How to Video Youth Soccer Games: Keep the Memories

If your child plays soccer, and you would like to capture these moments, you probably want something better than a 10-second smartphone video. But you may not know where to start in producing the best video you can, preferably without breaking the bank.

Capturing the moments of your child’s soccer game can be challenging. Read on to learn about how to choose and use the right equipment, how to develop a plan for your video, and practice your craft so you can be sure to get the best video on game day!

Having the Right Equipment

Having the right equipment will put you ahead of the game. With youth soccer matches, even the spectators are on the ground level. This can make it difficult to obtain a good video. 

Here is the equipment that will help:

  • Video sports camera or motion-tracking camera
  • Extended tripod
  • Microphone with microphone muff

If you’re on a tight budget, you may have to get creative!

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Choosing Your Video Device

Having the right camera for your needs is most important. Ask yourself, what will you be using this video for? Is this video just to commemorate a moment? Will you use your video to help your child become better at soccer?  Are you going to create a recruiting highlight reel from the video? 

Knowing the end goal of your video will help you choose the best source for capturing it. 

You’ll find video cameras all over the spectrum:

  • High-quality, remarkable video, high cost. A high-end video camera like this Canon professional will never let you down. But this camera has a price tag to match.
  • Decent quality, low cost. There are also several decent quality video cameras that are a little more budget friendly. This Zohulu 4k would be a nice choice, and it even comes with a microphone. 
  • Balanced, mid-range option. A GoPro Hero would be an excellent choice for recording a soccer match. It’s lightweight and waterproof. If it starts to rain, there’s no need to worry about damaging the camera. 

Yet another choice for a more professional video image might be to use a video camera with a built-in tracking system, such as a veo or SOLOSHOT. These cameras are made with sports-action in mind.

The veo has a mid-range starting price and can be tailored to soccer specifically, but requires a high-cost monthly subscription to unlock its potential.  The AI and analytical functionality is truly amazing, though!

The SOLOSHOT is a little more expensive upfront, but there is no subscription.  In comparison to the veo, the functionality is fairly limited.  It’ll track a tagged player, but doesn’t do much more than that.

Finding Your Shot and Getting Above the Game

A tripod will help you keep your camera steady. Unfortunately, most tripods will not give your camera the lift you will need to get the best angle on the game.  You need to get above the action and the on-lookers

Having a tripod that extends beyond the typical 6 feet will be helpful. Here are some tips for bringing your shot up above the crowd:

  • This tripod extends to 20 feet. With this extra height, your camera will be able to pick up more of the soccer field and the actual game.
  • Use an extension pole or a monopod instead. The Doca camera pole extends to 24 feet and can be used for more than just your camera. The only issue with a monopod is you will have to hold it steady yourself. 
  • To stabilize an extension pole, use an OctoPad and have it braced against the ground. Or get a holster for monopod/ tripod use. With a holster, you will be able to walk with the camera while following the action. 

Using the Right Microphone

This is something we often do not consider until we are in the middle of shooting a video. The quality of the microphone can have a surprisingly large impact on video quality. A lot of static or other noise, such as wind, amplified through the microphone, can be very distracting when viewing a video.  A good microphone will allow you to hear coaching instruction and team communication, which can help with game analysis.

Some video cameras already come equipped with an external microphone. If yours does not, then a universal mic such as this  Universal Compact Shotgun Video Microphone would be a great investment. It even comes with a windshield cover.

Getting Creative on a Budget

If you don’t have a fancy video camera or a tripod, you can still record your youth soccer game. Most smartphones have good quality cameras that will allow you to capture the action. Just be aware that the picture may not be as clear if you use your phone. If you can deal with this, then, by all means, use your phone.

If you decide to use your phone to record the soccer match, you will still want to get above the players and the spectators. So, using a tripod or a monopod is still your best bet. 

If you do not have either of these, you can make your own such as this Adjustable monopod for around $10, using PVC pipe, a drill, and duct tape. If you are handy with a sewing machine, it shouldn’t be too difficult to stitch up a holster for your monopod or tripod. 

A Strategic Plan and Helpful Tips for Your Soccer Video

Now that you have your equipment together, it’s time to envision how your video will look when completed. Think about the soccer field. Where is the best place for you to set up your video equipment? This is usually the highest point with a view of the center of the field.

  • Use your tripod or monopod. Since most fields are flat and there are no bleachers, you need to raise your camera. 
  • Be aware of how close is too close. You do not want to set up perfectly only to be told you have to move, or worse, have the players collide with you and your video equipment.
  • Set up and arrive early. This should also help you get the best spot on the field before other parents show up.
  • Stay steady. When you are taking a video, try to avoid using zoom too much. You don’t want to make the audience queasy. You should also avoid shaky video whenever possible. 

You can also choose to take video from a vantage point that will require no movement of the camera. This is a simple technique but lacks excitement. If you choose this method, you might try taking video with other devices from different vantage points.  Using a smartphone on a selfie stick would be an easy option to supplement the main video. 

By having multiple videos of the same event, you could then use an editing tool and cut and add different and exciting segments of the game.

Practice Using Your Video Equipment Before Game Day

Before you shoot the real game, take some practice runs. Take your children and your gear to the park or the soccer field. Practice setting up the gear and taking action videos of the kids. Do this as often as you possibly can before the big day. You could also ask your child’s coach if they would allow you to record video during practice.

Get Your Child Used to the Camera Being There

Practicing the video with your child there will also give them time to get used to having a camera trained on them. They may want to play to the camera, to begin with. This could distract them from the actual game action. But, if they become used to the camera beforehand, they’ll most likely forget it is even there.

After each of your practice runs, sit and watch your video critically. What could be improved? If you are able to see the mistakes made during your tests, you will be able to fix them before game day. 

Does Quality Matter with a Youth Soccer Video?

If you want to produce a video of your child’s youth soccer game that will be cherished forever, the quality will need to be decent. If you’re not happy with your video, there’s less chance you will want to relive the moment and share it with your child.

Quality is also paramount if the purpose of your video is game analysis.  It’s hard to evaluate a performance if key moments are either missed or unclear.

Finally, quality is extremely important if your purpose is to create a recruiting highlight video for your player.  Highlight videos have become increasingly important in college recruiting.  Being able to create an attractive and engaging highlight reel can make all the difference.    

By using the equipment and techniques set forth above, you’ll be sure to get the soccer video you want.

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