Taking video during a game
Updated: Jun 13
The digital age is upon us. We cannot escape it. Video has become a vital part of the recruiting process as well. The old saying of “If you’re good enough, they’ll find you” has evolved into coaches scrolling twitter feeds, receiving YouTube videos from trusted sources and opening emails from athletes with highlights attached. If a player/parent aren’t using video to the best of their ability, they are at a disadvantage.
With video playing a huge part in the recruiting process, there are two ways to capture “useable” video for your efforts. A “Skills” video and “In-game” highlights. In this blog, we will go over a how-to video for “In-game” highlights to create the best showing clip for the player.
ALWAYS FILM WITH YOUR PHONE HORIZONTAL! ALWAYS FILM WITH YOUR PHONE HORIZONTAL! This is important. This allows a better shot to be taken and edited later.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the right angle is more important than the result. If the athlete rips a single up the middle, and the parent captures it on their phone from up close just on the other side of the backstop/netting area, that is USEABLE!
But, if the next game, the player crushes a homerun and dad is sitting on the top row of bleachers videoing and the footage is from afar, even though the result of the homerun is desired, the video doesn’t help. So, although it may be tiresome and awkward to get up out of your seat when your kid is up to bat, it is a small price to pay to optimize their highlight video.
Ideally, there are two best angles for hitters and two best angles for pitchers.
For hitters, it is best to be either on the open side or closed side. If the player is a right-handed hitter, the open side would be on the 1st base dugout side, and closed side would be on the 3rd base dugout side. For a lefty, it would be just the opposite.
If there is open space in these areas, the perfect place would be to align right on the foul line. If the parent is unable to get to this exact spot it is better to go more towards the outfield than behind home plate. The idea is to keep the player in the middle of the frame when he swings and runs out of the box. If the parent has more advanced video skill, they can follow the ball drop and then return the camera to the athlete running the bases. It is important to make sure that the swing is completed before the camera follows the ball. It is more important to be late following the ball than too early and miss the swing. That would make the clip unusable.
For pitchers, the two angles would be behind home plate and from the pitcher's open side. If he is a right-handed pitcher, the open side would be down the 3rd base line. If he is a lefty, it would be 1st base line.
Behind home plate video should be off-set, depending on if the hitter is left or right-handed. If the hitter is right-handed, the camera should be offset to the right of the catcher and left-handed to the left side of the catcher. The idea of this angle is so the hitter does not block any view of the pitcher on the mound. The open side of for the pitching angle is to see what body his mechanics look like from the side. The parents can zoom in as much as possible and keep the hitter in the middle of the frame.
Lastly, once the parent has mastered and understood the different angles they will want to capture videos in separate clips. Each pitch should be its own clip. This will make it easier to go back and delete if the player took two balls and a strike before hitting a double. The only time the camera should continuously roll through a whole pitching or hitting sequence is if a coach is specifically asking for footage of an ENTIRE at-bat.
Getting defensive in-game footage can be difficult. It is very tough to get this because of the uncertainty of where the batted ball is going to go. The best way to obtain defensive clips is to have a go pro/video camera set up on the desired player throughout the whole game. Keep him in the middle of the frame with room to move to his left and right while still being in the frame.
After good footage is captured, we recommend putting 8-12 good swing or 15 pitches into one final clip. Coaches are much more likely to watch one clip with several highlights than click on multiple different videos. It sounds like a small thing, but we have seen this happen.
We wish parents the best of luck. You now have videographer added to your list of job duties!
Tim Arakawa - National Advisor