OK. I admit I'm old... I have been trying to hold on to my youth, but it is clear I am getting 'long in the tooth.' Technology seems to be passing me by with iPads, iPhones, Androids and so on. But, I never thought technology would change how I coach and administrate the game.
I spent some time with a good friend of mine from MaxPreps.com this weekend and we decided to talk football X & O's. His everyday preparation involves a heavy dose of technology, of which before this past weekend, I was oblivious to these types of advancements.
I went to the chalkboard and explained why the Wing-T and Spread were the best offensive systems for high school football. Proud of my work, I turned and said, "Well, how do you stop that!" He spends his time on defense, so I was curious as to what he would pull out of his hat.
Well, he pulled out his laptop... turned on a projector... activated a wireless card... and began to draw on the same chalkboard with a 'pen.' I quickly told him he needed to diagram his thoughts on stopping the Wing-T and he replied, "Oh, I will!"
This was my first exposure to a new system called Hudl, which is taking over pro, college and high school sports.
After our discussion, I spent some time on MaxPreps and Hudl's website to learn what was happening in my 'backyard' of high school sports.
Here is the first thing I learned...
MaxPreps is the leader in aggregating sports content for high school athletics. Specifically, stats, schedules, scores, photos and more.
Hudl allows you to use any laptop or desktop solution to gain access to your video. You can collaborate with your coaches, share video notes with your players, insert your voice, create highlights and send footage to recruiters.
Gone are the days of sending VHS tapes to recruiters, burning DVDs for your coaches & players and calling in statistics to the local paper.
The main point here is that Hudl is a utility for coaches to breakdown and analyze video for the purpose of self-scouting and identifying opponent tendencies. It is used by the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and many Division-I programs.
However, from my humble perspective, high school coaches and parents will get the most benefit from the system. Here are my top six reasons coaches and parents should check out Hudl;
#1. Coaches can send video to their assistants, players, opponents, fans, media and recruiters. No more DVDs.
#2. You can access your video anytime/anywhere. In an era where there are 'wireless hotspots' everywhere, I have enjoyed being able to jump online and review film with a simple username & password.
#3. Thru MaxPreps, I was able to try this product for FREE. Wait, pro and college teams use this system and I can try it for free? Yep, FREE! (I love that word.)... P.S. Designed for all sports!!
#4. Hudl is available for youth, high school, college and pros. My son is only 10-years old, so I plan on having his entire season online from his youth, high school (and if lucky) college years. P.S. We are a family of 'little people,' but I am hoping he is not vertically challenged.
#5. If you are 'old' like me, all of your memories are on a CD or VHS tape. I have started converting my video into Hudl, adding music, and sharing on 'Facebook.' (This is new to me as well). All my old school teammates are now sharing highlights and showcasing the good ol' days to my kids and relatives.
#6. My favorite function... (drum roll). Kids and parents can create their own highlights..Really? Yes, really! I can build a video library online for my son with music and an ESPN-like spot shadow, which identifies where my kid is on the field for grandma.
It is not often you get a chance to play like the pros, so I appreciate the opportunity MaxPreps and Hudl have provided us high school and youth coaches, as well as the parents.
This is the first time we felt technology was a benefit to not only the coaches, but also us parents/fans. It is a humbling experience for this old-timer.