This Iowa school used Hudl to turn live sports events into community moments for fans and local businesses alike. 

A common phrase used by athletes is “Trust the process.” They understand success doesn’t come without setbacks. The key is to take those setbacks and turn them into comebacks. The events of 2020 were no exception. 

COVID-19, social distancing and new school formats created more than a few setbacks at Sheldon High School. Nearly half the student body participates in a school sport. Once new protocols took effect, athletic director Eric Maassen searched for ways to provide comebacks for his athletes. 

The administrator and basketball coach knew Hudl could be his solution. It gave him back time in his day. He had an accessible way to record practices and games. And he had the power to share the footage with his community. 

With Hudl, Eric Maassen and Sheldon High School were able to succeed.

Changing the Guard 

Once the school installed Hudl Focus Indoor in the gym, coaches noticed. And because all fall sports were indoors, that meant more coaches had access to the camera. 

Using Focus and Hudl’s video analysis tools opened up opportunities they didn’t have before. “We started working on the right things based on what the data was showing us,” Maassen said. 

For Sheldon coaches, the right things were new court-side strategies that came to life because of data from their video feeds. It began a changing of the guard, from traditional film review to Hudl’s in-depth analysis. 

Sheldon’s sports programs were now armed with a group of coaches who could use data to make better decisions. And by equipping coaches with those tools, Sheldon’s athletes became stronger too.

Playing the Long Game with Livestream

Now that Sheldon had the option to livestream events, the school could bring sports directly into fan households. 

Maassen turned to services like OBS and YouTube. Video footage combined with local radio commentary recreated the live event atmosphere. It also brought together a variety of locals, including elderly Sheldon residents. 

Local businesses also had the option to get involved by sponsoring livestreamed events. They could support local athletes, while also increasing awareness of their products.

Maassen is already looking toward the future, thinking about how his school can benefit long-term with Hudl as his partner. For example, ad sales could be a way to prospect and monetize future streamed events.

The Way Forward

Hudl gave Sheldon High School the tools to overcome COVID-19 setbacks, and chart new paths forward. It was the best of both worlds. Communities gathered at a distance to support their athletes, and coaches used data and video to optimize their coaching strategies and player development. 

Wayne Gretsky once said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” With Hudl, Sheldon High School has remained a few steps ahead, succeeding on and off the field.

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