Coaches from around the country sound off on the most effective ways to utilize spare time.

Free time is a foreign concept to coaches. 

Between devising game plans and addressing individual player needs, coaches are stretched pretty thin. 

Thankfully, there are tools out there that can help coaches make the most of their day. Whether it’s a service like Hudl Assist, where professional analysts break down video for coaches, or a wireless instant replay solution like Hudl Sideline that allows coaches to gain instant, in-game insights, staffs that take advantage of Hudl’s time-saving coaching tools have more free time than ever before. 

You may be asking yourself, “What do these coaches do with all this newfound free time?”

We asked Hudl users the same question. Based on their feedback, we found six ways the most productive coaches spend their spare time.

Sweat the Technique 

Regardless of level of competition, players can’t dominate without proper form and mechanics. 

Because of features like playlists and live tagging, coaches can spend less time in the film room and more time improving player technique.

“I have more time where I can communicate with our guys on things they need to be working on and things they can do to improve. Also, I can provide feedback specific to individual players.” - Coach Maassen, Sheldon High School

Your starting power forward has a hitch in his free throw shot? Hold a one-on-one video review session with that player and pull up a playlist of all his free throw attempts from the last game. Reinforce your teaching points by instructing your player to use a tool like Hudl Technique to analyze his form throughout the season. 

Does your next opponent rely on press coverage to slow down opposing offenses? Tell your wide receivers coach to focus on press release drills with the practice time normally allocated for inefficiently compiling relevant video clips for team review.

Dominate Halftime 

Freeing up your schedule isn’t exclusive to times outside game day. 

Spend more time discussing the right second half adjustments and less time with guesswork and sifting through pages of notes by utilizing Hudl Sideline. This wireless replay solution will give you the ability to identify mismatches and missed assignments in an instant.

Hone Your Craft 

You don’t know what you don’t know. 

Use your spare time to study up on new coaching trends, discuss best practices with other coaches, learn more about the capabilities of your coaching tools, and brush up on the basics. 

Setting time aside for personal development now can free up your schedule later as you’ll need less and less time for how-to research. 

In search of resources to get you started? Take a look out our Performance Center – the ultimate destination for any coach or athlete looking to get better.

Enhance Practice Sessions 

The season can be a grind, so why not make your practices as engaging as possible? 

“After our fourth or fifth film session of the season my team was really paying attention to what we were doing in video breakdowns. After that, I let them run the film sessions and they really took the initiative.” - Coach Branch, Oxford High School

Take instructional risks by restructuring your practice schedule and teaching techniques. Develop certain themes for each week of practice. Allot time each month for motivational speakers to address your team.

Take the pulse of your team to hold practices that cater to their personalities and your players will retain your lessons more effectively.

Watch Even More Video  

It may sound strange, but one benefit of using solutions that help you watch and analyze video more efficiently is now you’ll have time to watch and analyze even more video. 

"It would take two to three hours to find all of an athlete's missed shots, or to watch all of the offensive rebounds we gave up per game - with Hudl Assist, it’s one click to watch that for a whole game." - Coach Brost, Bolingbrook High School

Use the time you spend analyzing video to fully dive into each of your opponent’s offensive and defensive strategies. Instead of spending your offseason randomly pinpointing opponent tendencies, dedicate a week at a time to review specific sets, plays and in-game stats on your scout video. 

You can also take a similar approach to analyzing your own team’s areas for improvement. For example, with a service like Hudl Assist you can submit your game footage to professional analysts and receive a fully tagged video and its reports ready to study within 24 hours.

Relax & Unwind 

Wearing multiple hats and working long hours is often seen as a badge of honor among coaching circles. However, taking time to unwind can actually boost productivity and make your season less stressful. 

Fatigue makes it harder to stay on-task, be attentive to your team’s needs and address coaching challenges. Flip the script by taking a mental break. 

Which tips can you add to the list? Share with us in the comments.