Player Development

Why Short-Form Video Works for U8 to U11 Teams

Why U12 and younger players love to watch and learn from short-form, personalized video.

by Griffin Lloyd

Former college athlete and video editor. Current content creator, sports enthusiast and dog dad.

People all around the world are embracing video as a central part of their daily lives. That trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon: Data from 2020 shows us that the average person is spending six hours and 59 minutes consuming digital content every day. That number is only increasing as the influence of social media grows. If you have a child under the age of 20, it is very likely they’re spending a good chunk of each day watching short-form videos on TikTok. 

Coach Setting Up the Trace camera

Because it’s not just any video that kids are watching. Young adults are watching short-form content based on their interests, passions, and hobbies. They want to see short, TikTok-style videos of their peers, their teammates, and themselves. With so much bite-sized content available, the attention span for younger kids has shrunk dramatically, as any parent can attest. 

This trend presents a challenge in youth sports, where reviewing game film has become the norm. Coaches know that most young athletes are visual learners, and video is the tool that both provides a realistic view from different perspectives and allows coaches to give more objective feedback. But most players don’t have the attention span for an hour-long video review session, or the patience to manually find their own best highlights throughout a full match.

Getting Younger Athletes Excited About Video

Until recently, there’s been a huge disconnect between what players want to watch (short-form, personalized content) and what coaches put in front of them (hour-long full game footage). Players don’t want raw game film. Coaches don’t want the additional job of editing video for players. Parents don’t want to re-watch an hour of film to find their own child’s best highlights. What each of these groups really want are meaningful, personalized moments, without having to wait.  

That’s where Trace comes into play. Trace’s soccer camera platform replaces the manual recording and editing process with automatic recording and autonomic delivery of short, personalized moments to every player. No matter their age or skill, this is the type of video that youth soccer players want to watch and want to share. Kids love TikTok because it delivers personalized content based on their interests; Trace uses that same format to offer personalized content players will be excited about using to improve and explore their game.

The Developmental Benefits of Game Film

Game film is, and always will be important for high school-aged players (14-18 years) looking to play in college. But teams and clubs are quickly adopting game film solutions for much younger teams (U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, and U13).  Getting kids excited about video leads to major developmental strides, and reviewing video allows coaches to teach important visual lessons about formation and teamwork. 

Youth soccer coaches with younger teams have integrated Trace so that they can build foundational habits in players for analysis and to make their jobs easier as coaches. Trace automatically delivers playlists to each individual on the team, which players and coaches can watch to gain actionable insights and improve the team.

Using Trace to Engage Individual Players

When kids are playing soccer between 8 and 12 years old, there are often dominant performers on the field and some players can get left behind in terms of development. Part of the problem is that coaches of young teams often struggle to give players the 1-on-1 coaching they need. To solve this, many coaches of U12 and below have been using Trace as a tool to enable more individualized coaching. As each player and parent receives their moments after the game, coaches can pick one or two areas of improvement to emphasize. Parents can assist in the development, as well as receiving the added benefit of having all their child’s soccer memories stored forever.  

All parents struggle with new technology that captures the attention of their children. With Trace, parents and coaches can harness the latest technology to deliver useful lessons in a format that gets players excited and empowers them to refine their game.

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