I received a rejection letter from Tennessee. Pat Summit could not use my services for her basketball team. A team that went on to win back-to-back-to-back National Championships during my time in college. Oh well, I decided to stay home and play for my hometown team, University of Memphis. I got to play against Tennessee in Knoxville during my sophomore year. I played 24 minutes. I finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and I was 6 for 6 from the line. I even made ESPN….for Chamique Holdsclaw blocking my shot!
During my junior year of high school, my dad hooked up 2 VCRs (video cassette recorders) and made a highlight video of my basketball season. I know I’m showing my age. I typed up letters, using a typewriter, and sent the tapes out to several schools. Again I’m showing my age. “Do you know what a typewriter is?”
Pat Summit sent my tape back along with a letter thanking me for my interest in her program. Maybe because she rejected me, I always had a desire to train or coach someone that got the opportunity to play for her at Tennessee. Unfortunately, I will never get the chance to count that as an accomplishment since she is no longer coaching. Well, it will still be an accomplishment to assist a kid to Tennessee.
Before I started MemphisGirlsBasketball.com. I had PatoshaJeffery.com. This was my first website. I created it in 2005. And it didn’t have much to do with me. I did have an About Patosha Jeffery page. However, the focus of the site was writing about the players in Memphis. It was the hub for my AAU team, Mid-South Lady Tigers. I was also providing information on how to get a basketball scholarship.
That’s when I started creating highlight videos of Memphis players. This was before Youtube existed. Making the videos available to view wasn’t as easy as copying some embed code and pasting it into my site. Most people’s computers probably could not even play the video to watch the highlight. Boy has time and technology changed.
It was disappointing to be the only person in the stands videoing these games. Not many coaches were filming, nor parents. I’m very fortunate to have had parents that were able to attend my games. My dad started out taking pictures at my game. Then he used the school’s camcorder to film my games. He eventually went out and bought his own. Now many, many years later, I’m able to watch my games. If my dad had not filmed my games, more than likely it would not have dawned on me to provide highlights of the players in Memphis.
What does my Pat Summit rejection have to do with making highlight videos? I gave Pat Summit an opportunity to reject or accept me. Sending my highlight gave me an opportunity to show that I was interested in the Tennessee program and it gave her an opportunity to see if I was a good fit.
Sending your highlight video out to schools is one way to show that you would like to play for their team. You can read 29 other ways to show that you are interested here.
Below are some steps and tips to take to create your highlight:
If you are up to the challenge of creating your own highlight video, follow these steps.
Buy A Camcorder
When I first started creating highlights, I used a Sony Handycam Digital 8. After it was no longer working, I bought a JVC Everio. Its a hard drive camcorder. I purchased both camcorders from Best Buy for under $300.
Here are some things to consider when purchasing a camcorder. If it does not include a USB cord, you will need to purchase one. This will allow you to hook up your camcorder to your computer. It may also be wise to purchase an extended battery. This will especially be useful if your daughter is participating in a tournament were she plays in more than 1 game a day. A tripod also comes in handy if you do not have steady hands. It helps you created a video without a lot of movement.
Record the Game
When it comes to setting up the camcorder, I prefer to be stationed as close to half court as possible. That way you get a balanced view of both ends of the court. If possible, set up high in the bleachers or upstairs. As you record the game, think about what you see when you are watching a basketball game on TV. A simple rule is to follow the ball. In the half court set, make sure your zoom is wide enough where you can see the basketball goal and the ball. Try not to be too wide where you have too much blank area with no players in it.
Download Video to Computer
When I was using the Sony Handycam Digital 8, it would take me the length of the game to download the video, because the game was recorded to tape. With the JVC (and other modern camcorders) you pretty much drag and drop or copy and paste the video onto your computer. It takes minutes.
I have a folder on my desktop called Video Dump. This is where I put all of the videos. I recommend that you rename the file based on the teams. For example yourdaugtersteamvsteam2. It will help you keep the games organized and make it easy to find. Believe me. It can be a task to go back a month later after 5 or so games looking for one particular game.
Create Highlight Video
Windows and MAC computers come pre-programmed with software that allow you to created highlights. Movie Maker is the program for Windows. That’s what I use. I’m not a Mac user but I believe iMovie is the software. If it’s not on your computer, do a Google search for the free download.
A highlight video is an attention getter. Try not to make it extremely long. Five minutes is a good range to stay within. Try to highlight a variety of skills. Show some shooting, ball handling, rebounding, blocking, passing, defense, etc. If you run the floor extremely well and fast, display that in the video.
Show Off Your Highlight
You can do what I did and mail your video to the programs you have interest in. Just burn it to a DVD and ship it in the mail. Make sure to protect the DVD in a case and bubble wrap. Or you can create a YouTube account. Upload the video to the account. Once you have the video up, email the coaches a link to the video.
Hiring a Professional
Recently, I hired a professional to film four games and to create a highlight video of 4 middle school players. I gave him instructions on who I wanted highlighted and the information to place in the highlight. He had the video created for me in 3 days. I uploaded it to my YouTube account. Then embedded the code onto MemphisGirlsBasketball.com. It cost me $250.
If $250 seems a bit much, keep in mine he had to video for over 4 hours. Then go back and watch all the games to create the highlight. This would require well over another 4 hours. Two hundred and fifty dollars was probably a steal. Especially for the equipment and software used and the quality of work I received. Check out the highlight video here.
If you are looking for someone to film one game and create a highlight from it, expect to pay way less than what I paid. You can find a college student at your local university who can do it for a little of nothing. Another option is to put an ad on Craiglist. You can even find someone on Fiverr to create a highlight for $5.
LESSON: Why did I just put myself on blast? Because I want others to learn from me. Plus, you miss 100% of the shots you do not take. One or several of the schools you show your highlight video to, just may show interest in you.