Tanji Sarver plays for Internationals Girls Soccer Club in Medina, Ohio. When the club started a trial of Trace last year, Tanji and her teammates knew a thing or two about soccer game film solutions. They had tried other products in the past, but this season game film was more important than ever due to the travel restrictions on college coaches because of COVID-19.
“We all liked it and chose to stick with Trace,” stated Tanji. “I think it was super helpful for us to get the film delivered after each game, especially during this time when coaches aren’t able to visit.”
The team quickly got the hang of using Trace to film their games, and they took advantage of personalized webinars on how to use Trace, which come with each subscription.
“I would use it right after games. It was similar to other ways we’ve recorded soccer games, but instead of having to go through a ton of footage to find your highlights, we just had them right then and there with the click of a button.”
Tanji was able to focus her time on analyzing her specific moments to spot areas of improvement, rather than spending time searching full game footage to find and then pull these clips into a highlight reel. Using her time smartly helped her excel in multiple positions, as both a center-back and center-forward.
“I think the biggest thing was having the moments already set for me. It was my favorite part. We’ve used things like HUDL, but having to watch the full film and find yourself was not great. With Trace, I could just log on and see my best 18 moments and just focus on the best of those. I could send those quickly to college coaches, but I could also go in later when I had more time to watch the full game if I needed to.”
Communicating with College Coaches Using Trace iD
Tanji became a pro at communicating with college coaches. “It’s important to find a school that sees as much potential in you as you see in yourself,” she noted. “The most annoying part about the recruiting process is the time it takes to send out emails and send your video and then just sit waiting for a response. Then you have to listen carefully to the responses and ask yourself, ‘Are they really interested in me? Are they just being nice? Are they leading me on?’
Trace iD helped to streamline her emails and texts with college coaches. “With a click, I could get the URL and put it in an email to coaches or send them a text with my Trace iD.” Tanji did not need to spend time splicing clips together for a Youtube video; she could focus her efforts on building real relationships with college coaches.
Trace iD is really more than a highlight reel, so coaches could get a full picture of how Tanji performed in her best moments and how she reacted to setbacks. “I think the ability to watch the full game is super important. Trace is not only your best highlights; coaches can access your full profile. They can go in and see how players react to certain things. A highlight video is just the best clips a player wants to show, but with Trace iD, coaches can see how you recover and other aspects of how you play.”
Tanji’s Recruiting Advice for Potential Recruits
- Keep your best moments organized. “I made sure after every game to go through all my Trace moments. Then, after I had enough examples, I would pick the best ones. And I would keep adding to it after every game. My Trace iD list would build after each game, and by the time I was reaching out to coaches, I had a great selection of clips to choose from.”
- Be consistent in your communications. “A lot has to do with consistency. You have to almost be annoying. Coaches get thousands of emails with game video, so you have to keep sending emails. They might see your name but not have time to read the full email. But the next time you send them a message, they might see your name again and recognize that you’ve been reaching out. It’s important to get your name out there again and again even if you think they won’t respond. Sometimes an assistant coach might read the email and put your video in front of the coach.” You never know what might catch a coach’s eye, so don’t give up if you don’t get a response after your first try.
- Don’t stress over statistics. “Most coaches don’t ask for statistics. It’s just too dependent on the game you’re playing, your position, and other factors.” Coach’s want to see you play. Ideally, they could see every potential recruit play in person. But this is not feasible, even in a normal world without COVID. Game footage is what is most critical for any player in the recruiting process.
- Be authentic with college coaches and show them you care. “I would ask coaches how their season is going to get to know them better. It’s also important to add personal information about your schoolwork, your grades, and to tie in something about the college that you like. Talk about the major you want to pursue at the college, the atmosphere and culture of the college team, and anything else that shows the coach you are genuinely interested.”
Tanji ultimately committed to play for Cleveland State. The stress of choosing a school ended, but there is still work to do after committing to a college.
“I’m in constant contact with my college coach to send him video to show how I’m improving. It doesn’t stop once you commit.” Tanji still uses her Trace iD. But someday, you might be able to see her soccer game film on ESPN.