Since many players have read my primer on playing professional basketball, many of the players who reach out now are faced with the conundrum of not having game film to show as proof of performance.
What do you do in this case?
Here are my suggestions, from most- to least-advised.
1) Uncover Game Film Footage From Past Performances.
Have you played college or pro ball already? Someone may have footage of you — get it, by any means necessary. When my college career ended and I realized I would need some proof of my game to sell myself to pro teams, I first reached out to my college coaches and inquired about game film. Unfortunately for me, one coach had given away all his (VHS) game tapes in a moment of frustration over losing his coaching job, and another coach hadn’t bothered to have the games filmed at all.
So I looked up and called the head coaches of every school I’d played road games against and asked them if they had film. I was ready to send self-addressed mailing envelopes and blank VHS tapes to them to get that footage. Unfortunately again, none of them had footage of the games in question.
Seems crazy to imagine nowadays, I know. Technology advances fast. Still needing film but having none, I had to move on to option 2…
2) Go Play Somewhere Reputable, And Get The Game Film.
You’d think this goes without saying, but my experience dealing with athletes is everything should be spelled out in detail. So here it is.
Since I’m assuming you don’t have a professional team to play for, go to an exposure camp — one that shares or sells all game footage — play well there (important), and boom! You have film.
I chose my first exposure camp because I knew they offered full game footage for $20. I played well there, and that footage got me an agent — who got me my first contract in Lithuania. These are you best two options.
Disclaimers: If you’re not a good basketball player, getting footage won’t help you. Also — if you’re unwilling to invest in yourself by attending a camp, honestly, you shouldn’t be reading this. But if, for whatever reason, you can’t do either…
3) Get A Well-Made Workout Video That Makes You Look Like Kobe Or Lebron Or Steph Curry.
This one should be the easiest for you to understand. I mean, there are basketball enthusiasts playing out their entire careers in empty gyms on YouTube / Instagram these days, so I shouldn’t have explain how it’s done.
In short, make yourself look like a superstar. Leave out basic stuff like free throws, and easy on the props (cones, chairs etc). Athleticism and above-the-rim ability always looks great on video, and does consistent long-range shooting. Use dummy defenders or screen setters if it helps.
Oh yeah — LIGHT on the editing. No slo-mo shots. I want to see you making 10 threes in a row with no cutaways. Keep the music at a low volume; I want to hear the ball bouncing the shots going through the net. When the video starts, go right into it. No cinematic intro bullshit. Decision makes are deciding within 30 seconds if you can play or not, so put your best stuff first.
And since you’re doing this….
4) Play In A Rec League Or Tournament And Use That Game Film.
This one is trickiest, since quality levels vary widely, and the quality of the players you’re playing against matters just as much as your actual performance. What you do need for sure though, is a high-quality filming job. Sponsored leagues and tournaments usually provide their own video staffs, so find our what’s up and how/if you can get the footage.
Bottom Line: You NEED game film that will act as proof of your ability. Your footage is what every manager or coach or agent wants to see in deciding if you’re worth the investment. If playing pro is your goal, make obtaining this proof-of-game a priority of your activity.