Five Hudl Lessons Learned From Last Chance U

Hudl tools appeared on Last Chance U pretty often. Here’s what we learned from the hit Netflix documentary.

Five Hudl Lessons Learned From Last Chance U

Hudl tools appeared on Last Chance U pretty often. Here’s what we learned from the hit Netflix documentary.

The sporting world has been abuzz following the release of Last Chance U, Netflix’s behind-the-scenes documentary following East Mississippi Community College and its bid for a fourth national title in five years. The six-episode series has drawn praise for peeling back the curtain not only on the football side of things, but also by profiling the athletes in their academic and personal lives.

Part of what has made EMCC such a success is its use of video review, which is shown extensively throughout the documentary. And a certain product keeps popping up.

While Hudl may not be listed on the show’s IMDB page, we make a number of appearances throughout. We may not be featured as prominently as Buddy Stephens, Brittany Wagner or Ronald Ollie, but there are some valuable insights to be gleaned from Hudl’s presence.

1. Review Your Video to Avoid Repeat Mistakes

Before you start watching your opponent, you have to learn what you do well and what you can improve on. After reviewing practice video, the coaches noted quarterback John Franklin III’s scattershot arm, leading them to start the more steady Wyatt Roberts under center.

Hudl also helped EMCC recover from one of its season’s lowest points, a 31-24 loss to Copiah-Lincoln in overtime that snapped the school’s 24-game winning streak. Roberts threw an interception that ended the game, but after rewatching the play and realizing his errors with position coach Clint Trickett, he was able to hold the starting job for the rest of the season.

2. Know Your Enemy

EMCC spent plenty of time prepping for opponents as well. The coaches sat down with the players to review opponent plays, tendencies and weaknesses, allowing the squad to win by an average of 35.9 points per game.

The most notable occasion came before the team’s matchup with Northwest Mississippi and top running back Justin Crawford, who led the NJCAA with 172.3 rushing yards per game last season. The Lions were prepared for Crawford, limiting him to 3.7 yards per carry in their 49-16 victory.

3. Praise Your Players

Part of self-scouting is showing athletes video of themselves doing well, pumping them up with confidence and reinforcing good plays.

The coaches frequently chastised Ollie, the talented but inconsistent defensive tackle. He took a verbal beating from defensive line coach Davern Williams in one of the early episodes and didn’t respond well.

Of course, it’s critical to point out players’ errors - how else are they going to improve? But Williams also took the opportunity to praise Ollie for a great play in a later episode, and his face split with excitement.

Positive reinforcement, especially when given in front of peers, can inject players with a confidence boost and raise their level of play.

4. Watch It Anytime, Anywhere

The Lions spent much of their time watching video in the film room, but they were also shown in different meeting rooms, offices and dorms on a variety of devices. That’s the beauty of Hudl. It can be easily recalled on a number of different devices. Coaches aren’t tethered to the film room - they can watch anywhere they please and assign athletes to watch on their own time.

This can allow for some very casual viewing sessions. Hudl does not require a shirt to operate.

5. Use the Remote

When you do watch in a team setting, Hudl’s remote provides a quick and easy way to navigate the video. Fast forward through portions you don’t need to see again and rewind when you want to highlight a mistake or point out a good play.

Last Chance U showed a number of ways coaches can use Hudl to their advantage. We’re not big on spoilers and won’t go into how the season wrapped up. What we can touch on with total confidence is that the Lions were able to successfully use video week-by-week, improving not only as a team, but as individual athletes.

Most importantly, offensive coordinator Marcus Wood taught us a very important lesson - video is best reviewed by candlelight.

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