Making a highlights video can often be a challenge for prospective College Soccer players. Some players have a reasonable amount of video footage available from club matches, while others will have next to nothing. Here, we’ll discuss how best to construct your footage and present it as a highlights video!
What is a Highlights Video?
A ‘highlights video’ is essentially your opportunity to make a great first impression and enhance your chances of being recruited. College coaches receive hundreds of highlights videos each year from players all over the world. Therefore, it is an extremely competitive market and one that requires you to set yourself apart from everyone else!
A College coach will tend to watch your highlight clips to get a feel for your playing level and individual attributes. If they like what the see, they may decide to ask us if they can contact you and learn more about you. If the coach does not like enough of what they see, or the video is not clear, they may not pursue you further. So, it is hugely important to take your time and work hard on this part of the process! Read more on Soccer at College
What is a College coach looking for?
Everyone knows that football (soccer) is a subjective game. Coaches will have different opinions and will be looking for different types of players, so there is no generic answer. However, there will be a few attributes that you as a player will need to demonstrate on your highlights video:
- Evidence of the level you play at (e.g. Development League, First Team, Reserves, etc). Coaches will judge the standard of your opposition just as much as they assess you, individually. So, showing footage of yourself playing against lower-level opposition won’t help your cause!
- Good general speed and athleticism. While you don’t have to be as quick or athletic as Rapinoe or Ronaldo, you should show clips of yourself on/off the ball where your pace and running form is clear.
- Examples of your defensive and offensive capabilities! Even if you’re an out-and-out striker or winger, you need to show what you do off the ball for your team (defensively).
How long should my highlights video be?
Generally speaking, you should aim to put together at least 6 mins of clips, and a maximum of around 10 mins. Remember, the highlight reel is a work-in-progress, so you can start with around 6 mins and then add more. In order to get enough footage, it could mean taking clips from 2-6 different matches, depending on your involvement in games.
It’s also worth noting that many College coaches will ask to see a full-match of you playing. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to have a couple of your best ’90-min’ performances saved, too.
Here’s some ideas of what to include, based on your position:
GK – You can use footage from matches and from 1-on-1 training (e.g. handling, footwork, shot-stopping, etc). Focus on showing shot-stopping, kicking/distribution, composure on the ball, aerial ability/dealing with crosses.
Defender – Stick to highlights video from matches, avoid using training footage! Concentrate on 1-v-1 defending, tackling, aerial ability, reading the game, positional awareness, passing/composure in possession (especially under pressure) & physicality.
Midfielder – Stick to footage from matches, avoid using training footage! Focus on showing both attacking and defensive qualities. In particular: Passing (short and long range), shooting, tackling, spacial awareness, off the ball work rate, heading/physicality.
Forward – Stick to footage from matches, avoid using training footage! Demonstrate your goal-scoring prowess, finishing, getting into dangerous positions, anticipation, speed 1-v-1, ability to hold up ball, heading & work rate off the ball.
How do I make my highlights video?
You do not need to have an Oscar in Film Editing to make an effective highlights video! Just keep things simple and bear in mind how it would look to someone viewing it for the first time.
The easiest editing tools to use, once you have footage to edit, are iMovie or Windows Media Player. If you have access to Adobe Premier Pro, that’s a little more advanced but also very good and straight forward to use!
More Tips for What to Include in your Highlight Video
- Vary the lengths of clips – some may be short (10-12 seconds) whereas others might need to be 30 seconds to show some context.
- Make sure the viewer can see more than just you on each clip – footage zoomed in too close gives them no perspective of the match. Similarly, footage shot too far away makes it hard for them to identify you!
- Identify yourself at the start of each individual clip! Use the editing tool to include an arrow or circle that shows which player is you before the clip begins!
- Start the highlights video with some of your best clips… First impression is key!
- Display your strengths! Whilst you need to show all aspects of your game, you should be sure to highlight your best attributes. If you’re a fast player, show multiple examples of your speed!
- Don’t add clips for the sake of it! Only add clips that genuinely show your abilities clearly. Including poor quality footage or clips that don’t show your strengths just to fill minutes is not a good idea. Quality, not quantity!
- Background music is optional but not necessary. Our advice is not to worry about it, but if you’re adamant about adding a song, make sure it has clean lyrics!
- You can add an introductory section at the beginning which gives the viewer a summary of you as a student-athlete. It’s helpful to include your name, year of entry to the US (e.g. Fall 2021), position, club, etc. See the example below from our Content Editor, Pato, who played at UConn Women’s Soccer.
What if I struggle to get enough video footage?
It can be hard to obtain lots of video footage, especially if you club team doesn’t regularly record games. But don’t worry! If this applies to you, one solution is to attend an Athleticademix Event in the near future. We have our Trial Games and Showcases filmed professionally. The footage is then available for our clients to use in their highlights video!
Please regularly check our website and social media channels for updates on when our next Showcase events will be taking place. These events are the perfect opportunity for you to play in a recorded game and add the footage to your portfolio!
Thank you for reading!