Of all of the changes in high school football over the last decade, nothing has revolutionized the game like Hudl.
When Hudl came on the scene over a decade ago, coaches were skeptical about swapping film and maintaining all of your film on the internet. But schools soon found out that the company's software was "coach friendly," something that other video editing services were not. The company had risen with three founders who were students at the University of Nebraska in computer science and also worked in the athletic department. They pitched their idea to then Cornhusker coach Bill Callahan and Hudl has their first customer. A year later, Callahan was on the staff of the New York Jets and convinced them to get on board with Hudl. The company soon expanded to high schools by going cloud based, something revolutionary at the time.
Early on, Hudl had a goal to serve as a school's complete video servicer. They have achieved that, and today 98% of all high schools use Hudl.
"Hudl changed my life," one veteran coach of 30 years said. "I can get so much more done in such a smaller amount of time than in the past. I have instant information at my fingertips and has cut into the amount of time for game preparation. I have more time to spend with my family on weekends during the season and I owe that to Hudl."
How has Hudl changed coaching?
1) Swapping film with other schools. No more driving on Saturdays to meet a coach halfway to exchange videotapes or DVDs. The swap is completed over the internet in a matter of seconds. If you want to get extra video to study on that opponent, you can request other games from some of their other opponents. "In just a few minutes, I can have every game they have played this year," one coach commented.
2) Filming of games and practices - Game video is available immediately after the game. Coaches can watch the film that night instead of waiting until the next morning. Teams can shoot an end zone shot as well as a normal press box film and Hudl will put the clips together. Teams can video practices and load the film up right after practice for coaches and players to view. Best part of it- because it is an internet based service, coaches can go home and watch practice on their own computer.
3) Watching film on your phone - With the advancement of phone technology, players, coaches and parents can log into Hudl and watch the film of themselves or their opponents on their smart phones. This makes the video accessible to coaches and players at anytime and almost anywhere.
4) Player and coach development by creating playlists - this is so easy to do that even the old coaches can pull it off. Playlists of 1st down defenses, goal line offense, etc. has made preparation better than ever. Players can view the clips at home and prepare themselves much better than before. Coaches make playlists of all of their zone read series or shallow package and study them during the off season. This has really given coaches a tremendous teaching tool for players as well as other members of the staff.
5) Recruiting - The ability to send off video with background information to colleges has never been easier. Gone are the days of mailing tapes or DVDs to universities. You can send them to as many schools as you would like straight from your Hudl software.
6) Highlight Tapes - Players can find their own clips and make their own highlight tapes, taking that task off of the coaching staff.
7) Hudl Assist - Maybe the most time saving invention ever created for coaches. Hudl data analyzers will break down the film and include all the pertinent information like down and distance, hashmark, formation, etc. This saves the coaches hours in work time that they can spend on game plan.
8) Hudl Sideline - A true game changer for helping coaches make adjustments during the contest.
9) Hudl Focus Smart Camera - This allows coaches to video automatically their games or scrimmages without needing a camera operator. The technology then can upload the video to Hudl on its own.
10) Hudl Playbook - You can create your own playbook in Hudl, complete with video clips of each play or defense drawn.
And where is Hudl going in the future? Wherever coaches need help with time, video and data, you can bet that Hudl will be there, grinding for new ways to do it.