If you have dreams of playing lacrosse in college you will need to make a highlight tape to show off your skills to your potential coaches.
A great highlight tape won’t get you an offer but it will get your foot in the door. It will get coaches interested in seeing you play at upcoming tournaments or inviting you to one of their prospect days.
In this post I’m going to share some tips when it comes to creating a great lacrosse goalie recruiting highlight reel.
Lead with Your Best Stuff
College coaches are busy people. If they start watching your video, there’s no guarantee they’ll finish it to the end.
That would be a bummer then if your best save, the very one you want all the college coaches to see, is buried 90 seconds into the video.
Put all your best content first.
That way you’ll be sure if a coach hits play on your video at least they’ll see the very best you have to offer.
Also shoot for no longer than 5 minutes when it comes to length. Anywhere from 2-5 minutes is great. That typically means about 20-30 plays.
Go Easy on the Diving Saves
Listen I love a diving save as much as the next lacrosse goalie coach. And if you got one, by all means, include it.
The point here is how often are you really making this type of save?
Coaches would much rather see you make the consistent 12 yard outside shot save than see a highlight reel full of one off diving saves.
Instead focus on including a good mix of saves and plays:
To play goalie in college you need to be a complete goalie and that means be in control of the clearing game.
So don’t cut your clips immediately after the save. Show those coaches you have the ability to throw dimes and juke a riding attackman when necessary.
Does that mean all clips need to show the clear? No.
But definitely show those college coaches what you can do in the clearing game.
Feel free to also include a play where you chase out a shot to win possession for your team. Bonus points if you show a little emotion to pump up the squad.
Open and Close with a Title Slide
The first and last frame (just a few seconds each) of your video should be a title slide which has all your information.
Don’t make the coach search for your email, phone number, or club team. Make it stupidly simple for them to contact you if they want to.
Here are some things you’ll want to include:
Club Coach Contact Info
High School Team
High School Accolades
High School Coach Contact Info
Your email and phone
Practice Footage is Ok
Most highlight tapes you see on YouTube contain footage from club or high school games and that really is the ideal scenario.
However for those goalies that lack game footage for one reason or another, including practice footage works.
Coaches will still be able to see your saving abilities and how you move to the ball. They should actually get a better look at your saving ability since in practice you can setup the camera right on the field pointing right at the goalie.
If your tape is nothing but practice footages coaches might get suspicious that you’re not playing against good competition so use sparingly.
Copy What Works
If a goalie is playing division 1 lacrosse right now, there’s an extremely high chance they have a highlight tape (if not multiple) sitting on YouTube.
Watch it. Copy what works.
I’m of course referring to copying the format, the music, and the style of the video but if you can copy their saves too, more power to you!
For example, here are Jack Webb’s highlights who is playing D1 ball with Johns Hopkins:
Here are Shane Carr highlights who is the current starting goalie at Michigan:
Make Multiple Highlight Tapes
Remember we’re shooting for about 2-5 minutes in length so odds are reducing your entire year of saves down to that length is too hard.
Simple solution: make multiple highlight tapes.
Damon Wilson | Summer 2022 Highlights | 2025 Goalie
Damon Wilson | Fall 2023 Highlights | 2025 Goalie
This also gives you a reason to contact the coach multiple times to stay on their radar.
Remember if its division 1 they won’t be able to contact you back before September 1st of your junior year but if they’re a respected program your tape will get watched.
I think at a minimum you want 2 highlight tapes: sophomore and junior year. That will give the coaches a relevant body of work from which to judge your game play.
On a personal note, if you make more highlight videos it will also be cool to watch your progress over the years.
Capture As Much Footage as Possible
Creating a great highlight tape first starts with capturing a lot of raw footage from which to work with.
Start getting save footage as early as you can.
While you may not use the footage from your middle school games, getting in the habit of capturing good game tape will be great practice for the Sophomore and Junior year videos that are the most impactful to college coaches.
As you (or your parents) get more experienced with capturing game footage you’ll start to learn how to do it better, i.e the best place to put the camera (see below), how annoying it is to hear loud parent yelling right into the camera, etc.
If its doable, I would record every game. Some club and high school coaches do this anyways to scout and strategize so you may be able to get a copy of this footage.
The quick version is you’re going to sew in a little pouch under your chest protector which contains a wireless lavalier microphone like this one:
The other piece plugs into the camera on the sideline and then you pickup goalie communication audio like this:
Highlight Goalie if Necessary
One of the tips for lacrosse defenders and attack man making highlight reels is you need to highlight yourself in the play.
With all the bodies running around this makes it super to the coach who they should be watching.
Luckily for us goalies there is only 1 on the field.
So in most clips highlighting yourself is not necessary. It’s blatantly clear who the coach should be watching.
However every once in awhile there’s a scrum or an out of the cage play you want to include and it might make sense to highlight yourself so the coaches know who to watch in that play.
College coaches don’t care about your production skills. A simple arrow pointing at the goalie for a ½ second will suffice.
Send to Coaches the Right Way
Once you’ve complete your highlight reel, it’s important that you send it to coaches the right way to ensure it doesn’t get lost.
First step is upload it to YouTube. Be sure to put the title and description in the YouTube video.
Next you will email the colleges you are interested in. I would include the emails of ALL the coaches on the staff as you don’t know who is responsible for scouting the goalies. You can find these email addresses on their team page.
You should send them an email with a clear subject indicating that your highlight video is included – Damon Wilson | 2025 Goalie | Summer 2022 Highlight Tape.
In the email, make sure to include a sentence or two about your interest in their program and thank them for taking the time to watch the video you attached.
You’ll also want to let the coaches know which tournaments, camps, or prospect days you will be attending in case they want to watch you live.
Link directly to the video on YouTube so coaches can click and watch. Be sure the YouTube ads are OFF so coaches can watch without a distraction.
By sending a direct YouTube link and including a well-formatted professional email to ALL the coaching staff, we’re not guaranteeing it gets watched but you are increasing your probability to the max.
And that’s all we can ask for!
If you’re going to play lacrosse goalie at the next level, creating an awesome highlight tape is a necessary step.
In this post I outlined several tips to keep in mind as you undergo this process.
Hopefully you have fun with this highlight tape and its not something to stress about. Once again here are all the tips:
Lead with your best stuff
Go easy on the diving saves
Show all your skills – not just saves
Open and close with a title slide
Practice Footage is ok
Copy what works
Make multiple highlight tapes
Capture as much footage as you can
Music selection is important
Get the camera elevated
Consider upgrading the audio experience
Highlight the goalie if necessary
Send to coaches the right way
If you follow all those tips, there’s still a possibility coaches don’t see the tape, but we’re doing everything in our power to increase the odds!
Until next time, Coach Damon
Anyone have a highlight reel they want me to check out? Put a link in the comments below.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.
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