Making a DVD

A DVD  can be a front line marketing tool to help get your skills and abilities seen by a coach. But there are some hard and fast rules that you need to follow if you want to score an “A”.
Keep your production short and to the point. Your DVD or VHS should be no longer that 8 minutes maximum. Glossy or cute introductions are nice but coaches want to get down to the nitty gritty and see your skills. Make your points clear and simple: “Hi my name is Suzy Spike and I am a grade 10 student in Calgary, Alberta. I play for the My Volleyball Club and am a leftside hitter. My main strengths as a player are my work ethic and my coaches tell me that I am a very dynamic player. Thank you for viewing my DVD/Tape. I hope you enjoy it!”
How to Capture the Competition:

  • Have fully charged battery and spare ready to go. Extension cords are dangerous in competition areas so charge your camera off the court.
  • Record the match in SP (Standard Play) mode not EP (Extended Play) or LP (Long Play) mode.
  • Turn off the Date/Time stamp on your camera.
  • When possible use a tripod or monopole when you film. You may think you’re Steven Spielberg but a shaky camera will make the coach see green.
  • Locate an unobstructed view of the competition, preferably behind the court on an angle away from the service area.
  • Filming from the ground level is okay however being slightly elevated such as from the stands is preferred.
  • Filming cross court or through the net is acceptable but not optimal.
  • Do not zoom in and out on the athlete during the play. Try to capture most of the court action.
  • Continually record the entire match with the exception of time outs and side changes (end of set)
  • Keep the microphone on to catch the excitement but beware of what you say!

What to Capture in the Practice Gym:

  • Emphasis should be placed on the athlete’s skills such as serving, hitting, setting, passing, blocking and defense.
  • Skills are best filmed with the coach working with the athlete and perhaps one or two fellow team mates who are there to help execute the skills. (Setter for hitting drills)
  • It is best to have the athlete’s coach tossing balls and organizing the drills.
  • Skill footage should be shot at the same level as the athlete so that the coach can get an accurate idea of the athletes jumping ability in relation to the height of the net.
  • Emphasis should be placed on executing each skill with precision and speed.

DVD Production:
Most coaches now ask for a skills DVD. Just about any electronic store can convert an 8mm or mini-dv to DVD. If you are able to edit or design the DVD yourself, create a DVD menu, athlete bio and photo of the athlete. From here the coach can select what skill they wish to review and it easy for them to go back and repeat each technique. It is important not to complicate the DVD with flashy icons or text. Background music that best represents the athlete’s personality is great. Head banging punk rock might not be something that the coach wants to listen too.
Finally, when you package and send your DVD make sure your name and contact info is on the DVD label or outer jacket. It is a nice gesture to include a small hand written note inside the DVD so that the coach has a nice personal message from you before he/she see’s you perform!