Creating a highlight video on your phone without spending a lot of time is a challenge I get from soccer parents. Since we’re back in high school season I’ve been putting together a lot of highlight clips over the last two weeks. I wanted to share how I quickly make a highlight reel for soccer so I published a highlight video tutorial for you.

If you have players in high school you know you can have 3 games a week so you have a lot of games in a short period of time. Or in club soccer you can have 3-5 games in a tournament weekend. I’ve found if you don’t make a highlight video within a day or two after the game you probably aren’t going to find time to make it. You do all the work of hauling the camera, setting it up, recording, & uploading so it’s nice to put those clips to use.

You know the trick is finding the time for a highlight video on top of all the things you already do as a coach, manager, parent, etc. So I put together this guide on how to make a highlight video that shows what I’ve learned and how I quickly put together highlight reels for the team the day after the game. Not everyone loves learning from a video so I also wrote out a guide below if that will help you.

There might be only certain parts you need help with so here is an index that you can use to jump to certain parts of the guide. The guide is using examples in the CapCut video editor app but a lot of the ideas apply no matter which video editor you use. The key components of a video are the same and a lot of tips I give will work if you’re in iMovie, InShot, or other editors. To save time, pay attention to making a video project template and re-using it to let you make videos quickly without a lot of setup. If you have questions feel free to shoot me an email, ben@EasySportsVideo.com.  Here’s the index for the guide, the video version is embedded at the end of the guide. Good luck with you highlights! If you have other tips I should add please let me know and if you use the guide to make a highlight video please share it with me:

Highlight Clip Examples

Here are some examples of the highlight reels I’ve created in the last week or two. As you can see they’re not the most polished highlight films you’ve ever seen but that’s fine with me. I’d rather get out a game highlight reel that the team can enjoy and share rather than have the clips sitting in the cloud or on a hard drive. Most of these I published the day after the game and my daughter sent them off to her team so they could watch and share while the victory was fresh:

In case the video guide above isn’t your cup of tea I decided to put together a written guide as well. Here’s an index for the guide.

Downloading Highlight Clips

The whole reason I wrote this guide is to make it easier and faster to make a highlight video. The more often you make a highlight reel the easier it is since you have less to include. If you wait until the end of the season it takes forever to get all the clips together. Unfortunately it will take long enough that many people won’t do it. If you can make a video after each game/week/tournament then it’s faster and you’re more likely to do it. At the end of the season you’ll have lots of smaller videos and if you want to put them all together into one then you can.

Below are the parts of the video where I show downloading your clips from Veo and from Trace. I’ll work on examples for Pixellot, Hudl, Reeplayer, Camera-Pan, and SeeUsPlay. For Xbot Go they’ll already be on your phone. For cameras like Pix4Team they’ll be on SD cards so you can pull from there:

Realtime Clips

Something I’ve started doing recently is clipping moments out of the Veo livestream and sharing them during the game. Mostly because they added a new feature where you can download a 10-20 second clip from a moment in the stream as you’re watching. As you can see in the screenshot there’s a scissor icon at the bottom in the Veo Live app. If you tap that icon you can choose to create a 10, 15, or 20 second clip from that moment in the game. After you select the length the stream keeps playing but once the clip is ready you’ll get a download window in the app where you can save it to your phone.

One reason I do this is for family/fans who aren’t there and don’t have Veo Live. For example if your son/daughter scores a goal you can download it right away and share it in TeamSnap, Playmetrics, GroupMe, or whatever your team is using. The other nice benefit is that now the clips are on my phone as soon as the game is over and I don’t need to wait for the game to be uploaded/analyzed and the goal clips to be created.

Managing Game Videos

One thing I did that was really helpful was to download the Google Drive app to my phone. You can make folders in Google Drive and upload the clips/videos into those folders right from your phone. Then after you upload it you can delete it from your phone so you don’t eventually run out of space. You can even create the folders all at once right up front once you get your schedule. For example, it might look like:

  • 2024 High School
    • Game 1 vs North
    • Game 2 vs South
    • Game 3 vs Central
    • Playoffs
      • Round 1 vs Rivals
      • Round 2 vs Cheaters
      • Round 3 vs Rich Private School
  • 2024 Club
    • Game 1 vs Fusion
    • Game 2 vs Legends
    • Game 3 vs Sporting
    • Orlando Showcase
      • Game 1 vs Rush
      • Game 2 vs Albion
      • Game 3 vs Surf

You can do this even if you’re not making the highlight videos on your phone. You can store them in google drive even if you’re making the reels on your laptop, that way if your computer is lost/broken you won’t loose the footage. It doesn’t have to be Google, you can use DropBox or other cloud drives.

Download Video Editing Software

Choosing the right video editing software can trip you up. If you search on best video editing app you could spend forever reading about all kinds of video editors. I’d say just pick one and try it out.  Once you install video editing software and take the time to learn it then you’ll probably stick with what you know unless there are things you really don’t like about it. If you’re wanting to just get going I would either use InShot, iMovie, or CapCut. They’re all free and have big user bases so you can find a lot of tutorials and information on how to create videos.

Simple Video Editors

There are others apps with more features but iMovie and CapCut keep it simple. Getting a full featured editor for many people is like having the TV package with 1000 channels. You might have a ton of channels but how many do you watch? Similarly you might have a lot of editing features but to make a highlight video for sports how many do you actually need? Of course, if you have a specific feature need and only a more advanced app like Adobe Premiere Rush, Kinemaster, or LumaFusion can handle it then go for it. Just remember the more features it has (and the more complex it is) the longer it takes to learn the software.

One nice thing about iMovie and CapCut is that they also have desktop apps you can install on your computer in addition to a phone app. So for example with CapCut you can start a video on your phone, then upload it to your account and then open it on the desktop app. That’s actually what I did with the tutorial video I made for how to create highlight reels. I started it on my phone and finished it on my laptop. CapCut also has a browser based editor if you don’t to install it on your computer. However, if you’re making highlight videos that are just a few minutes long then the phone app should be perfect, it has both Android and iOS versions.

Filmora is another option but it’s a little more in depth to learn and the full version requires a purchase.  Another potential option is VN Editor. I haven’t used it before but from what I’ve read it’s easy to use, has a free version, and also has iOS and Android versions.

I’ve been using CapCut so the rest of this guide will explain how to take your clips and compile them into a highlight video with CapCut.

Highlight Editor Terms

Timeline – Your clips, music, text, pictures are all added here. This is where you can move those items around, change their duration. When you tap on them in the timeline there will be a Toolbar activated at the bottom of the app where you can change features of the video/text/music/image. The timeline can have many layers since you can have multiple things happening in the video at once. For example in the screenshot see how the video is one layer and then below it is Text layer. That means that clip and text will both appear in the video at once. So you can have video, music, images, text all showing up in different layers in the timeline.

Clip – A clip is just a small part of a video. Each highlight you add will be a clip.

Transition – When you go from one clip to the next it can help to add a transition. This is just a visual way to let the viewer know you’re moving from one part of a game to another. You don’t have to include them but they’re easy to add, there are many different kinds you can use. CapCut automatically includes a placeholder for a transition between each clip. If you leave it empty there is no effect. There is an option to set the same effect to all transitions at once to save time if you’d like.

Overlay – If you want to add images into the video or on top of the video you can use an overlay. It will show up as another layer on the timeline..

Toolbar – When you select a clip, text, music, or overlay you’ll get a toolbar that gives you lots of options you can set. You can honestly spend a lot of timing going through the toolbar and learning how to set each feature. If you’re trying to get a video out in a short period of time I’d recommend not spending too much time in the toolbar settings. It’s nice they are there because there are a lot of cool things you can do in CapCut once you get more familiar with the tool but to start I would stick to the basics.

Playhead – The playhead shows you where you are in the highlight video. You can drag it backwards and forwards to move through the video you’re making. If you want to split a clip at a certain point you’ll want to position the playhead before you split. One thing to note is that you can zoom in on the timeline to be more specific about the exact time you want to edit. For example, if you’re zoomed all the way out on the timeline it might show you minutes but as you zoom in you’ll see the time in seconds and milliseconds so you can be very precise on where you add or split.

Split – Once you get the playhead at the right moment there will be a split icon in the bottom left you can use to cut your clip into two separate clips in the timeline. This is useful when you want to insert something between parts of a clip or to trim part of a clip. For example if you have a clip of a corner kick that’s mostly dead space of the player chasing the ball and setting up you can trim off the first part of the clip and just show the actual kick and play afterwards.

Highlight Video Sizes (Aspect Ratio)

Aspect Ratio – Depending on where you want to publish your video you’ll want to decide on the height/width of the video. You should decide this up front otherwise you may have to end up redoing your video.

For example, if you start with a widescreen (16:9) ratio but want to publish it to Instagram, if  you change the aspect ratio to vertical and export the video after it’s made it won’t look right in the new height/width. So decide first where you want to publish your highlight video and choose the right height/width (or aspect ratio). Here are some aspect ratios based on where you might want to publish your video:

  • YouTube – 16:9 – Widescreen
  • Instagram Post – 1:1 – Square
  • Instagram Reel – 9:16 – Vertical
  • TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Facebook Stories  – 9:16 – Vertical

There are other ratios like 4:3, 3:4, but I’ve never used those so can’t comment on them. Here are some examples of videos that we’ve made and published in each format. They aren’t all sports highlight videos but they’re examples of each format:

Highlight Video with CapCut

This part of the video shows you how to add goals, saves, stops, assists, or any game highlight into the video editor.  You can add them all it at once or add them one/a few at a time.

Adding Game Clips

To get started you’ll need to add clips into your video project. The nice thing about adding them one at a time is you can be purposeful about the order they show up in.

If you like your clips sequential through a game then when you download them to your phone download them in order and you can just add them all at once. For example this game highlight video tells the story of a game where one team went up 2-0. Then the opponent scored 3 goals to go ahead, and finally the home team scored right at the end to tie it up for the final. So those are nice to have in order to tell the back and forth story.

However, sometimes you might want to put a certain clip first or to have them in a certain order. For example, you want to lead with an amazing goal or the final shot of the PK shootout where someone scores and the team rushes the field.

You can always re-order your clips in CapCut, they make it pretty easy to zoom out on the timeline (the section below the video preview where you see all the components of the video) and then drag the clips into a different order.

Trim and Zoom

One thing to consider as you’re making the video are the people who will be watching and what parts of the game they’ll be interested in. So I try and go into clips and trim out extra space at the beginning and at the end to keep it tight if needed. For example in this play I trim a highlight clip to cut out when the ball is out of bounds.

Removing a little bit of dead space from each clip can make the whole highlight more interesting, just capturing the most interesting parts.

It’s not just space at the beginning and end of the video, sometimes there is extra space on screen and you want to zoom in closer on the action. So depending on the zoom level of the video sometimes I’ll also tap the clip and use two fingers to pull in to zoom and center the action a little bit.

Adding Text to Highlight

At minimum you probably want to add text at the beginning and end of the highlight reel. The opening text would be a title that describes what the viewer is about to watch. For example North vs South, or Orlando Showcase Highlights 2024, etc.

If you have multiple games in one highlight video it’s nice to label when each one begins. You can overlay the text on top of the video so it shows at the beginning of the clip. So you might want to leave a little extra at the front that you don’t trim so you can display the text. Or you can make the text smaller and put it out of the action, down in the corner.

When you’re adding text to a video it’s a good idea to use the same style of font across the whole video. You can also add  animations to your to have them fade in and out for example. It’s not necessary and takes longer but it is a a nice effect. If you re-use projects like I explain later then you only have to set the text style and animation once and then re-use it.

If you have time you can add text commentary for the clips. For example you can put the players name on the screen after they score a goal. You could do Assist – Morgan, Goal – Loyd for each goal to tell the story of who is scoring for the team..

If you’re putting together a college highlight video you’ll want to organize the clips by topic. So you might add text at the start of each section like Goals, Assists, Turns, Headers, etc if you’re an offensive player.

College Recruiting Video

A recruiting highlight video is specialized enough that it can be a whole different article because you want to be particular about what clips you include and how you organize them. You want to put your best clips first, you want to highlight your strengths, and you want to include position specific clips. So a college recruiting video for a center back would be different than one for a striker.

You can use a tool like CapCut or any video editor to make a soccer highlight video for college but the content is what’s different than simply putting in game highlights for a game/tournament/season. We have experts we work  with for those so we’ll do a separate article on highlight videos for college recruiting.

Highlight Video Music

The video guide has a section on adding highlight video music in CapCut. Music can help tell the story of the highlight reel depending on which songs you add. For example if you’re doing a few games or a whole season in a highlight reel you could have a different song for each game.

It can actually be a nice tool if there are things in the video you want to cover up. For example one coach dropped a few choice words when the other team scored and he was standing right under the camera. I was able to use music with a hard beat that jumped right at that point so the viewers didn’t have to re-live his cursing.

Dropping the music can also have a cool effect. For example if you have background music the whole video but you drop the volume of it down to zero right before key moments you pickup the roar of the crowd really well. You’ll want to test out two different volume levels when you’re making your highlight video to see whether you want the music just to be a background and have the game sounds come through clearly, or if you want the music to be the main thing you hear. The video shows you how to adjust music volume in CapCut.

Importing Music to CapCut

One thing you might run into if you are publishing your video on YouTube are copyright issues. If you use a well known song chances are you’ll be flagged with music copyright. There are lots of beats you can use for background music that were composed specifically for that purpose but you still have to pay attention to the license.

For example, I used some background music out of CapCut in my video but when I published it to YouTube it was flagged. Turns out it was licensed for use in TikTok videos but not YouTube. So I went back and found different background music and re-rendered the video.

You can also import your own music to use in a highlight reel. Again, if it’s well known music you can still have copyright issues even though it’s your own copy you imported.  But if you find background music that you like and has the right license it’s worth downloading the mp3 to save to use in different video editors.

Highlight Video Transitions

Transitions between video clips are a good way for your fans to tell that one part of the action has finished and another is starting. It’s obvious as you put together the highlight reel in your mind since you know the clips are separate. But if you have 6 clips all on the same field, with the same lighting, with the same teams and uniforms it might be hard for the viewer to know when one ends and the other begins. Using a transition is a quick visual indicator to the person watching that you’re onto the next clip.

I tend to use simple transitions but there are wide range of options in the app when you’re putting together the video. CapCut automatically puts placeholders in between each clip for a transition. If you don’t want a transition and don’t set one then nothing will appear in the video but if you tap the placeholder you’ll see a screen where you can search and choose a transition to use. Here’s a look at how you can add highlight video transitions . One feature I like to use is the “Add to All” that lets you add the same transition between all your clips. It definitely saves some time of setting a transition between each clip. As you go through the video you can always change a  few of them to vary it if you’d like.

Free vs Paid Transitions

There are some transitions that are only available to Pro members. A Pro member means you pay for a different level of access but this article is about making a free highlight video so we wont cover those. One thing to know is that CapCut might let you use Pro level transitions when you’re making the video but when you get to the last step of exporting they’ll ask you to upgrade to Pro to finish the export. Then you have to go back and find those transitions and change them so look for the “Pro” tag on transitions or any feature if you want to only use the free version.

Highlight Video Images & Logos

Adding images to highlight videos is a really common way to help tell a better story with your video. For example if you’re making a college recruiting highlight video you’ll want to add a photo of the player to put a face with the name/stats.

In the case of a team highlight reel it would be nice to have a team photo at the end or beginning. If you have more time you could even have a player photo appear on each clip they have a goal/save/play.  Another nice effect is to snap a photo of the scoreboard at the end of them game (if you win) and put that at the end of the video.

Some teams that have a travel tournament will take some of the team photos from the trip (on the plane/at the hotel/at the beach or other attraction/medal ceremony) and put those in the video as well. If you’re in a tournament I try and snap a photo of the tournament banner/flags they hang up. Often it’s when you drive into the venue or sometimes it’s on the main field. The ECNL events often have a big ECNL backdrop you can use. It’s a nice addition to the story of the video to open up with a photo the event. It’s not easy getting players to walk to the banner and pose for a pic but even just a photo of the event sign is cool.

Another good use of a photo is to put your team or school logo in the video. You could do it on the opening screen or you could also shrink down the size and put it in the corner of the screen for the whole length of the video.

CapCut Overlay for Photos

In CapCut the way to add a photo is to add it as an overlay. Here’s the part of the video that shows how to add pictures to highlight videos. It shows how you can add the photo, then move and resize them. For example, if you want to add a logo for the length of the video you’ll want to shrink down the size and drag it to a corner. Then you’ll stretch the logo for the entire length of the timeline.

Something else the video shows is how to add animations to your photos. It’s a nice effect to have them fade in and out at certain parts of the video.

How to Highlight Player with Circle or Arrow

One of the most commonly asked questions about highlight videos is how to highlight a player with a circle or arrow.  It’s a really common request for college highlight videos because you’re trying to point out one player on the field to college coaches. They get a lot of videos and don’t have much time to spend watching them all so whatever you can do to make it easier for them to see your player faster can help.

Adding a player highlight marker is also helpful in team highlight reels because you draw the fans attention to what they should watch as you jump from clip to clip. You’re familiar with the action since you’re making the video but think about it from the perspective of the fan watching the reel. We keep each clip tight in length to keep the video interesting but that also means the context jumps from one action to the next pretty quickly. So if you can draw their eye to the area on the field to watch right away it helps them not miss the play.

Here is an example of a goalie save but I don’t highlight the save itself, I circle the player about the shoot the ball far outside the box so the viewer can watch the shot and follow the keeper double save highlight.

Player Highlight Circle in CapCut

CapCut Freeze Icon

It sounds kind of silly but the way to add player highlight markers in CapCut is using what they call Stickers. This video shows you how to add a player highlight circle in the CapCut app.  I just search on red circle or red arrow and have a few that I like to use.  You can favorite the ones you use alot and pick those from a separate tab. Once you add it to the timeline it’s just a matter of sizing and positioning the markup over/around the player.

One thing the video doesn’t cover is that you can freeze a clip which can be really helpful for highlighting a player. If you select a clip and scroll to the end of the toolbar there’s an icon called Freeze, shown in the screenshot. If you tap that icon it will add a 3 second clip of the video frozen at that point. You can add your arrow or circle to the frozen moment which adds to the effect of drawing the viewers attention. You can adjust the length of the frozen frame based on your video. I just learned this feature while writing this guide, I wish I would have known about it sooner, will make it easier to highlight a player.

Highlight Video Template

Once you’ve created a highlight video project in CapCut it’s really easy to use that video as a template for future videos. This highlight video template part of the video shows you how to copy a project, rename it, add new clips, and update the text.

From a time saving perspective this is a great way to quickly create highlight videos.  As I mentioned earlier, if you don’t create a highlight video within a few days of the game the chances of you using the footage goes down significantly in my experience. Being able to use a template and swap out the clips and description text makes it a lot easier to put out your highlight videos quickly.

One thing to note is that I add in the new clips first because when you delete the old clips the text/overlay that are associated with them are also removed. So I add the new clips, drag the text/overlay from the old to the new, then delete the old clips.

For a highlight video template, its a good idea to find a project that uses all the video components that you might want: video, music, overlays, circles, arrows, transitions. That way when you copy it the project has everything you need to re-use.

Highlight Video Tips

Restoring Clipped Content – The CapCut app has the original copy of your video/audio files that you add to the timeline. So if you trim too much of your clip you can always go back and drag the video/audio on the timeline to extend back to the original length of the clip.

Adjust Volume – Make sure to test the volume level of your video and music. Sometimes it might sound ok on your phone but in the rendered video it comes out really loud. I usually try and drop the volume of background music down to a relatively low level to start. You can adjust the volume level in the app. It’s also nice to to fade the music in so when the video starts it’s not blaring out them immediately. One thing you can do is export the video before you’re done and just watch it through briefly to hear the audio output.

Zoom In/Zoom Out – In the CapCut app if you need to zoom out on the timeline you can use a “pinch in”, put your thumb and index finger (or any two fingers) over the spot on the timeline with a little space in between and pinch them together to zoom out. To zoom in you put two fingers together on the timeline and then spread them apart, “pinch out”. This zooms in on the timeline, making the units of time smaller the more you zoom in.

Ordering Clips – If you zoom all the way out on the timeline it’s easy to drag the clips and rearrange the order. You just hold your finger on the clip you want to move and when it’s active you drag it left or right. It’s best to do the clip re-arranging before you add in the text, transitions, overlay.

Capcut Video Toolbar

Layers – The different parts of a video (video, music, text) stack on top of each other in the editor. They all show up at once in the video if they’re on top of each other in the timeline. You can refer to each one as a layer. For example if you have a cake with 3 layers, when you take a bite you get the flavor of all 3 layers together. With a highlight video if you have a video, audio, text, and overlay each in a different layer but at the same point on the timeline you’ll see/hear them all at once.

One thing that’s a little tricky in CapCut is that all the items don’t show up in the same view on the timeline. I think they do this to save space since the app has limited screen real estate. Just be aware that the toolbar along the bottom of the app (shown in screenshot) is where you select video, audio, text, overlay, stickers, etc to get the different layers to appear.

Less is More – I’m not a professional editor but I’ve found over time that spending a few minutes to clip out unnecessary footage makes the whole video better in the end. The less dead space there is in the video the more interesting it is to watch and the more likely people are to watch farther in. Many of us have short attention spans online these days so keeping it tight tends to work better.

That being said you should consider your audience. If you’re making the video just for the players and the team they might like the extra few seconds at the end of the clip to show more of the celebration or maybe more up front to show the play buildup. If you’re putting together a highlight video for a team to share with the whole school or town they might not appreciate some of the nuances of the game and might just want to see the most exciting parts.

Exporting Your Highlight Video

Don’t wait until you’re done making your highlight video to export and watch it. I’d recommend doing an export and watching through it after you’re partway through because you might notice something that you need to go back and tweak. Better to see it sooner than later, can save you time. Here’s the part of the video where we cover exporting your video from CapCut.

YouTube Video Resolution Options

You can select different resolutions to export: 480p, 720p, 1080p, 2K/4K.  Resolution is the number of pixels in the video image. In terms of a viewing experience higher resolutions with more pixels can show more clear/detailed video. Lower resolutions with less pixels can mean a less clear video.

The higher the resolution the longer it will take to export and the more space it will take up on your device. I always try and export at least at 1080p because we publish a lot of ours on YouTube. As you can see in this screenshot, YouTube allows the viewer to select the quality of video they want to see. You can see the difference between the different resolutions by watching one of our highlight videos and going through it at each of the resolutions.

Right now the max resolution on YouTube is 1080p so I like to upload the file at that resolution to give fans a chance to see it as clear as possible.  YouTube can adjust the video quality based on your fan’s internet speed and device, so if they’re on a slow network with an old device it might show them a lower resolution file since it’s smaller and is less data to handle. I always try and upload the highest resolution file that I can and then let YouTube or the viewer choose the most appropriate for their situation.

Of course you might not be uploading to YouTube, this section on highlight video aspect ratio shows how you want to chose the height/width of the video up front before you start.

Highlight Video Next Up

Now that you know how to create a video next time we’ll look at how to publish your video online if you want to share it. Whether it’s on YouTube, social media, or on your club/school website. We’ll also take a look at college recruiting videos and things to consider.

If you need help creating a highlight video you can email us ben@EasySportsVideo.com or if you have questions or things you’d like to see covered shoot us an email.  After going through this guide and watching the video if you decide you don’t have time to make highlight videos and want us to make them for you send us an email or give me a call, 816-398-8846.  Here’s the video guide on how to create a highlight video. Good luck!