Bring Your Drill Manual into the 21st Century by Incorporating Hudl Technique

There’s no better way to make individual improvements than with Technique, which allows coaches to more effectively communicate with athletes.

Bring Your Drill Manual into the 21st Century by Incorporating Hudl Technique

There’s no better way to make individual improvements than with Technique, which allows coaches to more effectively communicate with athletes.

Sports are more than games of chance. They require dedication, determination and discipline from athletes and knowledge of the game, strategizing, team management and long hours from coaches. Coaches owe it to their team to evolve with the sport and incorporate technology. Drill manuals and Hudl Technique apply to all sports and, when combined, allow coaches to have a greater impact in key areas.   

A drill manual provides coaches with a toolbox of knowledge. It gives them a starting point that allows for adjustments to be made: what to practice, which drills to teach, and how to improve play calling, etc. Some coaches might disagree because they keep it “all in their head”, but here are some reasons why it’s important to put your drill manual on paper:

  1. It allows coaches to make adjustments faster.
  2. It’s a resource to see what works and doesn’t work, from game to game and season to season.
  3. It retains your drill knowledge. I have learned that as a person comes across more drills and techniques, the more likely they are to lose a few along the way.  
  4. It helps keep track of staff changes. If a coach moves to a different position within the team, the athletes are less affected by change if the drills remain the same and the coach is more effective.  
  5. Staff expectations are communicated effectively. The coaching staff clearly knows what is expected on both sides of the ball.

If you haven’t already created a drill manual, it is important to take the time to invest in your coaching future. Creating a drill manual can seem overwhelming, and that’s why I recommend starting small and taking your time. Make it as complex or simple as you want it to be. It allows you to make adjustments faster in practice while providing better communication among the coaching staff. You owe it to yourself and your team to improve on a daily basis. My next blog will discuss in more detail how to create and utilize a drill manual effectively.

A common challenge coaches face is how to effectively communicate with their players and staff because everyone learns in different ways. Some people are visual learners, while others thrive through verbal or physical teaching. Incorporating Hudl Technique will not only bring your drill manual into the 21st century, but it also helps eliminate the communication challenge.

For example, let’s say a coach is trying to communicate with an athlete on making a correction. The athlete either assesses what he or she needs to work on or holds the belief that he or she is already doing what the coach is requesting. The athlete doesn’t improve and the coach becomes frustrated.

Insert Technique, which speaks a universal language relevant to all athletes. It breaks down the process in a simple yet effective way that allows athletes to improve while boosting their confidence.

Check out my football drill videos as an example to show how easy it is to incorporate Hudl Technique:

This video was the first run and taken before my son’s flag football practice. My son had not done this drill before. I want you to see practical, real-life footage and how effective it really is.   

Video Coaching Points:

  • My son’s hands are pretty decent but needed work.
  • He just needs to be faster so other players don’t get their hands on him in a game-like situation.   
  • While reviewing the video with my son, I pointed out:
    • He was a little too far away from the bag, which was causing him to lunge towards it.
    • He was not in a good athletic position.

Overall, I felt he did an excellent job for his first time. Now take a look at video from after the practice:

Video Coaching Points:

  • I felt like he improved in all the areas from before.
  • I noticed his left hand was made into a fist. That is something we can work on next time we do the drill.
  • Before I showed him the video I asked him if he knew he had his fist closed and he told me it wasn’t. This is an example of perception vs. reality.
  • The assessment video from Hudl Technique helped him visualize simple things he could change in a short amount of time.  

Hudl Technique removes the communication challenge that a coach faces. If an individual or group of players isn’t performing the drill properly, pull them aside and address the issue using Hudl Technique.

Once you have started your drill manual, begin to incorporate Hudl Technique in your practice to increase an athlete’s performance. It is our job as coaches to instill confidence while laying a foundation. Practices are building blocks and Hudl Technique is the tool that can lead to a successful season.

What I really like is that you can upload the video to your Hudl account and share it with coaches and players to use as a coaching resource. It isn’t used to ever embarrass or single out a player, but to improve as a whole.

My drill manual is updated every few years as I continually edit or add drills to make sure players are well prepared and ready to compete on the field. Please share your drills, success stories, or Hudl Technique videos on Twitter or Facebook by using #HudlTechDrillManual. You can also reach me directly at

Anthony Stone is a Physical Education teacher at Gregory Elementary School and Quarterbacks Coach at Boylan High School in Rockford, Ill. He’s also the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach for the Women’s Australian National Outback 2017 Team and writes blogs for Firstdown Playbook.

In July 2016, he was named to the Hudl 100 list. He has presented at IAPHERD, the top physical education convention in Illinois, on how to get students moving with his Games Galore presentations. He has also presented at the Chicago Glazier Clinics on quarterbacks & special teams. He was the Defensive Coordinator for the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Tackle Football Team, winners of the IFAF Women’s World Championship in which Team USA did not allow a point in three games with an overall score of 201-0. Stone has coached in the CIFL and the IWFL Leagues as well as Beloit College (Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator) and Rockford University (Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers). 

Stone has also coached football at the youth, middle school and high school level. He will be putting on fundamental youth football camps around the world in 2017. Please contact him to bring his “Back to the Basics Youth Football Camp” to a city near you.

Follow him on Twitter @Coach_Stone_MT.

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