Soccer Recruiting Highlight Video: The Worst Mistakes & Best Tips

By September 4, 2020October 22nd, 2020No Comments

Dream of playing collegiate soccer? Want to Impress Top Collegiate Coaches? Make a Great Video.

Parents, players, and even many youth soccer coaches are not clear on the simple rules for making a dynamic highlight video. We wanted to help solve this problem and get answers to the most frequently asked questions.

How do you make a highlight video? What makes a highlight video for a soccer player effective? How long should a college highlight video be? How much should it cost?

Tara Parker with Brooke Kentera speak with college coaches at top youth soccer tournaments around the USA

Instead of going to a video production company for answers, we thought we would go to experts who talk to college coaches constantly and see thousands of videos from hopeful youth soccer players.

Brooke Kentera and Tara Parker are the co-founders of ScoutingZone, the only online application college coaches pay for. Launched in 2015, ScoutingZone is a cutting-edge mobile app that has changed the college recruiting game. Official Scouting Partner of US Club Soccer, ENPL, US Youth Soccer, Surf Cup Sports, and countless other organizations, ScoutingZone also worked closely with the former U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Here are the most valuable tips on creating an impressive college recruiting video from the experts who work with college coaches from all across America.

SoccerToday Interview with ScoutingZone’s Brooke Kentera and Tara Parker

ScoutingZone’s Brooke Kentera and Tara Parker

Diane Scavuzzo: What are the top three mistakes you want to avoid when making a college recruiting highlight video?

Brooke Kentera: Here are my top 3 mistakes players make:

  • Not stacking all their very best clips in the first 30 seconds — Coaches gain or lose interest that fast.
  • Not using an arrow or something indicating where the player is on the field.
  • Not using clips that truly display how powerful the player is. A good player can actually damage chances if they don’t ensure that their videos are absolutely explosive

Tara Parker: I totally agree. I see a lot of videos with the player not clearly indicated in every clip. It’s very difficult to read jersey #’s on videos so that makes it hard for a coach to identify who the player is. It’s imperative to have an arrow, light, or circle, something to indicate who the coach should be watching at the start of every clip in the video.

Here are my other two top mistake to avoid when making your recruiting video for college coaches:

  1. Coaches mostly want to see you playing in game situations with pressure so using a lot of home footage/individual training sessions as highlight clips is a mistake.
  2. Don’t include clips of your mistakes in your video. Coaches understand that you are human, and mistakes certainly happen but why use them?

Diane Scavuzzo: What are the top three rules to remember?

Tara Parker: I like to tell players to ask themselves two questions before they create their video:

  1. What do you want to come across in your video?
  2. What are your 3 best “on-field” qualities?

This will give you structure and a foundation for your video. It’s extremely helpful if your video is position-specific and broken down into sections. For instance, a forward could do sections on scoring goals, making assists, and movement off the ball. A goalkeeper could do sections for saves, distribution, and goal kicks.

Secondly, college coaches often tell us that they like for players to show 3 seconds before and after the “ moment”. If you are showing an assist, include footage 3 seconds before and 3 seconds after the assist so the coach can see the entire move.

Finally, the intention of a highlight video is to pique interest from the coach so that they want to come to watch you play live. It’s extremely rare a player is offered a roster spot based upon a video.

Brooke Kentera: Great advice. Remember, the video is meant to be a teaser to entice them to come to watch you play. You should introduce yourself at the beginning of the video and say what team you play before, and your graduation year.

Always identify yourself in every clip and, have your club coach or your trainer review your highlight video before you send it our to ensure it is accurately depicting you as a player.

Diane Scavuzzo: First Impressions  How long does the average coach watch a video before deciding what he or she thinks of the player?


Tara Parker, Co-Founder SCOUTINGZONE

Diane Scavuzzo: How long should a video be? What are the standards? 

Tara Parker: It should be short — This is one of the reasons to remember to have your best clips at the beginning of the video.

Brooke Kentera: 3-5 minutes is plenty!

ScoutingZone’s Tara Parker speaking at United Soccer Coaches annual soccer convention

Diane Scavuzzo: How can you make ‘your’ video stand out from the crowd? 

Tara Parker: Show your best stuff!! I also like seeing when a player adds a 5-10 second intro of them talking/introducing the video. This puts a face/personality to the player that the coach is recruiting. It’s a nice personal touch.

Diane Scavuzzo: Should highlight videos have music? Or is that a mistake?

Brooke Kentera: Videos should have music, just make sure it’s tasteful.

Tara Parker: Try to stay middle of the road on this one because you don’t want a coach to not watch it because of your music choice!

Here are two examples of highlight videos:

Diane Scavuzzo: What is the price range? How much should you expect to spend on a video? 

Brooke Kentera: There are so many do it your self programs out there, but if you choose do have one done professionally they can range from $300-1,000. If you can afford one. I think they are great investments.

Tara Parker: Honestly, there is a large range in price. I have seen players create their own video on their phone and they look great! If you or the player is techy enough, go for it.

However, many families don’t have the time or ability to create an effective video and prefer to outsource it to a company. We do work with companies that specialize in recruiting highlight videos if anyone needs a recommendation or quote. Just ask us.

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