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What Are 3 Things Coaches Look at When Evaluating an Athlete’s Film or Highlights?

Having highlight videos as a student-athlete is crucial to showcase your abilities to college recruiters. Since recruiters cannot visit every city in the country to evaluate every potential athlete, sending in a video is a much more efficient way to assess athletes. It has also been proven that online recruiting profiles with a highlight video receive more than 10 times the amount of traffic from recruiters than those who do not.

You can begin to collect footage from any point of your career in sports, but most often, a film from at least junior year is used more than an older film. Therefore, aim to have a completed highlight year by the end of your junior year to send it to recruiters early.

You can use film from various sources; be sure to utilize Hudl, or Youtube, ask your family or friends, or purchase a camera to shoot the film yourself. Get footage from multiple games and have a clear view of all of the action.

What do coaches look at when they evaluate film? Knowing what exactly to include in your highlight video can help increase your chances of being recruited by coaches around the globe.



Athleticism includes the basics of what coaches look for when they are evaluating film: explosiveness, strength, speed, and agility. Be sure to use film that demonstrates each of these qualities. Show off your ability to perform these different movements with precision, confidence, and exceptional execution.



In your highlight film, include a wide range of different games. Coaches want to see how you perform in various settings and plays. So include films of different plays and, if you wish to move a step further, provide a full game film. For example, if you performed amazingly against a rival opponent the entire game, be sure to include that full game film to allow coaches to see how you perform against top talent throughout the course of a game.

This will show them that your abilities are more than just a singular skill and that you are okay with leaving your comfort zone. Although scoring is important, be sure to include a film where you demonstrate yourself as a great athlete. Especially for those that are multi-sport athletes be sure to provide the coach with more insights to make a proper evaluation of your abilities in other sports.


Sport IQ

How quickly can you assess tough situations when they come up unexpectedly in a game? Sports IQ is about more than just knowing the play you are told. You must be able to use your intuition to make decisions that will benefit the team as a whole.

For example, you can include clips when you develop a play through off-ball movement and place yourself in the right spot for your team. Coaches will seek your ability to adapt when things do not go as planned.


Improving Your Chances

Having a quality highlight video is important to your success as a high school athlete and aspiring college player. Generally, coaches look for three key things in a film: versatility, athleticism, and sports IQ.

By understanding what to include in your highlight video, you can grab the coach's attention and sit back while the offers roll in. Just do not forget to respond to coaches through DM or e-mails. Be proactive and you will have more chances to play at the next level.


During the recruiting process coaches will evaluate films of selected athletes throughout the journey on a weekly basis. Having highlights and films easily available to coaches is something critical to saving coaches time. If you would like more help on how to create a highlight or what to include be sure to let us know so the WSO team can help you.

Stay tuned for our next blog or let us know what topics you would like to see more of. Thanks for following along.

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