Thank you again to the Fellow Tennis Parent who shared the information below with us. If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here before reading on . . .
Video highlight editing –
This section describes how to cull out your player’s best points. You want to take winners and forcing errors. All an unforced error from your opponent shows is their mistake; it does not make your player look better. A video with 20 winners highlighted will run about 8-minutes. I had some with 30+ winners that went 11-minutes but those are the longest. Most will be 3-8 minutes.
And yes, I know coaches will say they want complete match video… and that’s bunk. They will not spend even 10-minutes to review a player who they don’t already know about. I have been in sales for 30+ years and I am telling you that highlights make an impression. Make no mistake; you are selling your kid’s value to the coach. Unless you’re a Blue Chip, it’s a buyer’s market, so you need to have the best possible pitch.
You can’t help but be impressed when you see winner after winner. Think of the impression you would have watching error after error for 5-minutes. The opposite effect is created by watching winners. All are full points, so the coach can see how points are created. The idea is to get on the radar. If they want full video later, great! Since that’s where you got your highlights, you already have them archived. Burn a disk and mail it to the coach.
Start with the raw footage saved to your PCs hard drive. Open in a video player and start going through the match point-by-point. It’s not as laborious as it sounds. You can skip ahead between points, between 1st and 2nd serves, and on changeovers. It takes me about 30-minutes to go through a 1-1/2 to 2-hour match.
The video player will have a timer that you need to note at the beginning of each point. If the first good point starts at 3-minutes and 22-seconds it will read 00:03:22. You need to remember that starting point in case that point is one you wish to use. If so, write down the starting time, and move to the next point. Write down the starting time for every point you want to include. The end time is irrelevant.
When you have your points identified, you can then move to editing the raw video down to your selected clips.
There is a lot of software out there for video editing, but the easiest I have found came free with my laptop. The Windows Live Movie Maker makes it really easy to separate the clips you want from the rest of the video.
Presuming you are using this software, upload the video to Live Movie Maker by opening the program and clicking “Click Here To Browse For Videos And Photos”. Then navigate to the video you want, highlight and click “open” or just double click the video. Then wait for it to convert to the .WMV format.
When it’s done, the progress bar will be green, and you will see the first frame in the video window.
Then click “Edit” at the top menu bar.
Under the video window is a slide bar that you can left-click and hold to drag the slide to the time of your first point. Because it is not exact you may need to stop a few seconds ahead of your target time. Then click the “play” button under the slide. When the video advances to the time you want, click “pause”.
At the top, just under the “Edit” button, you will see “Split”. Click “Split”. That will divide the video at the time you want on the front end of the point.
Then click “Play” and watch the point play out until just after the point ends. Be careful not to let it run too long, as you should avoid capturing any exclamations of anger from the opponent. Showing that is bad form.
When you get to the end time you want, click “Pause”.
Then click “Split” again to separate the entire point from the rest of the video.
Then repeat the process for each point until you reach the end. If you make a mistake, you can click the “Undo” button (shaped like a left-curving arrow) in the very top left of the screen.
Once finished, you need to go all the way back to the top and left-click once on the first video segment. This should be the video from before your first point that you don’t want to include in your highlights. Once the proper “excess” video is highlighted, hit “Delete” on your keyboard. The curser will now be on the first point you split out.
You can then either click or use the right-arrow to move to the next unwanted segment. Once the proper section is highlighted, hit “Delete” again and continue in this manner until you reach the end. Just be sure you are not deleting the segments you want. When you click on a segment, you will see the first frame in the video window. I can usually tell if it is the beginning, or end of a point from the player’s position. If you know it’s after the point, then it is excess video and OK to delete.
When you reach the end, all that should be left are the points you want.
Go back to the very first segment and left-click once to highlight it.
In the menu bar at the top, click “Home”
Look for a button that says “Caption” and click it.
You will see a text box in which you can type something to identify your player.
Once you have the caption you want, look to the top-right, and click the “Save Movie” drop-down menu. I record in HD, so I always use the “For high-definition display” option. Use a file name that makes it easy to find. I like incorporating the date of the match for easy searching later.
The video will begin to process your edits and save it to wherever on your drive you told it to. Once it is complete, you can play it back on your machine to insure it is what you wanted.
Presuming you are satisfied, highlight the first video segment, and then click “Select All” in the menu bar. Then click “Remove”. This will delete the project in Live Movie Maker. No need to keep it there, as you have already saved it to your hard drive.
Posting to YouTube –
If you don’t have a YouTube account, you will need to make one.
Upload the video and rename it to remove any reference to the opponent.
Under “Privacy Settings” select “Unlisted”. This will make the video available to anyone to whom you send the link, but cannot be found by someone searching by name or keyword.
Many parents get squirrely when any video at all of their kid is posted, so you don’t want to make it public. Also it’s rude to do so without permission.
Your objective is to highlight your player, not embarrass the opponent. Don’t show unforced errors, bad behavior, or even blatant cheating. Nothing will change, and you will make an enemy.
Once your upload is complete, you can copy-and-past the URL into a Word document to keep readily available. Or go back into the “Video Manager” function in your YouTube account and hit play. Then copy from the address bar.
These links can be pasted into an email to coaches, or faraway relatives. For tennis fanatics, watching a 2-hour match is enjoyable. However, coaches can’t dedicate that much time; and family members who aren’t tennis enthusiasts will find a 3 to 10 minute highlight video much more enjoyable.
The fine print –
Now you have a way to video your player. The only possible issue is other parents and officials.
If anyone says they want you stop videoing, you have to take it down. The USTA is afraid of having to deal with the vocal minority, and will not make a rule to allow you to video your own kid. They do tell all the officials that anyone can demand that you not video. If you argue (and I’ve tried) they will default your player. Just smile and say “sure”. I know it hurts. Just do it.
You can go to the TD ahead of time and ask for their position on videoing your own player. Some will back you up, but many are afraid of confrontation, and will then make you get advance permission from the opponent’s parent or guardian. That will usually not go well. It’s better to put it up without asking permission, and stop if someone complains.
If you want the USTA to “grow a pair” and let you film your own kid, then write an email to complain every time someone tells you to stop. Just don’t become one of “those” parents, and cause a scene at the event. It’s like getting a ticket from an angry cop. You won’t win an argument with the cop, just smile and accept the ticket. You can then argue it with the judge. In this case, the cop is the tournament official, and the judge is the USTA. Also remember that the “judge” is already biased against you, so don’t try to shove anything down their throat. Just say you think it is unfair that you cannot video your own child.
Maybe when they get enough flak from those of us who just want to improve our players, they will write it in the Code.
A big thank you to the Fellow Tennis Parent who shared the above information with us! If the editing process seems too daunting (believe me, it does to me!), the guys at CoachMe do a great job compressing video and housing it online for coaches to view. Also, there are several companies you can pay to prepare college recruiting videos in addition to videotaping tournament matches. The information presented above is just one approach to editing video and sharing it with college coaches; there are other approaches that may work equally well, so please use your discretion when deciding with your child and his/her coach how best to “market” during the recruiting process. No one method works best for every player.