A team-first approach backed by video and data helped one of the nation’s top clubs fulfill its aim to be crowned champions.

When the cheers erupted at the 2022 ECNL championship, every player from the victorious Real Colorado U17 women's team can say that they had a role in claiming that trophy. 

Jared Spiers, the Chief Executive Officer of Real Colorado, discussed his philosophy on the importance of playing time. 

“We’ve always believed that a kid, if they’re on the team, you’ve got to play them,” Spiers said. “I think for us to win a national championship knowing that we can look at every player in the eye on that team and know that they had a role in it. We didn’t leave anybody behind.” 

This was a club-won trophy, not just for the players on the pitch at the end of the game. This win validates the philosophy and values Real Colorado has put in place to be successful. 

The strong core established by Real Colorado is what kept them going even during coaching changes. When Lorne Donaldson, the Executive Director of Coaching for Real Colorado, left to go coach the Jamaica Women’s National Football team, the culture of consistency allowed the other coaches to keep the team moving in the right direction.  

“We have a staff that can step in, that can maintain what he did. We didn’t recreate the wheel,” Spiers said. “It was the same language, it was the same motivation, it was the same passion. It was the same interaction with the players because we do that all of the time.”

Spiers said the coaching staff kept going, doing things the way Donaldson would want to see them done, embodying the culture of striving for excellence without fear of failure that Donaldson and Spiers brought to Real Colorado in 1997. 

Donaldson said the team was understanding of him stepping away to coach the Jamaica Women’s National Football team. 

“We stayed in touch. We communicated. They would send me videos. I would look at the video. I would watch the games. So, I felt like I was there,” Donaldson said. 

Along with watching the games, Donaldson took the time to send in a video, singing to the team from Costa Rica as he was preparing for the Women’s Cup qualifier. Donaldson motivated the team as they prepared for the national championship despite being far away. 

The videos and games that Donaldson watched were captured by the Hudl Focus Flex camera, allowing him to support the team throughout the season while coaching the Jamaica Women. 

This accessibility of video and data on Hudl allowed Donaldson to stay engaged while Real Colorado prepared for the ECNL championship. 

“I think that the technology of video has grossly changed with the ability to have a camera like the [Hudl Focus] Flex camera that you can put up, that you can manage, that is accessible to you all of the time,” Spiers said. 

The ease of using Hudl provides an opportunity for those who can’t attend the game in person to be active participants, streaming from wherever they are. Whether that’s from the sidelines—like Donaldson coaching the Jamaica Women’s National Football team—or from the comfort of home, everyone can be a part of the game.

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