Loughborough’s Latest Generation Use Video to Reach the Next Level
For the elite student athletes at Loughborough University, the bridge between an amateur and professional sporting career is a long-term goal that all players have in mind. Here’s how video is a key tool for introducing professional analysis at university level.
For Loughborough Lightning netball player Annabel Roddy, her recent progression into the top-level Netball Superleague squad is just the beginning — next she wants to crack the starting team of a squad which has made two consecutive grand finals and using video is a tool that can provide that extra level of performance and preparation.
“My long-term goal is to progress through the Superleague setup and develop from being in the squad of 12 to the starting 7,” said Roddy. “I’ve stepped up to the Superleague franchise and video is such a central part our sessions. The reasons we lost games, we could find those reasons and it’s just that next level of elite where it’s not just you turning up on the day, it’s you having prepared a plan knowing exactly what you are going to come up against.”
Having stepped up to the elite netball competition in England, Scotland and Wales, Roddy explains that she is finding video analysis is a key part of tactical preparations in netball.
“Just recently I’ve played a game and our coach and I went through a bit of work in forcing a player high and wide positions, which is quite a common netball term,” explains Roddy. “From this position it is easier to able to tip or intercept the lateral ball. I watch a lot of footage on my opposition, so I can read their game, their style, their tactics and implement my own plan as part of a defensive unit.”
Put simply, this up-and-coming player believes a career in netball is going to be hard to come by without the help of analysis.
“I think video is that extra element where you could probably carry on without the need for it, but it’s part of that step up to the professional level,” said Roddy. “Hudl has been massively effective with the ability to look at opposition and self-reflect as well which builds up your profile and your game.”
“Hudl has been massively effective with the ability to look at opposition and self-reflect as well which builds up your profile and your game”
With over 100 caps for England’s senior women’s rugby team Sarah Hunter has an expert insight into what is takes to gain an edge at the highest level of competition.
“My long term goal as an athlete is to get to another World Cup for England and hopefully win that,” states Hunter. “Obviously video analysis plays a huge part in that goal in terms of helping both me as an individual to see how I get better, looking at games and training,” said Hunter.
The Loughborough Lightning women’s rugby team have a strong focus on analysis throughout their weekly process of training for both player and team.
“For every game that we play, we have a preview reel of the key themes that the opposition do,” said Hunter. “This allows us to prepare for how we are going to defend against them and what lineout attacking options we have. We can go back now and look at really specific things that obviously works enormously as an individual, but also for the team.”
The analysis department at Loughborough is one of, if not the most advanced setup in university sport in the country with specialist analysts delegated to each different code of sport.
“Obviously at Loughborough we have an extremely high quality of video analysis, we have a whole analysis department with each performance team having their own analysts as well,” said Hunter. “The Hudl software we have is pretty much state of the art for a university and over the coming years we will see more and more top quality analysis within universities. An athlete that is wanting to be professional has to have video analysis, without it you’re not going to reach the highest level that you want to.”
“An athlete that is wanting to be professional has to have video analysis, without it you’re not going to reach the highest level that you want to”
Video analysis is also helping Loughborough teams strategically generate positive on-field outcomes explains women’s hockey head coach Brett Holland.
“Quite often in hockey we have games that follow on very quickly,” said Holland. “Thinking back to last season when we had our Premier League playoff we had a game Saturday evening and then Sunday morning, so be able to put up key moments for the first game before Sunday’s game was critical. We know going into that final game that we needed to win by a certain goal difference so those key bits of detail we were able to get out of the video made the difference and we ended up winning the game by three goals. We were then promoted and now we stand here as a top 10 team in the country.”
To learn more about how Hudl is powering the modern game, check out Hudl, The Newsletter or take a look at our professional case studies from Premiership Rugby’s Leicester Tigers and Rangers FC of the Scottish Premier League.