How technology helps coaches


Editor’s Note: Greg Gerber began writing a blog for us in 2013 on technology in the game. We called the blog The Other Side of the Lens. Greg is currently working with Lubbock High School head football coach Jason Strunk, who writes The Turnaround for High School Football America. We’re re-posting a blog that wrote last year on Hudl. I know most know about Hudl, but if you don’t, you should.

In addition, Above we’ve posted our 2013 interview with David Graff, one of the founders of Hudl.

by Greg Gerber
Follow @CoachMitts

There are often times when I think about how technology has shaped our world over time. On one hand, things have become very easy, as technology has evolved. We are able to send and receive documents, talk with people from around the block or across the globe, check out awesome football websites (much like highschoolfootballamerica.com) and we are able to view pretty much any type of video, all right from our phones. On the other hand, we can now do all of these things right from our phone. We are constantly connected in some way, shape, or form.

Because of these advancements in technology, we as football coaches are able to connect with other coaches, parents, and athletes quickly and efficiently (something most coaches love). Along with this, the way we are able to handle our film has changed and evolved in ways that perhaps maybe no one ever thought of.

Gone are the days where we had to hook up a VCR to another VCR and “dub” a tape. We no longer have to sit next to a computer that has an external six disc DVD burner, so that we would be able to pass out film to coaches and players. Long gone are the days that we have to call next week’s opponent and set up a time and a place to meet. Wasting an entire Saturday driving somewhere to hand off a DVD or VHS.

How has this happened? For many of us, we found something that most of us will never be able to live with out ever again. For those of you who don’t know, prepare to have your minds blown. Are you sitting down?

I give you hudl.com. For those of you who don’t have Hudl or know what it is, allow me to tell you! Hudl is a company based out of Lincoln, Nebraska that gives coaches (for any sport) the tools needed to excel!

The things you can do with Hudl are simply amazing. It not only allows coaches to upload scout, practice AND game film, but it also will allow you to exchange film with any other program in the world, track stats, allow athletes to make highlight videos for college teams, the ability to view your entire uploaded library on a smart phone or tablet (our players favorite), create basic or advanced reports to find your or your opponents tendencies in any situation, telestrate on any play you have uploaded and make notes right on the clip, then be able to send those clips to anyone within your program, and quite possibly one of the nicest features, fundraising for your program. And I almost forgot, you are able to send your players recruiting information and highlight videos right from Hudl to any college! And honestly, that is truly just scratching the surface of what you can do with this!
I could very easily write a weekly blog about all of the features that Hudl has to offer and the different ways they are evolving the game of football from the youth level to the pros (they have packages for everything in-between those two as well). But they already do a fine job of that. If you want to follow them and see what they are doing and how they are doing it, please follow their blog. From there you can demo the software if you haven’t had the pleasure of using it yet, find out pricing on the vast packages they offer, or just read up on their staff and how much they care about coaches and helping every program win. Which, ironically, is actually one of their mottos, “Help coaches Win!”
Hudl is something that every program needs. It allows coaches to be able to share things with players in such an easy way that you will wonder how you ever did things before. It may take a bit to get used to, but over the course of the season, you will see productivity go up and athletes thirsting to get better. Every day after practice, I have players asking me when will the film from practice be uploaded coach? Messages on twitter after Friday night’s game asking how much longer until the film is ready. The competitive drive we try to instill in these players comes out immediately. By putting this type of learning tool in front of players, they have no reason or excuse to not get better!
This is one instance where technology has made our lives better. And as we continue this open ended discussion, I will show you how I do things from Friday night workflow to helping kids create highlight videos for college recruiters or grandpa and grandma. I know I will never go another day with out this program being used. The coaches love it and more importantly, the athletes are using it to improve and get us to the place they want to be!

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.