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3 Tips For Editing Sports Video

With so much high-quality video content available on the internet, these days, it’s safe to say the average viewer has become more discerning. The audience knows what good quality is, and they demand it. This goes for sports video content, too. Editing sports video is all about the action and the story. In this article, we cover three tips to help you highlight the action and tell a powerful story that will deliver a thrilling experience to the viewer.

Watch The Entire Clip Before Editing

Whether you’re editing a ball game, a surf video, or a mountain climbing adventure, it will pay off to watch all the footage you got in its entirety. Sports action is swift, and you could easily miss something. Sometimes it’s so fast it will only become apparent in extra slow motion, but these are often the most powerful moments of your final video. A look or expression on your main talent’s face, a sun streak that comes into your shot, a high five at the end of the achievement, … these details are often what makes a compelling story. Don’t miss anything.

Organize all this footage and properly tag it in preparation for your actual editing work. Remove any footage that has camera shake, is improperly framed, unsharp, or out of context.

Don’t Forget The Music

In sports video editing, music is a powerful storyteller that will add punch or emotion to your footage. The action moments usually have no words, so the sound of the footage is often useless. Think of the constant thundering of waves while you shoot surfers from the shore or the comments of onlookers as you film skateboarders. Music will not only cover this, but it will also help you elicit the right emotion from your audience. You might want subtle, low-key background music for interviews or moments of deep concentration, dramatic music to build up to your climax, or thumping action music to add punch to your footage.

Choose the music before you start editing. That way, you’ll be able to cut your edit in sync with the music for a smooth and powerful final result.

Often Change Visuals

Sports is about action, so you want to reflect that in your video with a tight rhythm in the edit. Except for maybe an establishing shot at the beginning of your video or a well-chosen b-roll shot for dramatic effect, you should mostly favor short shots and fast pacing to keep your audience engaged. You can accentuate this with quick transitions and jerky effects like fast zoom-outs at the beginning of the shot.

Maybe you don’t have enough footage to switch visuals often enough to create a fast-paced cut? In that case, you might be able to cheat with stock footage. You could peruse online stock video marketplaces like for aerial shots of the sports venue, b-roll shots of the location, or close-ups of cheering crowds. These types of footage can add a lot of texture and flair to your otherwise very linear storyline.

That’s it! Hopefully, these three tips will help you cut sports videos that’ll keep your audience on the edge of their seat. Good luck!

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Written by Marcus Richards

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