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.