You clipped together the perfect highlight tape: the half-court buzzer beater, the flashy handles, the rim-rattling dunks... a nice beat to tie it all together. Excitedly, you want to share these highlight clips with college basketball coaches, hoping to gain their attention and raise their interest in potentially recruiting you.
Although highlight clips might be nice on surface level, they fail to address many key factors that virtually all college basketball coaches consider when deciding to initiate the recruiting process with a student-athlete. As a result, most college basketball coaches desire to see full games rather than highlight clips. If you send highlight clips to a college basketball coach, always offer to send or include a link to a video of a full-game; this will increase your chances of getting recruited and earning an athletic scholarship!
Here are four player traits that highlight clips DO NOT show...but all college basketball coaches evaluate when recruiting:
College basketball coaches want to see how coachable you are. Throughout a student-athlete’s college career, he or she will receive coaching in various forms including: athletic coaching, strength & conditioning coaching, and academic coaching. Each coach wants you to succeed and become the most optimal version of yourself, both on and off the court. Common questions college basketball coaches might ask include:
- “Does the player make eye contact with the coach or looks elsewhere when the coach is giving instruction?”
- “Is the player receptive to criticism during the heat of a game when a coach is not only trying to make the player better, but also trying to win a game?”
- “Does the player always attempt to argue with refs over calls & non-calls or does the player attempt to communicate with refs in a tactful manner?”
The more coachable you are in the eyes of college basketball coaches, the higher your chance of getting recruited and receiving a scholarship offer!
Ask Yourself: “Am I coachable?! How do I demonstrate to college coaches that I am coachable?”
Over the course of a game, players make lots of quick decisions. A single play or a series of consecutive plays in a given moment can drastically change the trajectory of a game. Highlight clips do not show your Game IQ. College basketball coaches want to see that you not only have the physical ability and skill-set to play the game, but also the mental awareness & Game IQ to effectively think the game and understand when to make crucial plays. This is especially prevalent in “Time-And-Score” situations. Questions college basketball coaches might ask include:
- - “Does the player know and understand the role of his or her teammates within the team?”
- “Can the player think and make strategic plays in advance?”
Sending full-game film will allow the college basketball coaches to evaluate your Game IQ and increase your chances of being recruited!
Ask Yourself: “How much time do I spend increasing and sharpening my Game IQ?”
Most highlight reels are filled with...well, highlights: three pointers made, pin-point passes, authoritative blocks into the stands. Very rarely do highlight clips show student-athletes making hustle plays such as: taking charges, setting screens, or diving on the floor for loose balls. Hustle plays can shift the momentum of a game and raise the energy level of a team. What’s special about hustle plays is that it takes ZERO amount of talent; yet, few student-athletes are truly 110% invested into making hustle plays on a consistent basis throughout a game.
College basketball coaches will be evaluating if you make hustle plays during a game; full-games will show coaches not only the type of hustle plays you make, but also when you make the hustle plays during a game! Examples of questions college basketball coaches will ask include:
- “Were you still hustling when the game’s outcome was already decided?”
- - “Did you make hustle plays in the most critical moments and times during a game when the outcome was on the line?”
College basketball coaches highly covet student-athletes who consistently make hustle plays; these student-athletes often receive an immediate edge in the recruiting process!
Ask Yourself: “Do I hustle the entire game or match? Am I 110% committed during each possession?”
Highlight clips only show a quick, fleeting moment within a game. From most highlight clips, you are unable to tell if the play was made in the first three minutes of a game, the fourth inning, or the last lap of an event. Videos of full-games will allow college basketball coaches to evaluate your conditioning level and how dedicated you are to being in top conditioning shape for your sport.
If you have a strong showing at the beginning of a game, but your play falters towards the end of a game with costly turnovers, unforced errors, or slumping shooting percentages, coaches will question whether your conditioning is affecting your performance and if you are truly committed to being the best player you can be. Conversely, if your play is elevated at the end of a game and you continue to sprint hard on the court in the closing minutes, coaches will quickly see that your conditioning is top-rate.
Quickly grab college basketball coaches’ attention by showing that you take your conditioning level very seriously and play at your physical peak for optimal performance!
Ask Yourself: “Does my play on the court or field show that I take pride in my conditioning?”
Highlight clips might potentially pique a college basketball coach’s interest. However, to increase your chances of getting recruited and potentially receiving a scholarship offer, always include a link containing or offer to send video of full-games!
Keiwaine Hicks is a contributing basketball writer for GMTM. He is a graduate of Duke University, has over 20 years experience coaching basketball at various levels, and is passionate about helping student-athletes achieve maximum success."