5 Tips for Better Soccer Highlight Videos

Here are our 5 tips to better soccer highlight videos. Capturing that perfect goal, pass or save is trickier than it looks. These tips can help.

Use a monopod

Repeat after me: One cannot take great soccer videos hand holding their camera. Soccer games are long. It can be a long time between your players touches depending on where they play on the field. Even if you have the perseverance to hold the camera for the entire game, when that big play comes you'll probably end up pointing your camera at the ground while you're reacting. I've got plenty of shots of grass to prove it.

Monopods are easy to cary and unobtrusive. They hold your camera steady and make for a much better highlight. With the right attachment you can use them with an iPhone or a video camera.

soccer highlight video tips

Mark Your Key Shots

You go out and take soccer videos for 90 minutes and capture some great plays. Awesome! The only problem is you've recorded in 15 minute stretches and now you have to find and edit those key shots. It can take you another hour or so just to find the plays you had in mind. The solution: break your videos into smaller 1 minute segments. Then mark your key shots. I use the following to mark the shots I want to download.

  • A shot I might want to use: I take a quick 1-2 second video right after it. This shorter video will stand out and let me know that the video just prior to it is worth watching.
  • Goals: I take a short video with my watch in front of the camera. When you view the clips to download you'll recognize the ones with the watch and know where the goals are.
  • Goals against: I take a short video of the upside down OK sign. This is not OK, we got scored against.
  • Good defensive plays: I take a short video of my fist. Because great defensive plays are strong like that.
Tips for better soccer highlight videos
Tips for better soccer highlight videos

Have the right settings on your video camera

These are the key settings to really improve your videos. Pro tip: If you're shopping for a video camera, try to get one with 20x zoom and a 1" sensor for best results.

  • You don't need to shoot in 4k. 4k will take up way too much memory, will be harder to edit and won't improve the video that much. I've shot in what's called pro res (2k) or 1080p. 1080 is fine. You'll capture great video and won't burn through your memory so fast.
  • Shoot your video at 60 fps. The 60 frames per second setting is available on most iPhones and video cameras. Shooting at this frame rate will help to reduce the blur from tracking the play and let you do slow motion replays because hey, everyone looks cooler in slo-mo.
  • Set your video camera to automatic or sport mode. You don't want to be in manual mode or trying to shoot with a blurred background during a soccer game. The automatic setting means you won't even have to worry about exposure settings.
don't shoot your soccer highlight videos in 4k
do shoot your soccer highlight videos at 60 fps

Change your position

If your player is playing club or high school soccer then hopefully the team is taking video from the stands. Even if they aren't, getting video from field level ads an extra level of excitement and proximity to the action. Some of the best videos I have take have been from field level.

Where do you stand?

  • Forwards / Attacking Mid: At the end line. You'll want to be on your teams attacking side at the end line and wide. Almost out to the corner. You'll also want to be on your players side of the ball.
  • Defense / Holding mid: At the end line as well. You'll want to be on your teams defensive side at the end line and wide. Almost out to the corner. You'll also want to be on your players side of the ball.
  • Keepers: If you're trying to highlight your keeper then it's best to be at midfield or up in the stands. The positions I've outlined above make it hard to tell what kind of save was made. Higher up is better.

The video here was shot from the end line near the corner flag at 60 fps at 2k and cropped to make a YouTube reel. This size video also works on TikTok. Keeping the action framed in the center is the key to capturing a shot like this.

Add an external Mic and Controller and Screen

If you really want to take your videos to the next level then adding these to your video setup can make all the difference. If you've followed my videos on YouTube there is a huge difference between my early work and when I started shooting with the additional pieces of equipment.

  • External Mic: Most microphones that come with your video camera stink. They don't capture great sound. What you will get is every comment from the spectators and other weird noises that won't add anything to your highlight video.
  • External controller: Attaching an external controller makes it much easier to shoot. You can mount it somewhere on your monopod where it's comfortable for you. This moves the stop / start and zoom controls so they're easier to change during the game.
  • External display: You're going to have to watch your video screen to make sure you're capturing the shot in frame. Or you can shoot wide and make everyone look like ants. With a nice external monitor you get to really see the game and frame the shot. It sure beats watching the game on a 2 inch by 3 inch screen.
Using an external mic can really improve your soccer highlight videos
an external control can really help you frame the action
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