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Video Utilization in Youth SoccerBy Nick Silva


Video Utilization in Youth Soccer

More people are recording soccer games than ever before. It is projected that the majority of U8 and up games will be recorded in the next three years. But when it comes to filming soccer games, coaches and parents are often hesitant about soccer cameras because of the time and costs.

Parents and coaches also often have unrealistic expectations when they start recording soccer and sometimes expect players to watch the entirety of every recorded game. Soccer players are digital natives. They have grown up with short-form videos on Youtube and on social media. They want access to quick, concise, personalized videos. At Trace, we’ve built a product to deliver these short-form, personalized videos to players so they actually watch.

Issues with Traditional Soccer Game Film 

  • Filming soccer is time consuming: “I thought it would be extremely beneficial for my players to watch their own moments after games. A lot of stuff that I was saying as a coach wasn’t really resonating with players, so we hired a videographer that year,” stated Dan Fadida. Hiring a videographer for the season cost him $3,000 and was extremely time-consuming:
    “I edited and distributed the first game. It took me around three and a half hours and I never touched the footage for the rest of the season. We had a whole bunch of content that just sat there unused, and I know firsthand my players didn’t watch any footage because I could see the view count. We were lucky to get four or five views per game. The parents also didn’t really receive any value so a whole bunch of money was spent for very little ROI.” 
  • Filming soccer games requires expensive camera equipment, software, and labor costs to edit the footage. After each game, most soccer cameras return one extremely long piece of film of the full game, which then needs to be edited. This means players receive their highlights after several days from their coach or from someone hired to pull the clips together. Often, the footage just collects dust on a shelf.
  • Traditional game film angles can be limiting, most coming from the perspective of a standing spectator without greater depth and the ability to see the entire field. 
  • High cost, low number of views: Teams spend on average $200 – $250 per game recording, and some clubs invest $20,000 to over $40,000 a year in streaming sports to film their programs. And very little of that content is actually watched! “We know that players learn best from learning something themselves,” states Dan Fadida. “Well, for players to develop from video they have to watch video.” After spending thousands of dollars on filming, traditional game film gets an average of five to ten views per game.

A Revolutionary Way to Think about Game Film

  • Quick Turnaround on Game Film: Trace’s camera, software, and GPS trackers make traditional film feel like a thing of the past, relieving wallets and hours of time spent editing film. Trace uses artificial intelligence, so no human is editing any footage. That means there’s no lag in delivery time, and the magic happens as soon as the raw game footage is uploaded. 
  • Automatic Editing: Every individual player’s important moments are automatically extracted and delivered to their inboxes after games. The player’s stats are automatically curated, saving time and allowing players to review their moments when they’re fresh in players’ memories. 
  • Low Price: For an annual rate of $190 per player for a team of twenty, Trace serves as a personalized film crew for every single player for every game through the course of a year. That’s an incredible value. 
  • Personalized Moments = More Engagement with Video: Trace delivers content that’s highly personalized and easy to digest. Short-form, personalized moments have exponentially higher viewership metrics than delivering full game footage to players. On average, a game filmed with Trace will receive over 1,600 views per game.

    This is a significant increase from the previously discussed traditional per-game average of five to ten views. For players and coaches, watching game highlights back is key to the development and growth of the player. Of the users watching videos on Trace, 98% opted to watch a customized playlist of highlights, resulting in a five times longer watching experience than traditional game film. 
  • Unprecedented Player Data: Trace users go beyond simply analyzing the player’s entire game using video. Trace uses trackers to pull apart details much greater than just what the eyes can see. These small GPS trackers act as a shin guard strap but also track key metrics useful to soccer players and coaches, including distance run, stamina, speed, a heat map of the field, and more. Integrating all of this data gives coaches great insight into their player’s abilities.

    Player data is vital to monitoring the growth and improvement of players and the team, leading to greater player retention and establishing a transparent club culture. But more importantly, these metrics give players a way to set personal benchmarks. “The biggest insight we’ve seen from the stats hasn’t necessarily been sort of a coach coming in and saying ‘You know Anna, you should have covered more ground,’” states Dan Fadida. “Although that can be useful, the biggest sort of insight we’ve seen is it just encourages players to compete with themselves a lot more and it’s a lot of fun for players.” 

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