Basketball coaches love iPads. In our research with coaches, we’ve seen and heard about all the creative ways they incorporate iPads and tablets into their game prep routine. As a designer, I always ask: Why? Why do coaches love their iPads so much? And how can we improve on something they obviously love without screwing it up?
Why Tablets Are a Coach’s Best Friend
Our iPad-owning basketball coaches said a lot of the same things about their favorite video device:
- “It’s with me wherever I go, and the battery lasts forever.”
- “My wife gets mad at me when I’m on my laptop with her on the couch, but she’s okay letting me watch video on the iPad.”
- “Video plays so much smoother than on the Hudl website.”
- “We can’t get internet access in our team room, so we must be able to download video locally.”
Our video activity logs showed that coaches loaded 2.5 million playlists on iPads in the first quarter of 2013–a tremendous increase over the previous year. We expect that trend to continue and even accelerate into 2014.
How Hudl Fits In
Our iPad app is getting a big upgrade this year–just for basketball coaches. In an ideal Hudl world, coaches will be able to:
- Tag the game live from their mobile device–eliminating hours of post-game editing.
- Study and analyze full-game video smoothly, with or without a strong network connection.
- Jump to meaningful segments of the games with minimal effort via shortcuts (e.g. turnovers late in the half).
- Take the majority of their game notes on the tablet, and sync to video wherever appropriate.
- Group and coalesce their notes into meaningful teaching tapes and review sessions for individuals or the entire team.
- Present a game review or scouting session using the same iPad they used in steps 1-4.
The only one I haven’t really discussed in our blog series is #6.
Give Engaging Video Presentations from Your iPad
When you get comfortable with a tool, it’s the one you want in your hands when the job really matters. In this case, the 15-30 minutes you set aside for team film study is incredibly important. It’s your chance to impress upon your athletes the keys to the game. With the latest basketball features, we’re turning your iPad into the ultimate video presentation tool.
We designed it by doing what we always do–find the deepest pains and cure them.
Pain: Players have shorter attention spans than coaches.
If players aren’t paying attention in your film sessions, it’s partly your fault. My advice to coaches is to always go a little shorter than they’d probably prefer. Don’t show 10 examples of a set when two or three will do. Our Bookmarks feature will tell you how much video you’ve accumulated for each category so you don’t go overboard.
Hudl will show the details of each bookmark on screen, so players know what they’re about to see and you can remember the point it’s supposed to make.
Pain: It’s tough to command a room sitting behind a keyboard and mouse.
Why not stand at the front of the room where you belong with your iPad in hand? Coaches have told us that the tablet allows them to move around the room while they give their team presentation. Since the touch controls are so intuitive, you can focus on how your points are landing and avoid getting caught up clicking tiny buttons on a faraway screen.
Pain: Sometimes you need to see game flow. Other times you need want the same thing, bang-bang-bang.
Our tool will give you the flexibility to do both interchangeably.
How annoying is it when you try to show a transition play and right as the steal happens…BUFFERING. You’re stuck in the buffer zone during the definitive moments of a play. It totally kills the flow. Our latest video technologies (specifically, the ones inside our iPad app for basketball) aim to prevent that at all costs and keep the flow smooth from possession to possession.
In the middle of your presentation, you could decide to switch gears and show a rapid-fire series of costly turnovers. Hudl will still allow you to show arbitrary short clips of video back-to-back without forcing them on you.
Pain: Fast-forwarding and rewinding while remembering to make all your points is cumbersome.
Hudl’s Bookmark feature will keep all your points organized and let you jump around with a few quick taps. Because you’re not restricted to clips, you can “flow” around any event as much as you want before you tap “Next” to jump forward in your list of points.