Discover a workflow that equals more time on the field and less time managing your playbook.

Ask any coach across the country and they’ll tell you the same thing–their playbook is their most prized possession. While the players and culture they’ve established are also incredibly important, coaches will do whatever it takes to guard the playbook from outside eyes.

At Hudl, we understand the role of the playbook is to educate new players and prepare returning ones for expanded assignments. There are easy steps to update your playbook for a new year, and to make sure the correct players are seeing the right plays.

Clean Up From Last Season

Every season, coaches need to evaluate the type of team they’ll have. It could be an older, experienced team or it could be a young team with few returning starters. Once a decision has been made on how to approach the team, the playbook can reflect that.

Just like you update your roster every season, the playbook needs an update, too. Either delete the existing play cards individually or edit them to reflect the new changes for the season. If you edit existing cards, you can adjust for the level of the team you’ll have. It also allows you to keep your offensive or defensive identity while still adjusting for the players you have coming in.

It can be time-consuming to create brand new play cards, which is why the option to edit them is often easiest for coaches. Have a new safety that can’t cover the field quite as well as your previous one? Rather than create a whole new play to adjust for the one new player, edit the coverages of the two or three players affected.

Copying plays is also a useful way to save time during preparation for the upcoming season. The playbook remembers formations, but it won’t add blocking schemes or anything else that you added on the previous play. If you want to change the passing routes on offense or switch which linebacker blitzes, make a copy to save yourself time.

The added bonus to the edit or copy features is that everything you’ve added will carry over, including position responsibilities and clips. Why not give it a try? Adjustments to one or two players can be done with a few clicks.

Less Paper, Less Hassle: Printing Your Playbook

Hudl offers a couple ways to get the plays from your computer to your team’s hands. One way is to print the playbook. This ensures that every person has it because you’re physically handing it to them. Sound like a lot of paper? No worries, there’s a workflow to print effectively, while still getting the right plays to your athletes. And you’ll save yourself from getting yelled at by the office secretaries.

Simply create an install to print. Group plays into installs to print plays based on different criteria. If a play is added as a single play, it’ll include the individual position assignments you’ve added. To save on paper, group plays by assignments and only add the assignments to the first play. Then print eight to a page. You’ve gone from multiple pages with duplicate assignments to just one page of assignments and up to eight plays per page.

If you’d rather create the installs based on formation, no problem–you’ll just have to get creative in how you group the plays. Think of the similarities in your plays, like similar passing trees or blocking schemes. This can help you save on paper, but still get player assignments to the correct individuals.

Share Your Hard Work With Your Team

The primary purpose of the playbook is to share with your coaches and athletes. They need to know what you’re calling on game day, so easy access is vital to a team’s success. The option to customize how installs are shared helps prevent overwhelming new players, or giving a group access to plays they don’t need.

Installs are automatically shared with all coaches on your staff. This gives your staff the ability to determine if their position needs a specific play in the install. A coach can also control when the install is shared. If you don’t want to overwhelm a position group, hold off on sharing until later in the week.

With customizable groups, you can create any combination of athletes on your team. No longer do they have to be sorted by grade or position–you can get as detailed as you need. Share your installs by group to be sure they’re only available to the athletes that need them.

Coaches can also add play cards to any playlist in the library. After you scout your opponents and create their plays, add those cards to a playlist with clips from the game to show it in action. You can do the same with your own plays. Create a playlist for your incoming players linking the video to individual play cards to get them up to speed. (Available only to Gold and Platinum teams)

Practice Scripts

Practice scripts is a powerful tool for coaches to increase the effectiveness of your practices. This tool is meant to give you a head start in scouting your upcoming opponent’s offense.

It’s easy to create a practice script to help your team prepare. If you know your opponent runs a Cover-3 solely, run plays to exploit the seams. If you’re scouting their defense, your own plays will pull up for reference.

If you add breakdown data for your scout video, you can take advantage of our magic script tool. This will pull all the information from your opponent’s games for you. The plays will be added to the playlist based on how they’re named in the breakdown data.

For play cards to appear on the practice script, they must be created in practice scripts or in your playbook. It might seem like a pain, but once they have been added, you’re all set for the future. You can always edit the play cards or names once they’ve been generated.

To share practice scripts, either print them or save and email them as a PDF to a mobile device to bring to practice.

Playbook and practice scripts are a great way for coaches to level up their players quickly and efficiently. Use these steps to save time and ensure the information your team needs is reaching them.

As always, check out the Hudl Forum to see how other coaches across the country are using playbooks, practice scripts and magic scripts, or read up on our support resources for any questions you may have.