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Category: Coaching and Athletics

The 2014 Opening wrapped up a week ago and we’re still reeling from the amazing talent that dominated the fields at Nike World Headquarters. Each of the five days brought some special stuff to the table, but Wednesday and Thursday were packed with actual football games. Well, as actual as 7-on-7 gets. In the middle of July, we’ll take what we can get.

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Sunday and Monday may have been all about the quarterback, but Tuesday allowed for every other position to strut its stuff in the final SPARQ tests of 2014. After a timed 40-yard dash, agility shuttle, kneeling power ball toss and vertical leap, it’s obvious there’s no shortage of raw talent in this year’s Opening class.

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Athletes invaded Nike’s campus Monday afternoon for the first official day of the 2014 Opening, but it was the second day of hard work for this year’s Elite 11 finalists. Sunday was packed with two practices – one was all about agility, the other featured receivers for routes on air.

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Hudl may be the best thing to happen to my coaching career. When I was an assistant football coach and director of strength and conditioning at Denison University, we hired a former player/student assistant as the defensive coordinator. Upon his arrival in 2010, we implemented Hudl as the football program’s video scouting and exchange system. As a coach, husband, and father I immediately reaped the benefits.

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When I joined the staff at Incarnate Word Academy as an assistant coach in the fall of 2008, the head coach was in the middle of choosing a video editing system. There were several options on the market, but only Hudl was Internet-based. I was already familiar with Hudl after hearing about it from football coaches, and urged him to give it a shot, but we ended up using another product that season. It had some great features, but it was Mac-based and tied to one computer – whoever wanted to view film had to have that laptop.

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By the beginning of April, it should start to feel a lot like spring outside - at least for most of America. For those of us in Nebraska, not so much. Either way, spring has sprung and it’s time to revisit your Hudl account! Set aside some time to do a little cleaning and show some love with our top 10 tips on gearing up for the 2014-2015 season.

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It’s almost time to kick off our Hudl Up Tour for the third straight year. We’ve had such a great time talking to coaches during clinic season, that we aren’t ready to settle in back at the office just yet.

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We’re on a bit of a downhill slope with the Glazier and Nike COY clinic circuits coming to a close just last week. We loved getting to meet and talk to everyone at our stops across the country, and hope you had the chance catch a presentation or two from one of our awesome speakers: Ashley Broesch, Eric Broulette, Alli Pane, Jason West, Erin Wacker, Seth Prauner and Tom Grant.

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Clinic season hits us in the face much like winter in Nebraska. But before you know it, some of the busiest weekends of the year are behind us. It’s been an extremely hectic February for Hudlies, but we just keep truckin’ along as the madness continues into March. Over the next two weeks we will have reps at 22 clinics across 17 states. We’ll continue to hit each and every Glazier and Nike COY clinic, as well as attend our first Clinic of Champions in Reno, Nev.

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The Hudl basketball squad has been working ridiculously hard trying to create an awesome new basketball product for our coaches. But when it comes to fully understanding how coaches utilize the product, there’s only so much we can do in an office. To gain some first-hand insight, a few members of the basketball squad took a trip to De Soto High School in Kansas to see how their team uses both versions of Hudl for basketball - the current system with five-minute long clips, and the beta system built for iPads and automatic bookmarks.

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We made Hudl history the first week of February with 20 clinics in one weekend! And surprisingly, it all went down without too many travel issues. We may not be able to say the same over the next couple of weeks with all of these winter storms becoming big enough to name. (Speaking of which, it would be nice if all of this snow came down on a Monday or Tuesday, rather than the middle of week.)

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It’s a day when all the hard work of high school senior football players pays off. For coaches, it may be both the most loved and dreaded day of the year. So many ups and downs, so many surprises. Every year has its own crazy commitments and flips. For some colleges, one commit can make or break a class. Let’s look back at what went down yesterday and recap the madness.

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The Pac-12 is one of the most entertaining conferences in the country, showcasing a wide range of offensive styles, from Oregon’s fast-pace to Stanford’s downhill power run game. The variety in talent the 2014 recruiting class has to offer should align well with the Pac-12 mold. Let’s take a look at where these potential giants of the game are heading this season.

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When Florida State took down Auburn in the National Championship, the ACC proved they’re a force to be reckoned with, especially along the recruiting trail. Three of this conference’s teams are currently ranked in Rivals’ top 12 classes of 2014, so you’re bound to see a handful of these guys hitting the gridiron as early as this fall.

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The SEC may have fallen short in this year’s BCS title game, but no one is accusing the Southeastern Conference of being weak. Continuing to dominate on the recruiting trail, nine of the 14 SEC schools rank in Rivals’ top 15 recruiting classes of 2014. Fully loaded with talent across the board, these incoming commits set up a bright future for the SEC.

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The story of the Big 12’s recruiting class for 2014 includes plenty of hometown heroes, with seven of the top 10 recruits staying loyal by staying local. These superstar athletes may have shined on their high school turf, but who will explode on the college scene in Tornado Alley?

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The Big Ten may not be known for the speed and athleticism of their fellow conference counterparts, but if there was ever a year to change that, 2014 may be it. Classes laden with immediate impact players and prospects who will undoubtedly change the look of the team litter Big Ten recruitment this year, so let’s take a look.

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One of the biggest success stories throughout our company’s history has been the ability to get out and see coaches in person. That exciting and busy time of year is here, as we’re about to hit upwards of 150 clinics from coast to coast (and beyond). A bulk of those clinics take place from January to April, including all 34 Glazier and 16 Nike COY clinics. It’s also likely you may see some of our smart, good-looking reps at a state association or athletic director clinic near you.

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To be honest, our 2014 AFCA trip didn’t get off to the start we wanted. Flight issues stranded eight Hudlies in Chicago on Saturday afternoon and left us with only five people to set up the Octagon exhibit at the Indianapolis Convention Center. But what started as a crappy trip actually ended up being the polar opposite after visiting with coaches for the next three days. After all, we got to hear these quotes…

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It’s time to get sentimental. We’ve reached the end of our long list of 2013 Hudl State Champions. Just a couple of weeks ago we kicked things off up in Maine, cruising down to Florida and across the country to Arizona. We’re officially at the end of the road with these champs hailing from the Northwest. It’s a smaller group than the ones before, but that doesn’t make us any less proud.

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With the latest list of 2013 state champions, we’re officially bicoastal! Browse the videos below to see the top dogs from the lower left corner of America better known as the Southwest. Cherish this list because we only have one more to go, and it’s no longer than a handful of states. A big congratulations to these 30 teams taking home the hardware; we’re excited to see what next season has in store!

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We’re still basking in the glory of our state champions - it takes a while to cover nearly 300 of them - but this is the region we’re the most excited about. No offense to the other states, but with our home offices in Lincoln, we have to give some extra love to the Midwest. Seeing so many champions from Nebraska and its neighbors is awesome.

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Continuing our quest to brag about all 285 of our 2013 state champions, we’re working our way down the coast to show the southern states some Hudl love. Congratulations to champions hailing from West Virginia, Texas, and everywhere in between! This round knocks out another 14 states and nearly 100 teams that dominated the season.

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The end of the calendar year also means the end of another football season. Don’t take this the wrong way, but that’s our favorite time of the year. Not because we don’t love football. We love football to the 285th power. Why 285? That’s how many championship teams used Hudl in 2013. So, rather than cram everything into one massive post, we’re splitting things up by region, starting with the great Northeast.

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The biggest football clinic of the year kicks off 2014, so we’re sending 21 Hudlies to Indianapolis this weekend to meet with an estimated 8,000 high school and college coaches at the annual American Football Coaches Association Convention. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

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When most people think of Hudl, they think of football. But over the past six months, a new group of coaches have come to us, hoping to get more out of their video. What sport do they coach? Ice hockey.

Teams across the United States and Canada have kicked off the winter season with Hudl. Whether it is youth, club or high school, coaches and athletes are realizing the growing importance of film study.

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The importance of a well-made highlight reel for recruiting cannot be emphasized enough. A player doesn’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The highlight reel is a tool for recruiters to make early determinations on whether or not to pursue a prospect, or evaluate him further.

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Listen, we know coaches and players love watching film and preparing for next week the second the clock hits zero, but there’s another group that also loves to check out their performance. We’re talking about you, officials. We haven’t forgotten about you and we know the best way for you to take advantage of Hudl, and keep you and the crew on top of your game.

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Earlier this month, our Coach Swap adventures came to an end in the nation’s capital where Kyle, Erik, Jason M. and I witnessed the long-standing rivalry between Oakton High School and Westfield High School. We scheduled our visit around a rematch of last year’s Regional Championship, which Oakton won 24-16. Oakton, located in Vienna, Va., came into this year’s match-up 4-4 on the year.

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After six stops and 4,808 miles traveled, we are happy to say we exceeded expectations on our first ever basketball-focused Hudl Up Tour. More than 300 coaches helped us break new ground and refreshed their Hudl skills before hitting the hardwood this winter. Our attendees on both the high school and collegiate level ranged from beginners to advanced users.

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To continue the “Coach Swap” trips this fall, three of us Hudlies made the trek to Fridley, Minn. to visit Totino-Grace High School located just outside of Minneapolis. Little did we know we’d be visiting one of the top teams in the state, as well as some of the best Hudl users we’ve come across. By the end of the trip, we considered the staff at Totino-Grace Hudl experts when it came to utilizing all features.

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About five years ago, the first Hudl recruiting package was sent from a high school coach to a college recruiter. We didn’t know it then, but that email changed college recruiting forever.

High school coaches no longer needed to spend countless hours burning DVDs and mailing them to colleges all over the country. College recruiters could see an athlete’s video in seconds rather than waiting weeks for film to arrive. The concept of receiving film through the Internet was new, but we hoped that simplicity and convenience would win out over “the way it has always been done.”

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Basketball season is just around the corner and we’re as excited as these guys as we embark on our first ever basketball-focused Hudl Up Tour. Last night, we saw 40 coaches in St. Louis, and will continue the first half of our six-stop tour with Indianapolis and Columbus later this week.

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One of the ways we’ve used Hudl this year is by quizzing our players as they watch tape on their own time. For example, the defensive backs need to be able to check in to different coverages based on the offense’s formation and personnel. So we make sure our players are mentally prepared by creating questions in the video’s notes.

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Given the menu of things we can do to help us in building great software, visiting our users on their own turf is about as good as it gets. The only way to make it better is actually embedding ourselves in the trenches with coaches for more than just a couple hours.

I’ve talked with thousands of coaches, visited hundreds in person, studied coaches and athletes using Hudl, but I hadn’t taken the next step and fully immersed myself in their work.

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Back in May, when we called for any and all coaches willing to swap lives, our main goal was to find a handful of teams willing to host a group of Hudlies for an entire game weekend.

We wanted to learn how Hudl helps coaches succeed and how we can improve. After all, some of our favorite things are listening to what coaches want and continuing to get better.

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Rick Sparks and the Wheaton Rams (Ill.) first heard about Hudl through the coach’s grapevine – word of mouth from other youth coaches, as well as local area high school programs.

Atlanta Colts (Ga.) Draft Coordinator, Grady Thrasher, found Hudl in an article from a simple Google search back in 2009. They started league-wide with Hudl for their 31 teams in 2012, after their travel team demoed Hudl to the board.

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Several factors play a role in choosing which incoming freshmen earn a spot on the high school football team. Strength and conditioning aside, many middle school and junior high coaches have found another way to prepare their players for the next level: They teach their kids with Hudl.

Kevin Kellin is a coach at Schimelpfenig Middle School, a feeder program for Plano High School in Plano, Texas. Steve Shannon is an Assistant Coach for the varsity football team at Wahoo High School in Wahoo, Neb. They both took the time to fill us in on why they pushed to get Hudl for their middle school programs.

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March Madness doesn’t carry the same meaning on the Hudl clinic circuit, as it marks the end of our yearly run at 32 Glazier and 17 Nike COY clinics. That makes us sad, so we’re ramping up our plans for the 2013 Hudl Up Tour: an 8-week, 37-stop excursion beginning April 2 in Omaha.

Don’t think we’ll just sit around and watch basketball all month - we will still carry a strong presence at nearly 40 clinics in 23 states, including several in the next three weeks. Then, keep an eye on our blog, Twitter and Facebook for more information on the 2013 Hudl Up Tour. We have several ideas that will hopefully get you excited to come out and see us.

Again, it is March - Cue this!

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Ninety-five clinics down, and about 139 to go. Last week concluded another busy traveling weekend, as we had 15 clinics. Except for winter storms delaying travel for a few of our employees, it was a successful weekend reaching coaches from coast to coast.

This week alone, we’ll hit 15 more clinics. Luckily, we have plenty of travel lovers in the office who help make this possible.

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National Signing Day is a great time to congratulate the Class of 2013 on excellent high school careers and wish them well in playing at the next level.

It’s also the perfect reminder that the classes of 2014 and 2015 don’t have long before they’re the ones at the podium, announcing their school of choice.

Whether you’ve already started the recruiting process or you have yet to give it any thought, take a look at some tips we collected from college coaches across the country.

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It’s time to give your quarterback the attention he deserves. This is the perfect opportunity to apply your improved, simplified attitude and increased repetitions.

Passing five times a game applies much greater pressure than passing 20 times a game. The value-per-rep and the cost of failure increases as game-time passing repetitions decrease. Too often, coaches get mad at their quarterback for making the incorrect read on a play, but they only practiced the play seven times that week. When the repetition is reduced, success becomes scarce.

Optimize your QB play with more passing in practice and during games. Interceptions will happen, but that is part of the process; without failure, there is no learning.

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In December, we made it our mission to find out exactly what coaches around the country wanted to learn at this year’s Glazier clinics. What we heard repeatedly was that coaches were most interested in learning what “the school down the street” was doing with Hudl that they were not.

We have been traveling around to schools across the country learning the best workflows and we want to showcase them to you at a Glazier in 2013.

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Clinic season is in full swing and we’re excited to send many of our 70 employees and field reps across the country to meet and chat with all of you. We plan to attend over 150 clinics throughout the calendar year, several of which are taking place in the next couple months.

No matter where you are, be sure to find our booth and ask any questions about Hudl or just snag some free swag.

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With 264 champions across all 50 states, we feel we have the right to continue bragging. Having the greatness divided into four separate posts wasn’t doing it justice, so behold: a complete list of 2012 Hudl Champions.

We couldn’t be prouder of these teams and the way they dominated last season. Here’s to you - coaches and players, parents and fans. Congratulations on an amazing 2012 and good luck in 2013.

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Does your quarterback look indecisive on the field, are your pass plays hit-or-miss, or is the win column paltry? You might have a talent problem or a coaching problem. Then again, maybe it’s a practice problem.

For 15 years, I observed hundreds of football programs ranging from youth to Division I and made a critical determination: Successful programs share several things in common, but the most crucial to QB consistency and pass completion is a well-planned practice.

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The New Year is here, which unfortunately means the end of high school and college football. On the bright side, it also marks the beginning of another busy clinic season for Hudl!

It all starts with one of the biggest meet-ups of the year, the American Football Coaches Association convention. We will be sending more than 20 Hudlies to Nashville this week for the AFCAs, and we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off 2013.

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Our Hudl Glazier Bootcamps are back this year and we need your help to make them better than ever. We want to showcase the ways you successfully used Hudl this year so other coaches can learn from the best. Tell us about the awesome workflows your team used to Dominate this season.

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Last week we took a look at some pretty awesome pass plays from teams all across the country. This week we are switching it up a bit and taking a look at some monster hits. These hits might make you want to look away for a second.

Check out our Top 5 Hits this week.

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With football season wrapping up it’s time we take a look at some of this season’s top plays. This week we found some quarterbacks who made some great passes and made their receivers look good by putting the ball where it needed to be at the right time.

Check them out:

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There are only a few states left that need to determine their state champions. Even though the number of games being played has gone down, that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of Top Plays being created. As the season comes to a close, we may dare to say the Top Plays are getting better.

Have a Top Play that puts these to shame? Post it on our Facebook timeline, tell family and friends to ‘like’ it, and you could win our Top Play of 2012 Giveaway.

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The 2012 season is inching closer to the end. We’re so proud of everything our teams have accomplished so far this season. The effort and dedication make for some pretty big plays.

Here are our top 5 plays of the week.

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Coaches and athletes all over the country have been working hard all season so they can call themselves a 2012 state champion. We are proud to see how much our Hudl teams have accomplished this season.

Here’s the first round of Hudl State Champions. If you don’t see your name on this list, don’t worry, we’ll get you on the next round.

Congratulations and keep Dominating!

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Playoff time is here and hopefully all of your offseason strength and conditioning work has paid off. Injuries this late in the season could determine the outcome of your state title, so it’s important to focus on post-game recovery for your athletes. We have a mandatory recovery session every Saturday following our games.

While post-game recovery is often overlooked, it will help your players regenerate their bodies so they are ready to hit the playing field for Monday’s Practice.

This is how we handle recovery with our team.

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Playoffs are now in full swing. We’re seeing awesome highlights as a product of all the exciting games being played right now. These are the most important games of the season, and we love to watch as our teams progress through the finals. It’s no holds barred out there and these athletes are certainly proving that.

Here are five of our favorite Top Plays from last week.

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The more prepared you and your film crew are before you begin filming practice or a game, the better your video will be. Preparation, regardless of the level of football you play, will keep things running smoothly. I’ve found that when I’m properly prepared and have prepped my film crew, they take more pride in the video they’re capturing and the job they have to do.

You may have other ways you get your film crew prepped and ready but this is what I’ve found works best for us.

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This is the third part of a four-part series from Mikel Riggs detailing how he built a professional video operations department at Foley High School in Alabama. See Part One: Getting Everyone on Board, Part Two: The Equipment, or Part Four: Our Workflow

In order for the program to be successful and benefit the football program, student training was and continues to be essential. We didn’t want to put the money into a new program and then not get the quality of video we knew our equipment was capable of.

Here’s how we trained the students.

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This is the second part of a four-part series from Mikel Riggs detailing how he built a professional video operations department at Foley High School in Alabama. See Part One: Getting Everyone on Board, Part Three: Training the Students, or Part Four: Our Workflow.

After everyone was on board, we started research on our equipment. We made two things a priority when we were choosing.

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Growing up a coach’s son, I saw firsthand how much time my dad devoted to his job and preparing for his team. My father’s time was valuable and as a family we knew that; any time we could spend with him, we took advantage of.

As I started at my first year as secondary coach at Foley High School (Ala.) last fall I realized I couldn’t give the attention to the video operations department it deserved and still fulfill my coaching responsibilities. I used my previous experience from the video operations department at Auburn University (Ala.) to design a video operations department for our team. This added efficiency to our football program and minimized wasted time at the office. The student workers do all the filming and uploading to Hudl. That way, our coaches can spend more time coaching, preparing, and with their families.

Here’s the first step I took to make it happen.

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Did you know athletes can lose lean body mass at rate of 5% per month when not actively strength training? This means that your middle linebacker who started the season at 225 lbs. could be down to 210 lbs. by week seven and feeling weak as playoffs approach.

As high school football coaches, we spend countless hours developing, modifying, and implementing our offseason football strength programs to ensure that our athletes are at their peak physical condition. Unfortunately, the beginning of the school year and football season can mark the end of a consistent strength program.

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It’s time to start thinking about getting athletes recruited. It’s important to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward for recruiters, and they know how awesome your athletes are.

We know the recruiting process can suck, so we want to help out. We’ll be holding free, online webinars for athletes and parents to learn more about the recruiting process.

Check out the times and see some other tips to get the recruiting process rolling.

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With a few weeks of football under your belts, I’m sure you’ve already started to think about getting your athletes recruited. Everyone has their own idea of “best practices” when it comes to recruiting. We have a few that we think will help you get the most out of Hudl’s recruiting tools.

Here are some dos and don’ts of using Hudl’s recruiting tools, plus a sneak peek at some new stuff for recruiting we have in the works.

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This time of year the heat can be just as tough on your athletes as the 11 players lining up on the other side of the ball. The heat can lead to dehydration, which can lead to serious athletic disadvantages. Muscle contractions will begin to slow and weaken, causing your athletes to lose their optimal muscle function. This increases their chances of muscle pulls and strains.

It’s important for your athletes to know the importance of hydration and how to gauge their own hydration levels. There are a couple signs your athletes should use to gauge their hydration level.

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There are so many tools out there to help your athletes get better, but none are quite as powerful as video. Video doesn’t lie, so it keeps the “I did that” or “I wasn’t doing that” conversations to a minimum.

We begin building the foundation for our athletes in the sixth grade by introducing them to Hudl. We want to give them a taste of what they’ll be using in high school. We also integrate our youth with the high school program by doing community events and coaching clinics together. This helps build good relationships with coaches and athletes at every level.

A big part of building our foundation starts with video. Here are three benefits to starting them early.

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The 2012 football season gets underway this month and 10 Hudl teams from the United States and Canada are set for unique season openers: they will travel overseas for the Global Ireland Football Tournament (G.I.F.T) on Friday, Aug. 31. The events will get kicked off on Friday and will include a six-game showcase featuring 12 teams. The Emerald Isle Classic will be held the next day and will feature Hudl Team Navy matching up against Notre Dame.

The games will take place at three venues across Dublin and Navan normally utilized for Gaelic football, hurling and rugby.

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Your athletes work hard out on the field and we think they deserve to be recognized in a really sweet way. Hudl Top Play lets you highlight the single most awesome play from a game as soon as your video is uploaded to Hudl.com. It’s like giving out the game ball or a helmet sticker, but with the video to prove just how incredible the play was.

Choose a top play for each game, and you’ll have a full reel of your best plays at the end of the season to show off at your end-of-year banquet. Just click the star next to a clip the same way you would to make a highlight. Now you’ll also have the option to create a Top Play. Hudl will walk you through creating a professional-quality highlight complete with slow motion, spot shadows, and music.

Get Started.

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This is the third installment of our Domination Checklist series, meant to get you in an awesome place to start the football season. This week: Get your staff and film crew up to speed with your cameras and video workflow. Taking a few minutes outside of practice to make sure you’re on the same page with your coaching staff and film crew will make your life easier on game day.

Here are five things we recommend.

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Only a few days ‘till a batch of Hudlies makes their way down to the 2012 Texas High School Coaches Association Clinic in San Antonio.

If you haven’t gotten signed up for one of our sport-specific training sessions, it’s not too late. We have a spot just for you.

Here’s what they have to offer. Check them out and get signed up.

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It’s summer—the perfect time to get caught up on some reading. Our Book of the Month for July is Competing with Character: Let’s Put Sportsmanship and Fun Back in Youth Sports. Tyler, one of the newest members of the support team, selected this book because of Coach Kevin Kush’s ability to always lead a competitive team. As head coach for Boys Town in Omaha, Neb., Coach Kush only has the players for two years, but coaches in a way that gives each of them a sense of ownership and love for the sport.

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In order for us to constantly improve as a team, we work to constantly improve our equipment. Adding a practice camera into the mix has been great. We get a better angle than a handheld camera or tripod mounted unit gives us, and adding the angle into film reviews is another way to reinforce what we’re teaching our athletes.

Coaches are constantly evolving the build for the PracticeCam—trying to make it more efficient and keep it affordable. Take a look at what we use and recommend, and let me know if you have ways we can improve. If you build your own, be sure to send pictures and let me know how you made it work.

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Part two of the structuring your offseason program series focuses on strength/endurance training. This phase of your football offseason workout utilizes a combination of exercises that will help increase stability endurance, muscular strength, and lean body mass.

In the strength and endurance portion of the program we will continue to focus on increasing muscular strength, core stabilization, and flexibility. Supersets consisting of compound exercises will be used for each body part. Each superset will be made up of one strength lift immediately followed by a stabilization exercise.

In order to accomplish your offseason football workout goals you will need to increase the intensity (% of max) and lower repetitions accordingly. Because of the superset format the number of sets performed will go up so be prepared to add some time to the workout.

Check out the plan for phase two.

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We’re always looking for tools to take our program to the next level. Last year we started incorporating the GoPro camera into spring and summer practices and our 7 on 7 tournaments and it’s had a huge impact. It’s become an invaluable teaching tool for us.

The GoPro camera is lightweight and not intrusive, so it doesn’t interfere with what we’re trying to do. It gives us a glimpse into what the athlete is thinking when he’s out there, and when we’re done, we come away with a comprehensive video that lets us know where we need to work.

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The offseason is a chance for athletes to recover physically and psychologically and to work on improving their performance. The structure of your offseason football workouts plays a big role in reaching your strength goals.

The main goal of an offseason football program is to increase the body’s ability to stabilize and remain in a controlled posture. As the season progresses, muscular imbalances can occur from injuries or from continually cutting in the same direction. This can lead to weakness in underused areas of the body and injury.

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Attention Florida coaches: We’re excited to announce our finalized Florida tour stops for next week’s training sessions.

Join us if you want to learn how to use Hudl for your team this season or just need to get some questions answered. We’ll kick things off at 2:30 p.m. with staff training sessions and close things down at 8:30, or until we’ve answered all your questions. Stay for the whole thing or come and go as you please. Bring your whole staff. It’s free!

Here’s where you can find us June 25-28.

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It’s easy to get bored with the same offseason workout. We like to switch things up by going through a circuit. Sometimes we’ll use them at the beginning of a workout for warm-up, or sometimes at the end to add an element of competitiveness.

If your warm-up has gotten stale, here are some exercises to throw in the mix for lower body strength training days.

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When it came time to pick our June Book of the Month, I went straight to our resident Coach. Greg, one of our Coach Support Leads, is currently reading War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team.

Here’s why we’re all vying for his copy.

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We’ll be trekking across the great state of Pennsylvania June 11 - 14 to train coaches on Hudl.

Are you a coach transitioning from APEX to Hudl or just want to learn how to use Hudl most efficiently? Join us for a Pennsylvania training session. We’ll be making four stops next week. Come join us.

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Summer may be the most strategic time of the year for a football player. During the summer break, they’re able to focus more, so a summer football camp can make a tremendous impact.

But how do you know if it’s the right camp?

Selecting a summer camp is a greater challenge every year as options grow. A quick web search provides overwhelming choices.

Let’s break down what to look for and what to avoid.

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Incorporating a foam roller into your workout can be a valuable tool for your athletes. Using a foam roller during your warm-up can help increase blood flow and calorie burn, and decrease the chance of injury. By providing pressure to the restricted regions of the body, you can help eliminate pain and restore motion.

If you’re not sure how to use the roller, here is a sequence to get you started.

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Developing a program that translates to the field is a great way for you and your coaches, as well as your athletes to understand the importance of an offseason strength program.

Here’s how.

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For the month of May, we’re giving soccer some love in our Book of the Month series. Jason McClanathan, one of our quality assurance analysts, told us about his favorite book as a soccer coach, Focused for Soccer by Bill Beswick.

Be sure to head over to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ our post about the book to be entered to win a free copy!

Here’s a good summary of the book.

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Weight and resistance training programs can vary from team to team, but no matter which weight room you walk into, there are some lifts that you’ll see consistently. The deadlift, power shrug, and back squat have become commonplace, and if you are going to use them, it is important that you pay attention to the details.

Ted Rath from the Detroit Lions shares his thoughts on the deadlift drops, power shrug, a different twist on the back squat, and what his athletes use to warm up before hitting the platform.

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Picking the right exercises for your offseason football program can often be a difficult task. While time, facilities, and equipment will often dictate what you can and cannot do, there are a few lifts that every program can take advantage of.

Add these five exercises to your offseason football program to add strength, explosive power, and competition into your sessions.

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Stretching during practice has been a topic of debate in athletics for a number of years. Coaches and trainers have made arguments for static and dynamic stretching, as well as the use of resistance bands. So, which one is right?

The answer is that they are all correct, it just depends on what you are trying to accomplish. A few years back, our team decided to change warming up from an activity that lacked purpose and direction into a speed-development exercise.

The results were great. We saw a dramatic decrease in pulls and strains that season and our athletes saw a purpose for this part of practice. We only had one player pull a muscle during practice or games the entire season.

Here is a breakdown of each of the three parts of our pre-practice warm-up.

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This week:

  • Noel Mazzone featured on Smart Football
  • Reasons CEOs (and everyone else) should tweet.
  • Alabama’s shattered National Championship Trophy
  • Fenway celebrates 100.
  • Best hotels for wireless internet
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High school football coaches across the country know that the last day of the school year signifies the beginning of the summer football camp season. From the months of June to August, head coaches must figure out how to install their entire offense, defense, and special teams.

Often times, the last aspect to receive attention is the teams’ strength and conditioning program. When hours and minutes are at a premium, it can be difficult to dedicate major percentages of practice time to the weight room. Here are some simple planning tips to maximize your time in the weight room during offseason football workouts.

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Mental toughness can be one of the most difficult skills to hone as an athlete and to teach as a coach. It’s easy for players to let things like opponents, fans, or errors get in their head and hinder their performance for the rest of the game. As a coach, it’s essential to help your athletes move on from mistakes in order to win games. Graham Betchart, a performance coach who specializes in mental skills training, outlines a few elements that make up the mindset of a champion.

These are great to give to your athletes before the season starts or to even have posted on the wall in the locker room.

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Last week’s Hudl Up Tour had us traveling west. Brandon led a group of Hudlies from Salt Lake City to Phoenix and from Phoenix to Los Angeles. We’ve been having a lot of fun along the way–meeting coaches and talking football and Hudl. Remember to fill out your post tour stop survey so we can keep improving these for future stops and next year’s tour.

See pictures, read blog posts, and see the full tour schedule at www.hudluptour.com.

Here are some highlights from last week.

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Week two of the Hudl Up Tour is quickly approaching. If you haven’t reserved your spot yet, it’s not to late. Here’s where we’re headed next week:

  • April 9 // San Francisco // Diablo Valley College
  • April 10 // Portland // Lewis and Clark College
  • April 11 // Seattle // Bothell HS
  • April 12 // Boise // Capital HS

Here’s what you can expect from a tour stop:

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One of the most amazing things about working at Hudl is watching the developers take an idea from a concept to reality, in what feels like no time at all. Recently, we’ve talked about how many tools out there don’t fully support football programs who don’t play 11-Man. Fewer men, shorter field, longer field, no 4th down…the list goes on. These teams need a tool to analyze video just as much.

Throw a little brain power and a splash of dedication at the problem and we’ve got ourselves a solution. Now, our breakdown settings and reports fully support both 8-man and Canadian football. Curious how these teams use Hudl? Let Coach Dobbins, from Howells High School in Nebraska, show you:

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Thanks to all the coaches who made it out to Columbine High School for the first Hudl Meet Up last Thursday. It was an awesome event with great coaches in attendance.

Check out www.hudluptour.com to see pictures from the the night.

For those who weren’t able to make it, here’s a recap of the night’s events.

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The Hudl Up Tour is officially underway. After a great first stop in Denver, we’re heading further west this week. Brandon, along with a pack of Hudlies, will be hitting the open road on Tuesday for our first batch of tour stops.

Here’s where we’re heading this week.

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The Hudl Up Tour kicked off tonight in Denver. Even though it’s underway, it’s not too late to sign up for a stop in your area. We still have spots open along the tour. Still need convincing? Here are a few reasons you should be there.

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Installing a no-huddle offense isn’t an easy process. Most of it is learned through trial and error. Here are some problems we encountered along the way—hopefully this will help you avoid making the same mistakes we did.

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March is National Athletic Trainers Month. Athletic Trainers are a great asset to a program and can aide in keeping athletes injury free and making sure proper steps are taken once an injury occurs.

Two ways to keep athletes healthy is assessing their activity on an individual basis and communicating with their parents. Here’s advice from Paul LaDuke and Danielle Kleber, two Athletic Trainers, for effectively doing these things:

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Coaches are constantly looking for new ways to keep their athletes focused through the week. Using video to scout your opponent is a great way to prepare them, but it’s also great to have a way to supplement your film study. One of our field reps, Frank Steele, uses a website called ProProfs to create free online quizzes to test his players’ knowledge of formations and develop the ability to quickly recognize them.

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We held our last Hudl Bootcamps at Glazier clinics this past weekend. We were overwhelmed by the response from coaches this year. It was awesome to see so many of you come out to learn how to coach smarter with Hudl.

Thanks for making our Hudl Bootcamps a success this season. For those coaches who couldn’t make it to a session, or requested more information, here are the links for you to view the presentations at home:

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We’re touring the country this spring to help coaches win, and we need you to make it a great event. Beginning March 29, we’ll be making 28 stops in 7 weeks to host Hudl meet ups in your area. Here are a few reasons you might want to come:

  • Learn how top coaches in your area use Hudl to win.
  • Uncover hidden tips and tricks that will save you time with Hudl.
  • Ask questions of Hudl employees, including developers and designers.
  • Learn about upcoming features and enhancements.

We’re coming to a city near you. Check out our full list of stops:

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Keeping our athletes engaged in the weight room and making it fun for them is a challenge we face every year. Music has always been one of the ways to do this, but putting together a playlist of high-energy music with clean lyrics can be time consuming. We can task our athletes with putting something together, but their music isn’t always school appropriate.

This year, we’ve starting using Pandora Radio for music, and it’s become an awesome hands-off way to bring music into the weight room. The best thing is that it’s free, which fits into my coaching budget nicely.

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In today’s Weekly Hudl secrets behind conference realignment deals are revealed, track stars take on the 40-yard dash, the creators of the world’s most popular photo app for iOS explain their priorities, VP of User Experience Kyle Murphy is in the spotlight, and our own Brandon Gries pays homage to his childhood hero.

See who was reading what this week:

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We’re excited to bring you the first edition of The Weekly Hudl. Each Friday, we’ll post a compilation of our favorites from the week—ranging from articles to apps. We want to know what your favorites are too, so be sure to post them below.

Here are five of our favorite articles from this week:

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When we started using Hudl three years ago, we were focused on both learning the basics and also diving in deeper to use the software to its full potential.

What we found was that not only does it meet our needs as a video analysis tool but also the solution to another common problem that we, as well as other coaches, were facing:

How can I use Hudl to grade my players practice or game performance?

This problem is easily solved using Hudl’s custom columns and views options. Here is a quick step-by-step introduction on how we used it as a staff to grade our players last year.

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I recently did an informal experiment with my athletes. I had them wear a Nike+ Sportswatch GPS during games to see how far they were running. What I found was that they were running upwards of six miles per game. If you consider we play 2-3 games per week from December to late March, our athletes are racking up marathon-type weekly distance. This doesn’t include practice and off-season workouts.

Excessive volume during the season will begin to cause issues if proper steps aren’t taken. Here are some ways to avoid burnout and injury:

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Improved vertical is something that athletes strive for in their careers. The ability to jump higher than your opponent takes discipline and practice. Just like any other aspect of a sport, it won’t come without putting in the time and effort.

There are three things that are key to improving your vertical: form, strength, and flexibility.

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Boise State and TCU. Both of these teams are very successful non-BCS teams. Going into this game, Boise had a 65-game home-winning streak, they hadn’t lost in Boise in more than 13 years when I rolled into town. As a fan, I was not only excited to see the blue turf field, but also to see the creative offenses that both teams employ. From a coaching perspective, I focused on two aspects of their program.

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The recruiting process can seem cryptic to some. Parents with athletes looking to play at the next level can find the task of getting video to recruiters, as well as making sure they’re meeting all of the NCAA’s requirements can be quite daunting. Here are four things coaches, parents, and athletes should know about the recruiting process:

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We’re charging full-swing into clinic season and can’t wait to see all of you! Clinics provide great opportunities to talk to our users, gather some feedback, and hand out some swag. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for weekly updates to win sweet swag at select clinics.

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Part of my responsibility here at Hudl is to provide support to our NFL and Division I partners. I had the honor of visiting a few of our Division I teams this past fall and was able to attend three of the best games of the college football season. It was hard to watch these games without doing a little bit of my own game study. Because I’m a coach, I’m always focused on the routines and schemes of a team. The games I attended provided some great insight into how top-level college programs operate. I found a few things that I will be utilizing next season with my own team.

I knew the games I attended were slated to be good games, but they all turned out to be great games that would rank among the top 10 games of the entire season.

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We hear all too often “My team has Hudl, but I don’t feel I am getting the most out of the system.” or “We recently switched to Hudl and we have no clue where to go from here.”

Through our partnership with Glazier Football Clinics, we’re excited to introduce our 2012 Hudl Bootcamps. At select Glazier Clinics we will have a dedicated Hudl Bootcamp session where you can learn how to effectively analyze your own video, and more importantly - how to outscout your opponent. Remember, you must be registered for the Glazier Clinic to attend.

In 20 cities across the country, two Hudl representatives will lead a 50-minute rapid-fire session teaching you everything you’ll need to know about Hudl including:

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We were excited about the great turnout for Hudl Highlight Training 101 last Thursday. Athletes, parents, and coaches all came with great questions.

There are more sessions this week and next week, hosted by the Hudl experts. Sign up for a live session or download the video from last week’s session:

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Coaches and statisticians looking for a time saver can now use MaxPreps’ new basketball iPad app MaxStatsBB.

This simple in-game stat manager allows you to track real-time stat totals and percentages, shot charts, team and opponent stats, plus other great features like the ability to sync your schedules and rosters from MaxPreps.com.

Download the app free for free.

See it in action:

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You may be done with regular season games, but now that doesn’t mean your work is done. There are highlight videos to be made and athletes to get recruited. Hop on one of our free training sessions where one of the Hudl experts will walk you through using Hudl highlights from staring your first highlight to ordering a DVD.

Register for one of our Tuesday or Thursday sessions:

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Although the season is almost over, there is work still to be done. It is now time to work on creating highlight reels and getting athletes recruited!

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Highlights and Recruiting Packages from coaches:

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Now that Hudl supports the DSV Commando remote, choosing the right remote for your program may be a bit overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of all the remotes that work with Hudl as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Take a look and see what would be best for your program this season.

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Lately I have noticed a trend with our coaches. Many of them want to know how to capture a still frame of their formations and print playcards from reports. We have the perfect solution and it just happens to include one of my favorite tools.

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Strength and conditioning can be one of the key factors to your team’s success each year. If your players aren’t prepared physically, you don’t stand much of a chance against the competition.

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It’s Saturday morning after Friday night’s game and you’ve just walked into the classroom to start the team’s hour long film session. You pull up your video only to realize that the film is choppy, part of the game is missing due to your volunteer videographer’s short attention span and the camera died midway so you don’t have any of 4th quarter.

There are two ways to watch a sporting event. One, as a fan/spectator. Two, as a real videographer. An assistant coach once told me “I focus so closely on filming the entire game correctly; I don’t even know what the score is at half time.” Let’s learn how to do this filming thing right.

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What makes a good coach? Take a minute and think. I’ll wait…

Now, think about the best coaches who’ve ever lived. What do these uber coaches have that seems elusive to us mere mortals? What’s the difference between a good coach and a legend? I think uber coaches all share some common characteristics. Somehow, they crank their coaching fundamental dials up to 11. These coaches know just what to do to make a difference, whether it be in the game or in an athlete’s life. We’ve all known a coach like this. Which traits of the uber coach do you have?

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Between my work at the University of Nebraska as a student assistant and as an assistant coach for a local high school in Lincoln - I’ve spent many hours pouring over film. I have my own style of analyzing video, but I was interested to find out what you look at during your film sessions.

I took a poll of our Hudl coaches to find the top ten things to focus on when studying film.

Survey says:

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