During a school year separated from their fans, this Iowa athletic program used Hudl to better connect their community.

The past twelve months have been a continuous cycle of challenge and adaptation. High school athletics, in particular, changed nearly overnight. Many athletic directors had to pivot on what’s considered “standard.”

Michael Bruns, the activities director for Calamus-Wheatland High School (Iowa) was eager to help his teams have seasons as normal as possible. He already had two years of knowledge about Hudl and its products, but Bruns saw new ways for his school-wide package to aid coaches and athletes. From livestreaming to data tracking, Hudl made things “easier and efficient” during a time when life was anything but. 

Your Audience Is Everything 

While larger school districts took pauses in their season, smaller communities saw less of an impact from shutdowns. Calamus-Wheatland was able to have a full-sports schedule with limited procedural changes. Their main dilemma? Fan and spectator restrictions at indoor events—only 60 fans were allowed at a time. 

You can ask any athlete or coach, and they’ll tell you the impact fans have on gameplay. Their support can influence a team’s performance—athletes feed off the enthusiasm of the audience. Most elite athletic programs consider fans to be an integral part of their team. If Bruns couldn’t bring his community to the game, he had to bring the game to his community. 

Women’s basketball was the first to speak up. The quiet gyms and lack of fans felt eerie. But with their Hudl Focus camera, there was a way to get fans “in the stands.” All it took was one click on a YouTube link. Just knowing their families were watching them compete made a difference to those basketball players. 

The impact of this technology extended far beyond Calamus-Wheatland. In North Carolina, one sibling was able to watch their sister play for the first time ever. Focus delivered the power of connection. As Bruns stated, it allowed their live sports to reach audiences “that are non-local who would love to watch, many times over.” This was invaluable to strengthening bonds in a tight-knit community. 

“Now that we have it, we can’t go back from it,” he said. “It’s the crucial investment to enhance all facets of your athletic program.” Michael Bruns

Expand, Grow, Learn  

Not only did Hudl help their community, it also influenced how Calamus Wheatland could expand video analysis to other sports. Prior to their athletic department package, Calamus Wheatland coaches had to track stats on their own, if they had the time and resources to. With Assist, volleyball and basketball athletes could easily review their analyst-tracked stats because they’re tied directly to the game video. They knew exactly where to improve their performance, while coaches saved more time for improving practice sessions. 

As Bruns looks towards the future of his sports programs, Hudl will always be top of mind. “Now that we have it, we can’t go back from it,” he said. “It’s the crucial investment to enhance all facets of your athletic program.” 

Even as fans start to return to live events, livestreaming will continue to play a big role in bringing games to the community. The value of a Hudl package will stand the test of time.

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