Getting a game plan together has become much easier for high school coaches, thanks to a new online tool that combines video editing, automatic data transfer, free community outreach plug-ins and the potential for national exposure.
by Robin Berger
The editing system—Hudl—allows coaches and players to have secure online access to their video and breakdown from anywhere they have an Internet connection. Hudl enables coaches to add voice notes, create text notes, and draw telestrations directly on top of their video and then share these notes with specific players. Players can review their clips at home, take note of their coach's suggestions, and then be ready to make the corrections on the field the next day.
The MaxPreps.com pages include team rosters, stats and more. Hudl can be controlled with an Xbox 360 remote, which allows players to feel like they are playing a video game as they study their films from home. As they watch the video, athletes can tag individual plays to create their own highlight clips to share with family, friends, and college recruiters online, rather than burn DVDs.
The system was initially designed by Agile Sports Technologies (AST), a four-year-old company based in Lincoln, Neb., to help major colleges and professional teams win. But, the company noted, "After the first season of use by the University of Nebraska and the New York Jets, it was apparent that coaches at all levels could benefit from Hudl's powerful video analysis tools."
So, in 2008, Hudl was released for high schools, colleges, and youth teams. According to the company's latest records, 500 high schools and colleges in 43 states across the country now use Hudl for scouting and game analysis.
This March, AST signed a deal with MaxPreps.com, a unit of CBS Interactive (part of media giant CBS Corp.). In exchange for being designated Hudl's exclusive sales agent, MaxPreps.com will extend Hudl's reach to the more than 30,000 high school coaches who load their team rosters, schedules, scores and news onto the MaxPreps.com Website.
"There's going to be a free interchange of information between MaxPreps and the Hudl application, which will save coaches' time," said MaxPreps.com President Andy Beal. "The coach doesn't have to enter a roster or schedule because it exists in MaxPreps and flows directly into Hudl. If they are keeping their stats via film in Hudl, those game statistics will flow automatically into MaxPreps—and create their reports for them."
As an added bonus, the new partnership enables coaches to instantly share their best game clips with a national audience. MaxPreps boasts more than 200 million visitors each month to its Website and affiliated properties that include CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBS RADIO, CNET, and GameSpot, among other destinations.
MaxPreps also has free services to help school administrators and athletic directors communicate with their community. These include free Website plug-ins to help maintain a comprehensive and updated sports section on school Websites for the benefits of parents and other fans. And MaxPreps says it welcomes coach suggestions for making its product even more useful to them in fulfilling their jobs.