College Coach’s Perspective: Soccer Edition
Today, All Star Video Sports is starting a new blog series, focused on the college coach’s perspective of recruiting videos. What do college coaches look for in a young, athletic prospect? What characteristics do coaches really want to see in an athlete? We will begin to look at the various intricacies of reviewing video from the coach’s perspective, to better help each athlete understand what they can do to receive that athletic scholarship!
Our first sport we will be exploring is soccer.
Nate Houser, Baker University’s head soccer coach, was our first interviewee for this topic. Coach Houser began to coach the Baker University women’s soccer team in 2003, coached both the men and women’s teams for Baker in 2008, and then stepped down from the women’s team in 2013 to coach the just the men’s team. Houser has found a large amount of success since he has been the coach at Baker. He has received multiple awards in his position, a few include receiving the HAAC Coach of the Year award for both the men and women’s teams multiple years, led the women’s team to the final four in 2010 and the men’s in 2011, led the men’s team to be the HAAC regular season and tournament champions in 2013, and has posted a career record of 78-29-14 with the men’s soccer program. Coach Houser was a great help in understanding some of the key video elements he focuses on while reviewing recruiting videos.
“College recruiting videos are very helpful to me. It is just like going to watch an athlete play while you are there in person watching. Initially, I look for what each recruit does in pressure. It helps a lot when I can see who the player is up against and the importance of the game, i.e. state playoff game, semi-final game, etc.” Coach Houser continued to emphasize the importance of each athlete playing well, but also what “little things” he tries to pick up as quickly as possible on each specific highlight of a player. “How does a player react with the ball? What did the athlete do to get to the ball? What does the athlete do after they win a tackle?”
From a more specific recruitment standpoint, coach Houser was able to get into a little more detail. “Every day in the offseason, I watch at least 10 recruiting videos. During the season, 15-20 videos per day. I watch over 1000 recruiting videos per year. If uninterested in a player, I will watch anywhere around 1-2 minutes of their video. If interested, I will usually watch the whole thing, most of the time ending with around 5-7 minutes of highlights. If our current team is in need of certain positions, I will look for players at those positions. Size in relation to what position we are looking for is also important.”
Coach Houser says the quality of the video is extremely important not only to make a good impression, but also to help him see the little things the player does well. “It is important I see the player’s number. The clearer the video is, the more things I can see in relation to technical things an athlete does, what an athlete does under pressure, and how the athlete continues to react to the ball. I also like when the player introduces themselves and I can get a feel for what they are doing and why they are doing it in their video.”