Before the beginning of the 2022 baseball season, head coach Brian Weaver at Central Bucks West High School in Pennsylvania jumped at the chance to be part of the product development process for Hudl’s new baseball product.

As both a football and baseball coach, he knew the power of Hudl for football. And he wanted that for his baseball team. So when he heard about the opportunity to test the new product and provide feedback to the Hudl team, he was quick to raise his hand.

Little did he know just how much of a difference it would make in his team’s efforts to make it to the state tournament.

“When I took the job, one of the first things I wanted to get was Hudl…we needed to find all the tools we could get that would give us an edge,” Weaver said. “And while it’s not the only factor that’s led to our success, in five years we’ve gone from the worst team in the district to winning the district championship and advancing to the state playoffs for the first time in school history. And along the way, Hudl has played a pretty important role.” 

What started as an innocuous pre-season scrimmage and the first recorded game as part of the product development process, turned into a significant factor in his team turning the corner and reaching a new level of success. The team that Central Bucks West faced in their first preseason game would later be the opponent they would square off against with a berth to the state tournament on the line.

Through a combination of word-of-mouth scouting reports from local coaches and from analyzing the Hudl Assist data, they learned that their opponents were first-pitch swingers and oftentimes dead pull hitters. So they used that info to attack opposing hitters with fastballs on the outside corners early in the count.

They even had video of the two pitchers they would go on to face in that critical game. Thanks to the film recordings, they were able to use video to show their team footage of the other team’s curveballs and pitch locations.

“That was 100% a Hudl win,” Weaver said.

And while Hudl and Hudl Assist helped the Central Bucks West baseball team win big at the end of the season, it paid dividends from day one. 

Weaver credits Hudl and Hudl Assist as major time-savers for him and his staff. He estimates that thanks to clipped video and stats for every play via Hudl Assist, they saved about 3-5 hours per game, which translates to roughly 100 hours over the entire season.

“While Hudl is a great tool, having Hudl Assist has been even next level,” Weaver said. “Once we’re able to turn that film around, we can dispatch different coaches to different parts of the film. So instead of having to spend hours in advance breaking down play by play, clip by clip, now we can focus more on the actual analysis and less on the data entry.”

Having access to film is one thing, but it’s another to know what to do with it. Weaver and his staff have tapped into the power of video to provide coaching instructions and help with on-field development. In particular, he calls out defensive tendencies, two-strike hitting and pitching analysis as things they’ve been able to focus on thanks to film review.

Weaver acknowledged that filming games and film analysis are still relatively new to the sport of baseball. But he believes it’s time for baseball to catch up to other sports in that department. And after just one season, he’s all in on Hudl and Hudl Assist. 

“While there are other platforms that stream games and allow players to look at clips, what gives Hudl the advantage is the different things you can do with the film afterward…that’s what makes Hudl the separator,” Weaver said. “You can still use other software for keeping score in the dugout or other ancillary things, but when it comes to analysis and review Hudl is still the gold standard.”