Promo Video - Do you need one?

Teesta Sisodia-Sullivan  October 31, 2019

I wrote the perfect article on how to create a promo video that would get you noticed by the right people so you could play professional soccer. 

To make certain the article was complete, I threw a question out on LinkedIn to the professional soccer coach and scout community.  The majority of those I am linked to are in Europe and Asia, not here in the Americas.

I also singled out about 30 coaches / scouts in Europe as well as about ten individuals affiliated with US Soccer here and sent them individual messages asking about making a promo video.

I was very surprised by the responses I received.  I heard back from 12 coaches and scouts in Europe (6 from the UK, 3 from Spain and 3 from Italy)  I only heard  back from US College coaches, no professional coaches.  

For ease of reading, I will categorize these responses as coming from Europe or the United States.

Shocking Response About Promo Videos

European responses:

Seven of the Europeans who responded indicated that they have NO interest in seeing a promo video of a United States player.  Their general thoughts seemed to be that if a player is strong enough, scouts and coaches will already have their eye on that prospect and he will organically come to their attention.

These individuals did not provide me with any additional information, even after I specified that my advice is largely geared towards non-European footballers who wish to play professionally and not those who are already on the European radar.

The ones who did respond shared the following:

Coach A – If he is watching a video, he wants to see the behavior of the player before and following the match.  He wants to see footage of the player with the team to observe their dynamics.  He did not see the value of only seeing goals being scored and felt this could be very misrepresentative of an individual’s play.   (Significantly different from what we usually hear in the US.  I’d always thought a highlight tape should be just THAT.  Your best moments!)

Coach B – “OK, here is what I want to know from the clips.  What are his strengths, what are the areas for improvement.  (Players don’t like to share this in their clips because its negative but it gives me an idea if there are things I can work on).  From there I build a profile.  That profile is then compared to the players I have in similar positions.  Then I look at who has the most potential.  If his potential is better than what I have I’ll invite him to train.  I hope that makes sense.  Show what he can do, but that means I need to see the bigger part of the pitch, not just close ups because I want to see if he picked his best option of who to pass to, or if he had opportunities to run with the ball etc. etc.  As I guide in those age groups I would say some of the following:  technique, tactical understanding, technical understanding, speed, strength, desire, winning mentality.”  Without identifying him, I would like to say that this is one of the coaches that works with a Premier league team.  

Coach C - If possible, the before the game is very important because it will help us understand why some people played the way they did.  It gives us more context.  Maybe during practice or in the locker room before the game.   This coach also said he likes Game reels:  Depending on how much time you have you want to show enough plays that can reflect what the game was.  Otherwise you can have a team attacking the whole game, but  not scoring and the other team only attacking three times but scoring each of these times.  Only showing the goals would not reflect the game.

Coach D - He felt that the promo video should not only be the entire game, but should also include elements of the players home life and regular routine.  He would want to see if they included workouts at the gym or training or being with family.  This gives insight on what the player finds important.

Coach E - He felt any promo video should include links to the players home team game schedule and any live stream of games being played.

American Responses:

One Coach Educator for US Soccer said “To be honest, I don’t look at highlight reels of players.  I’m not in the recruiting business.  And as a coach I wouldn’t recruit a player based on highlights.  But if you want to make one I would say moments of good decision-making and executions of those decisions in regards to the position on the field of that player.

Other American responses were from College coaches. 

Div I coachStart out strong, I’ve seen some reels where the player tries to build up their play.  I don’t know, maybe they think I’m going to be anticipating what comes next.  Instead, I am more likely to lose interest and cut off the tape.  Give me your best stuff first.  Make sure to mix up what you show me.  I want to know you’re more than a one-trick pony.  Also show me good and bad. 

One them told me I should check with NCSA to get some tips on creating a promo video.  Two others suggested players post on HUDL if they wish to be found.

Please keep in mind that the above is representative of a very small group of coaches.  I believe you should create a video and that you should share it far and wide on social media.  

As always, please reach out to me with specific questions if you have them.  

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