year of graduation
    • High school
    • Showcase Team
    • Primary/Secondary position
    • Thank you for watching
    • TURN AND SPRINT TO SHORTSTOP unless you want to start with a different component first!
  3. SHORTSTOP COMPONENT: Without stopping the camera, hold the camera as steady as possible towards shortstop with the second-base bag showing on the edge of the right side and the 5-6 hole showing on the left side. Keep it centered on him as he ranges from side-to-side. Do not turn the camera towards the first-base bag to show where the throw went. It’s too distracting to keep going back and forth. Instead, we are trying to pick up the sound of the ball popping into the first baseman’s mitt. That’s how they know the throw got there. If his throw is a little off, make sure the first baseman comes off the bag and catches it so you can get the pop sound on video.
  4. Have someone who can actually hit fungo at a good pace (not too slow but no rocket shots either) from home plate. Put one of his buddies on first base to keep it fun and light. Hit five balls total.
  5. The first is straight at him. Allow him to come around the ball and carry his momentum to first on his throw. Let him jog back into position. As soon as he turns and starts to lean forward, hit the second ball straight at him again. Again, let him come around the ball and throw with momentum to first. Let him jog back and turn. Then hit him the third ball deep into the 5-6 hole (i.e. In the gap between third and second bases). He will need to show his range to backhand this one. Then plant and throw to first. No Derek Jeter. Let him jog back into position. The fourth ball is hit right up the middle towards the second-base bag. Again, he’ll need to show his range to quickly cover a forehand and throw with a lower slot release to first. If it is deeper in the outfield and carries him to the other side of second base, he’ll need to spin to his left after fielding the ball and throw. Let him jog back into position. The last ball is a slow roller right at him. THIS IS THE DIFFERENTIATOR! Have him quickly approach the ball to where he can field it in the grass with two hands and, in the same motion, have him throw on the run from a low slot. It’s a very fast move and if he nails it, he’ll completely stand out. Most players field it with one hand, then reach over to transition the ball to the throwing hand while standing up to throw on the run using a high-arm slot. This one-hand approach is a much easier movement skill-wise and won’t get the elite runner out. College coaches know this.
  6. Shoot steps 2-6 without stopping the camera. There should be no cutting or editing for this portion. He either gets it right or he does it over. Bring lots of water! Once he finishes #6, stop the camera and have him get a drink.
  7. Now, put him back at shortstop and stand behind the first baseman with your camera positioned horizontally. If you have a Pocket Radar, bring it out and keep it inside the camera picture when he is throwing. So, you’re going to have the radar on the right side of the screen and him on the left. Make sure the camera focuses on him, not the radar. If you need to move the radar slightly off the screen to make it work, that is fine. If you don’t have a Pocket Radar, do yourself a favor and buy one here or at least borrow one. When he’s ready, fungo a ball straight at him. Again, have him come around the ball and use his momentum to actually throw as hard as he can towards first. Capture all his fielding footwork and throw to first. Once the Pocket Radar registers, zoom onto the radar screen to get his velocity and then stop the camera. Redo if you know he can throw it faster.
  8. What if your son is a third baseman? Have him do the shortstop component. If he can show good footwork at shortstop then he can play third base. Coaches know who they are going to move to third or second based on what they see at shortstop.
  9. FIRST BASE COMPONENT: If your player is a lefty and plays first, then, of course, you won’t have him do the shortstop component. You’ll put him at first base and have somebody hit fungo to him. Have him simulate holding a runner then bouncing off the bag, and then fielding a ball to throw to second. Then have him beat it back to first to receive the throw. Do this twice. Then have him playing behind the runner and hit two more fungoes at him. Have him throw to second and then beat it over to first to receive the throwback. Ideally, have the person at second base throw back some one-hoppers so he can show his ability to scoop at first.
  10. OUTFIELD COMPONENT: If your player is an outfielder or he wants to showcase his arm from the outfield, then position him in right field not too deep. Have someone at third base and a fungo hitter on the infield grass between first and second. The camera-person should be standing with the fungo hitter. Have the fungo batter hit a ball straight up on the ground to the player who charges, fields, and crowhops a throw to third base. Again, your camera should have him on the left side and the Pocket Radar on the right side. Focus on the player, not the radar. After he throws to third, turn the focus to the radar screen to show his velocity. Stop the camera.
  11. Reposition yourself behind third base. Only focus on the player. No need for the Pocket Radar for this shot. Have the fungo batter hit another ball on the ground to the player who again charges, fields, and fires to third. Ideally a low-trajectory missile directly into the glove of the third baseman who is straddling the bag. Stop the camera.  Reposition yourself behind home plate and move the third baseman to catcher. Again, only focus on the player; no need for the Pocket Radar. Have the fungo batter hit another ball on the ground to the player who again charges, fields, and fires another low-trajectory missile to the catcher with one bounce. Stop the camera. You’re done with the outfield component.
  12. CATCHER COMPONENT: If your player is a catcher, then have him put on full-gear and position himself behind home plate. Put someone on second base to receive the throw down. Have somebody positioned about 30-feet from home, but offset towards first base. This person will not want to get hit by the ball on a throw down! Position the camera-person by the person throwing. Film him catching a ball and throwing down to second. Have the Pocket Radar on the right side of the screen again to measure his velocity on the throw down. Stop the camera after viewing the velocity.
  13. Reposition yourself behind the catcher and take out your stopwatch. If you don’t have one, here’s a stopwatch I found on Amazon that’s a low price and has a large easy-to-read display. Put the stopwatch to the right side of the camera frame. Film him on the left side. Have someone throw him a ball and have him catch and throw down to second. As soon as the ball hits his mitt, start the stopwatch and then stop it once it hits the second baseman’s glove. Now focus your camera on the time that you clocked from the stopwatch. Do this two more times and then stop the camera. You’re done with the catcher component.
  14. PITCHER COMPONENT: If you’re a pitcher-only, then you’ll only want to do the intro and then sprint out to the mound. Maybe you’ll also want to do the 60-yard dash if it is in the low-7’s and definitely if sub-7. If he is both a pitcher and position player, then just add this pitching component to his video.
  15. If he’s a righty, then stand between third base and the mound. If he’s a lefty, stand between first base and mound. Film him throwing two pitches from the stretch and two from the wind-up (assuming he even pitches from the wind-up – if not, then throw three from the stretch). All fastballs. Stop the camera.
  16. Then reposition yourself behind home plate and film him along with your Pocket Radar on the right side of your screen. Have the very top of the catcher’s helmet showing on the bottom of the screen. Don’t play camera-man and catcher at the same time. Get a real catcher! Your focus is on the pitcher. Without stopping the camera, have him throw two fastballs, one from the wind-up and one from the stretch. Show the velocity after each pitch. Then have him throw each of his off-speed pitches. Show the velocity after each pitch. We want to showcase his movement and his speed differential, while at the same time using the same arm slot and arm speed as his fastball.
  17. 60-YARD DASH COMPONENT: Have the 60-yard dash marked out with cones every 10 yards starting from one of the foul lines into the outfield. Make a lane with the cones; you’ll need 12 cones total. If you don’t have any, click here to get some really cheap cones on Amazon. Have him stretch again and do some short burst sprints to get him explosive. Start capturing video as he sets up on his mark. Stand right at the finish line. Have him on one side of the picture and have your stopwatch on the other side in plain view. Start the watch on his first leg movement. Pan the camera as he gets close and then as he crosses the finish line your camera should now be perpendicular to the finish line with his time clocked on the right side of the screen.
  18. BATTING COMPONENT: This is probably the easiest component. On the field, have someone throw BP from behind an L-screen. The camera-person needs to set up perpendicular to the batter. On the first-base side for a righty and on the third-base side for a lefty.
  19. Make sure that he is on the left side of the screen with enough room on the screen to see the trajectory of the ball as it exits off the bat. You want to be able to see the ball exit at a typical 10-20 degree line-drive launch angle. If you can’t tell where the ball is going, then you are too close.
  20. Have him hit five balls. They will see everything they need to see in five balls. Stop the camera after the round of five.
  21. If you know he has an exit velocity of 85 MPH or above, I would suggest that you bring a tee.  If you don’t have a tee, then I would suggest a Tanners Tee that you can purchase here on Amazon.  It’s what the pros use and will look really professional on camera.  Have him hit two off a tee. Put the tee on home plate and you stand behind him with the camera and Pocket Radar. Film him hitting off a tee and show the Pocket Radar velocity after each hit. Stop the camera.
  22. USE iMOVIE: put together the components into a single video. You’re trying to keep the video at around two to three minutes max.
  23. After his introduction, decide on which component to do first. If he’s a middle infielder, you’ll either want do the fielding or the 60-yard dash first. If he runs something under 6.75 seconds, you’ll probably want to put his 60-yard dash component first, otherwise, start with the fielding. Then decide which is better, batting or 60-yard dash. Put his better component next followed by the remaining one.
  24. If he’s a corner infielder or outfielder that can really mash, then put his batting component first, followed by his 60-yard dash or fielding, whichever is better.
  25. Bottom line, you want his best tool to show first. Don’t make the coaches wait. Give them his best right away.
  26. It would be good to have some credits at the end which has the player name, graduation year, positions, high school team, showcase travel team, and contact information for your coaches. If he is sending this after September 1st of the start of his junior year, then the player should put his cell phone or email in the credits.

Highlight Video

  1. Again, position-specific but always try to have a highlight video on hand in case a coach asks to send him some recent in-game footage.
  2. If your son is a pitcher, get into the habit of filming some in-game footage from behind the plate during each game he plays. Particularly if there is a key matchup with a very good hitter. A hitter that is already committed to a D1 school is even better. Of course, if he has good success in mixing up his pitches and locating them against these better hitters, then that’s the footage you should use. Don’t hesitate to name drop the hitters along with where they are committed when he sends the video to the coach.
  3. If he’s a position player or outfielder, you should get into the habit of filming most, if not all, of his in-game plate appearances. You just never know when he’ll hit that home run or that shot into the gap for a stand-up double. You should take this video from a side view. If he’s a righty, take the video from the first-base side and if he’s a lefty, take it from the third-base side. Video each plate appearance in its entirety. You can always edit out what you don’t want. Make sure you keep the camera on him until his follow-through is completely finished. Also make sure you leave enough camera screen so everyone can see the trajectory of the ball coming off the bat. Then its time to follow him out of the box and around the bases until he stops. Do not try to pick up the ball and film where it went.
  4. If he’s a fast runner and base stealing machine, then film him from the third-base side of the field once he gets on first base. Try to have both your son and the pitcher in view. This will let the coaches see how he gets his jump. Once he takes off, only focus on him until he gets all the way to second.
  5. Fielding is more tricky because he may not get a ball in the field for the entire game. I’ve found that if the game is being streamed onto the internet through some broadcast affiliate, then that is a good place to take down fielding plays. I simply re-play the game on my television and then film my television screen using my smartphone camera to capture the play he wants to keep.
  6. use iMovie to compile your highlight video. Make sure it is no more than two or three minutes.

Author: Baseball Pops

No doubt it was a dream come true for my oldest son when he received his first D1 Baseball scholarship offer. But it also reminded me of the incredible journey up to that point where we had no instruction manual, DIY book, or expert to lean on for guidance. This blog is written from a parent's perspective for the benefit of parents. If it can help just one parent see things clearer so they can make more meaningful decisions in helping their player achieve their baseball dreams, then this blog will have accomplished its mission in my eyes.

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