25 March 2021

How to make a sports highlight video to remember

Creating a highlight video is a lot tougher than enjoying watching sports unfold in real time or shooting live video. This is because learning how to make a sports highlight video goes beyond picking the best scenes out of a sports meet or match. You'll need to not just be familiar with the sport, but also consider editing and conveying key stats to your audience. However, the finished product can be a work of art, serving to enthuse sports fans, motivate athletes, or even work as a video resume for a student-athlete trying to get a college sports scholarship.

If you're looking for the best ways to make a highlight video for sports, here are the essential things you need to know to prepare, shoot, edit and share your best work.

What is a sports highlight video?

A highlight video does what it says on the tin: it showcases the best moments from a game or a sports career. As a sportsperson, you may put together a sports highlight video as an athletic resume to showcase your best performances if you're applying for a scholarship or sponsorship. As an enthusiastic video creator, you will most likely edit sports footage into highlights to be used in a news program, on your social media channel as a summary of the event, or in your own collection of memories to look back on in years to come.

Therefore, a great sports highlight video has to include a few key elements:

  • Key stats from the event
  • The best moments: goals, fantastic passes, misses, interesting action that takes place on or off the pitch
  • Some background / intro and outro footage to frame your highlights

A sports highlight video is not a skills video, where a player may choose to zoom in on specific sports skills they want to bring out in an interview or application. However, it can feature unique close-ups that feature skills from a team or player, which can be highlights in their own right.

Finally, a highlight video can also be a "best of" collection of highlights from games over the years, like a Top 10 NBA Plays of All Time.

Preparing for your video shoot

If you're the one filming the sports highlights video, then you'll want to be as familiar as possible with the sport and with what's likely to happen on the day. Knowing who the key players are, or the favorites in a race, will help you keep an eye on them for potential exciting moments.

It's almost impossible to prepare for capturing all the highlights of a game or sports event. The best sports highlights videos are created in editing, by combining different cameras' footage. So, as you can't be in all places all the time, prepare for your video shoot as best you can and have a general plan in mind about what needs to be included in your sports edit.

Crucially, aim to shoot as much footage as possible to enable you to edit down and search for the highlights after the event. If you can, place some static cameras at good locations on the pitch so you can make use of different angles of the same highlight later during editing.

How to shoot sports video for a highlight collection

The next thing you can do to create a sports highlight video is to follow some expert tips on using the right kit and educate yourself on apertures, frame rates, shutter speeds, and lighting tips. These days, our smartphones offer excellent burst mode filming and different shutter speeds too, so you can shoot sports videos at a decent quality without having to buy expensive professional cameras.

DPMag also suggests considering the bigger picture and extending your coverage beyond just the game. Some excellent additional shots you can add in your highlight video include:

  • Audience reactions
  • Shots of the scoreboard / timing clock
  • Shots of others filming the same event
  • Fans and fan signs
  • Coaches

You can get some good inspiration for this sort of content by watching TV coverage of sports events.

Finally, to shoot a high-quality sports video, you need to practice. It's not easy to master swift camera movements or switching angles, zooming into essential action, etc. While good cameras can help stabilize your shooting and good editing can remove unwanted wobbles, the more you shoot sports, the fewer scenes you'll capture that you need to exclude.

Editing tips for your highlight video

Putting together a great highlight video for sports owes a lot to clever editing. So, invest in a good video editing app. Here's how to make a sports video edit that captures the essence of an event:

  • Be ruthless

Cut out all shaky clips or unclear shots that will make it less exciting for the audience to watch.

  • Be brief

A good highlight video captures the best and most interesting moments. It's often a summary of a game for those who didn't watch it, so it can't be excessively long. In the case of highlight videos for recruitment purposes, the ideal length is 4-5 minutes.

  • Avoid too many effects

Especially for a recruitment video, it's best to keep the transitions and special effects to a minimum in a sports highlight video. For the highlights of a match, you may want to add some highlight reels to point out when the best moments are taking place, or add the score on the bottom of the screen.

  • Vary the types of highlights

If you're shooting a soccer game, don't include only goals in your highlights. These are, obviously, important moments, but mix and match them with some of the other frames as suggested above.

Also, don't stick to chronological order. Feel free to throw in some footage in between two goals to space them out, even if that's not the order in which the additional scene took place.

  • Identify yourself in a recruitment video

If this is a highlight video of your own athletic abilities, make sure it's clear when you're in the shot, especially in team sports.

  • Search for inspiration

Watch other great action sports edits or highlight videos to see what works best for each sport. Mpora.com is a great source of action videos to get your creative juices flowing.

There you have it: whether you want to know how to make a sports highlight video for your own collection, remember a great match, or use a highlights reel to showcase your skills and talent in front of a recruiter, these tips will stand you in good stead to create some memorable sports videos. Remember to also keep an eye on the event itself, and enjoy it in the moment as well as in highlights!

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