In November 2012, the Northeast was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Most schools were closed for at least a week, if not more. Our school was dismissed for a week due to the amount of destruction in our town and how unsafe the area was post-Sandy. Not to mention we didn’t have power at the high school for five days. We downloaded cut-ups and game film to our iPads, iPhones, Androids, any device we could to stay ahead of the curve, knowing we were going to lose power and internet. We shared what we wanted our kids to download and sent out a Hudl message telling them what to download.
We were scheduled to play Stamford that week. The year before, they beat us when our All-State, record-breaking quarterback suffered an injury on the first drive of the game and couldn’t return. We fought until the end, but lost by a score and missed out on the county championship game. Our kids circled that game on the 2012 calendar and couldn’t wait to play them again. After Sandy, the league decided to push the schedule back one week. We were riding a six-game winning streak on a playoff run. We were looking to do anything to keep that going.
As a staff, we met a number of times throughout that week and our head coach, Lou Marinelli, had the idea to film our coordinators giving the game plan to our kids. Lou has been New Canaan’s head coach for 30 years. It was a little quirky, but it made perfect sense. It was easy; a camera, Expo markers, and a white board were the only materials we needed.
On top of that week’s game plan, we also needed to correct the mistakes from our last game before the hurricane. Our coaches used Hudl voice notes and walkthroughs on specific plays from that game and we organized them with the game plans for offense, defense and special teams.
Hudl made it simple. It was film and upload as usual. We are finding new ways to use Hudl every year and this was one way we turned a negative into a positive. We ended up defeating Stamford 35-0, because our kids were well-prepared. Our staff did an amazing job during the week, organizing a game plan and putting it on camera. We had a few laughs and I’m sure we could go back and see some outtakes. It helped bring an already close staff even closer during a tough time for our families, players, and community.
New Canaan High School has been using Hudl since its debut on the high school level.