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Soccer/Football Highlight Tape – This Is The Only Guide You’ll Need

soccer/football highlight tape - the only guide you'll need

We were running a small survey on our Instagram page the other day, where we asked our followers if they have got a football highlight tape ready to send and network.

The answer we got back was a bit “shocking” with 72% of the surveyed footballers not having a highlight video to network in the football industry.

soccer/football highlight tape - the only guide you'll need

Yes, we get the fact that you don’t need to network 365 days of the year, BUT a highlight tape is a basic tool you need to have available at all times along with your CV. You honestly NEVER know when an opportunity may arise. It’s in your hands to prepare yourself properly for that moment.

It is all about maximizing the potential in every career and performance area – player management and marketing included.

RELATED: This Is How To Network In The Modern Football World

WHAT IS A FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT TAPE & WHAT SHOULD BE INSIDE OF IT?

A football/soccer highlight tape basically is a short 3-5 minute video that (mainly) showcases your positional qualities as an individual footballer. Your football highlight video should strictly contain match (not training) footage, preferably of your last two (max. three) seasons. Here is what should be in your football highlight tape;

  1. Introduction Card with Personal & Player Information – First 10”-20”
  2. Position-Specific Highlights – At Least 3’ (15+ Clips)
  3. Extra, Non-Position-Specific Skills – A Maximum of 1’/5 Clips
  4. Music – Light & Low-Volume (Not Disturbing & Extreme)
  5. Video Quality – Above 720p (Easy to Spot Players)
  6. Graphics & Transitions – Not Necessary/Can be Added
  7. Outro Card – “Thank You” Note and Contact Details (Last 10″-20″)
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WHEN & WHY DO I NEED A FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT TAPE

As we’ve already mentioned, a highlight tape is a prerequisite for networking. No matter if you’re contacting an agent/agency, a coach, or a team, they will definitely want to get a taste of you before they actually answer back to your e-mail.

If an agent, coach, or team wants to work with you without you providing them a highlight video, there are two possible scenarios;

  1. the person/”organization” you’re talking to is a scam (so stop interacting with them)
  2. your CV/Resume speaks for itself (that’s not a reason to put lies in it though!)

So who, when, and why does someone need a football highlight tape? Here are some scenarios that might resonate with you;

  • High School or College Soccer recruitment
  • Networking for playing opportunities overseas or out of the regional zone of your league
  • Contacting agents and agencies for (future) opportunities
  • Pretty much any player that wants/needs to network to #levelUP his career

RELATED: Football CV – How To Create A Professional One (With Examples)

THE BASIC LAYOUT OF A FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT TAPE

soccer/football highlight tape - basic layout

THE COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF A FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT TAPE

Now that we’ve got all of this general yet valuable information out of the way, let’s break down and analyze what’s inside a football highlight tape.

Intro Card

Although the person you’re talking to has most probably skimmed through your CV, it is important to also include an introductory card during the first 10” to 20” of the tape to make sure they know all your basic information (including your jersey number) and can recognize your face before they start watching. Here’s what to include & how an intro card usually looks like;

  • Football-Specific Profile Picture
  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Playing Position
  • Shirt Number
  • Contact Details (Phone Number & E-mail Address)
soccer/football highlight tape - intro card

Highlights

This is the main portion of your football highlight tape that grasps the attention of the person watching. This should be kept limited to the most valuable qualities of your game and last about 3 to 5 minutes. Anything above that can be tiring and time-consuming to watch. Keep in mind that those 3 to 5 minutes are more than enough for someone to recognize your qualities and the patterns you usually follow in your game.

The aim is to showcase your strengths as a player, no matter what they are.

At least 3 minutes of your tape need to be related to your position. You might as well add another 1 or 2 minutes of “extra” skills you can bring to the table that will definitely help you “stand out”. Being versatile in today’s game is a trait you want to have!

For example, a center-back that can score in set-pieces is an even greater asset to the team. The same applies to the attacker that knows how to apply offensive pressure with a high success rate.

Here is a checklist for every position that is split up between defensive and attacking roles. Make sure you include both (if possible), in a video that doesn’t exceed the 5-minute mark.

Center-Backs

Defensive Roles

  • 1v1s
  • defensive stance
  • zonal defending (positioning, cover, and support)
  • defending in set-pieces
  • defensive headers
  • interceptions

Attacking Roles

  • passing (build-up play, long balls, breaking pressure)
  • attacking headers (set-pieces, goal-scoring)

Fullbacks

Defensive Roles

  • 1v1s
  • defensive stance
  • zonal defending (positioning, cover, and support)
  • defending in set-pieces
  • interceptions

Attacking Roles

  • attacking 1v1s
  • off the ball runs (speed and timing)
  • ball control and dribbling
  • crossing
  • finishing/goal-scoring

Central Defensive Midfielders

Defensive Roles

  • zonal defending (positioning, cover, and support)
  • blindside defending
  • individual defending higher up the field (as part of the team’s offensive press)
  • defensive headers
  • defending in set-pieces
  • interceptions
  • block passing lines

Attacking Roles

  • passing (build-up play, breaking pressure, creation stage, key passes)
  • taking advantage of space with the ball

Central Attacking Midfielders

Defensive Roles

  • coordination and participation in the offensive press
  • Individual defending in the central corridor

Attacking Roles

  • passing (creation stage, key passes)
  • finishing and goal-scoring
  • ball control and dribbling (tight spaces)
  • set-pieces

Wingers

Defensive Roles

  • defensive 1v1s in the back (defensive cover and support to the fullback)
  • zonal defending as part of the offensive press

Attacking Roles

  • attacking 1v1s
  • finishing/goal-scoring
  • assists
  • crossing
  • set-pieces

Strikers

Defensive Roles

  • coordination and participation in the offensive press

Attacking Roles

  • finishing/goal-scoring
  • assists
  • passing (key passes in the creation stage)
  • tap-ins (positioning + timing)
  • off the ball actions
  • set-pieces

Music

In addition to the video footage, you shall also add some music to make the whole experience more pleasant to the person watching. This might not be the most important piece of the whole puzzle, however, music/sound selection needs to be appropriate to the format.

You are basically talking “business’ with someone else. Cut that “party music” and opt for something lighter and pleasant. Here’s a playlist with more than 350 tracks we think are appropriate for a football highlight tape (YouTube Audio Library – Copyright-Free).

Video Quality

Another important aspect that can literally make or break the success of your networking process is the quality of your video. You will NOT need expensive camera equipment to record your games.

Having said that, this also doesn’t mean that you should opt for crappy video quality that makes it hard for the person watching to recognize you on the field. 

Nowadays, a 720p resolution is a good enough quality for someone to recognize you with ease on the football pitch. Given that, you most probably won’t need to even buy a camera. Most smartphones have a good enough video quality.

The only thing that we would recommend however is a tripod. This will make the video much smoother and watchable. You definitely don’t want shaky footage!

Here are some suggestions in terms of cameras and tripods.

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Graphics & Transitions

Don’t get me wrong guys and gurls, we’re not editing a Hollywood movie here, that’s for sure! However, the inclusion of some BASIC graphics and/or transitions can make the experience for the person watching so much easier.

Now you might be asking what we mean by “basic”.

In terms of graphics, a simple circle or highlighter to indicate who you are on the field in clips that aren’t easy for you to get recognized can get the job done. As far as transitions are concerned, simple fades between clips can make the tape look and feel smoother. Most editing software offers such tools for free.

Again, not something you need, and definitely not something you want to overdo and overcomplicate.

Lastly, make sure to avoid slow-motion, re-plays, extreme zoom-ins & -outs, etc. If someone needs to re-watch something they’ll do it themselves.

Outro Card

In the final part of the tape, you should also add a “thank you” note and appreciate the time the person took to watch your highlight tape.

Along with that note, you shall also add your contact details both in the intro and the outro. Your phone number and e-mail address are enough. If the other person wants to find your social media profiles, he/she might as well check out your CV for further info.

soccer/football highlight tape - outro card

WHERE CAN I GET/CREATE A FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT TAPE?

Nowadays, it is so easy to get something like a football highlight tape done, even in a short time. Your options are two;

You can either pay someone to do it for you or create one by yourself.

If you want someone else to create your football highlight tape, we strongly recommend our partners, PlayerTape.

PlayerTape is a Fiverr-based service that creates all the necessary networking tools for a football player or coach to network. This basically includes Highlight Tapes, CVs/Resumes, and Cover Letters. All of these at a very reasonable price.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT PlayerTape & GET YOUR HIGHLIGHT TAPE!

Nonetheless, if you want to save yourself some bucks you can also create your own football highlight tape. The process is very easy and can be done with various pieces of editing software that are available for free on the internet.

Here’s the breakdown of the whole editing process;

  1. Record your games every weekend
  2. Cut your best plays after each game and store them in a folder made specifically for the highlight tape
  3. Select 15 to 30 clips out of that folder at the end of the season
  4. Download an editing software (Canva, iMovie, Shotcut, etc.)
  5. Create an introduction card and put it at the beginning (10”-20”)
  6. Add all of your desired clips in the editing software
  7. Time them appropriately – position-specific first/extra HL next
  8. Add basic graphics (circles/highlighters) when needed and basic transitions
  9. Select and add 1 audio clip from the playlist above
  10. Add an outro card with your contact details and a “thank you” note at the end of the tape

MISTAKES EVERYONE IS DOING

Many footballers tend to overcomplicate things and end up with a highlight video that’s going to either get nominated for the Oscars at best or end up in somebody’s junk folder at worst.

Once again, we contacted FIFA Licensed Agent, Dani Infante, to find out what the most common mistakes players make are.

Here’s what he had to say;

“It drives me crazy when footballers put so much attention into the music or the effects but neglect the actual highlight video. I literally don’t care about the music. I receive so many highlight tapes that I watch them on mute. Special effects also won’t make the video better if the video quality makes it difficult for me to recognize you and the video is shaky, with bad angles”

“Another silly mistake I see players making is they re-play clips themselves and/or use slow motion. If I want to see something again or at a slower pace, I’m going to playback the video myself. Value people’s time guys.”

What about the game footage?

“I’d really appreciate it if the player splits his/her game footage into two parts; a defensive and an attacking part. This would make it so much easier for me to consume the tape and understand your game. On top of that, video quality and shooting angles are also really important. I know some players might be having difficulties with these but try your best!”

Thank you once again, Dani! If you want to connect with Dani Infante, check him out on Instagram @daninfante91. He’s an active football agent, currently based in Madrid, Spain.

CONCLUSION

As with every other networking tool, your highlight tape needs to reflect simplicity and professionalism whilst being informative at the same time. The aim of a highlight tape is to showcase the strengths of your game that are proven to be the most valuable for your position. Anything extra you can bring to the table is a plus.

Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t oversaturate it. Keep it simple and informative. And remember, a bad highlight tape can’t be enhanced with good video quality or with graphics, effects, and flashy transitions. A highlight tape should complement your CV.

If you enjoyed this article, we’re sure you’d benefit from these as well!

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