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Roundtable: The Dos and Don'ts of Recruiting Videos
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For most junior tennis players, the recruiting process involves some savvy self-marketing. In addition to reaching out to coaches via phone and email or seeking them out during a summer national event, many athletes opt to send out a recruiting video to show off their skills.

But before you head out to the court with your camcorder or iPhone in hand, check out how our panel of coaches answered the following questions:

 

Q) What are you looking for in a recruiting video? How can players best portray themselves/their games in a short clip?

 

Mark Jeffrey, head coach, Louisiana Men

This is a great question because so many players get the wrong advice. What coaches are looking for is point play against a competitive opponent. So many videos include a full array of groundstrokes that takes up the majority of the footage. Instead, coaches need to see how players handle point-like situations - hitting doesn't necessarily translate to success in a match.

An ideal video will show a player in a highly competitive tournament. This lends itself to true authenticity, meaning both athletes are giving their very best in an unbiased environment. I've received many videos where one player is told to make the other look as good as possible, which really hurts the player trying to get recruited. Players should remember that they are dealing with experienced coaches who have seen every trick in the book. Don't make this mistake - go out and video yourself in an upcoming tournament.

 

Younes Limam, head coach, Syracuse Women

I like to see if the recruit is technically sound while watching a recruiting video, but more importantly, I pay close attention to their point play and footwork. It is very difficult to evaluate someone's attitude or work ethic from a recruiting video, as they are unlikely to lose their temper or show negativity on camera.

It would be more beneficial for coaches to get a recruiting video where the player is competing in a close match at a tournament. Coaches always take an unedited video more seriously. Anyone can pick and choose a few good points during a match, but it is much more telling to see how the player handles a variety of points in succession.

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