Tech is helping programs across the country take a giant leap forward.

In a recent survey conducted by Coach & A.D. Magazine, 60% of athletic directors said that keeping up with technological developments for coaching and the athletic department is important to them. 

It makes sense. Like with any other industry, you’d want to equip your staff with the latest and greatest in tech. And in many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the need for athletic departments to adopt a tech-forward approach. 

In an increasingly remote-friendly world, there’s a need for a solution that lets coaches obtain video automatically and review easily. A tool that meets tech-savvy teenagers on their devices and lets them take charge of their future. A way for parents and fans to watch from anywhere. But what does that solution look like in the world of high school sports?

For many athletic directors across the country, the answer to modernizing their program is Hudl’s athletic department package. 

Randy Barnes, athletic director and head football coach at Texas’s Farmersville High School, can’t imagine running his program without it. “I don’t think we would be able to function without this right now, and I don’t think many people in Texas would be able to either,” he said. “If you don’t have Hudl right now for your programs, you need to find a way to get it at your school. We use it for everything we do.”

Coach & A.D. spoke with athletic department package customers across the country to understand how having access to Hudl’s full suite of tools has impacted their programs. It’s been nothing short of a game changer.

A New Era of Filming

Hudl Focus cameras track the action automatically, capturing HD video from the perfect angle of your facility. With automatic capture and upload, Focus stops filming as soon as your game or practice is over, and uploads to your Hudl account immediately after. Gone are the days of needing an untrained volunteer or student manager to film.   

Focus also helps remove another common pain point—obtaining quality film from games played away from home. Enter the Focus Exchange Network. It allows all programs on an athletic department package to gain access to their film from road and neutral site games at any Focus-equipped facilities. 

For head football coach Jake Gilbert of Indiana’s Westfield High School, it’s a far cry from when he used to drive across the state to exchange film with other coaches. “We’re all in this together,” said Gilbert. “Instead of making someone work extra hours, let’s all share what we already have so we can get back those hours with our family.” 

More Data, Less Data Entry 

Another advantage teams have with the athletic department package comes from Hudl Assist. With the athletic department package, Assist is available to varsity level football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, and ice hockey teams. It’s a game breakdown service where film is broken down by a team of professional analysts within 24 hours. Having hours of gameplay converted into detailed stats and digestible reports is a key time saver for a coaching staff. 

Assist goes beyond the traditional stats that you might get with manual data entry. Coaches get access to advanced data points (think plus-minus, run/pass ratio and serve quality %) that help them uncover their most effective players and lineup combinations. 

“I don’t even scout anymore,” Barnes said. “Usually, you send your junior high staff to go out and scout the opponents, but I don’t have to do any of that now. You don’t have to do it with all the technology we have. I can’t tell you how many hours it saves our coaches.”

Fortunately, we can tell you how many hours it saves coaches. A little over 3.1 million this past year, to be exact. 

Empowering the Modern Athlete

Coach Rick Perez has used Hudl for over 10 years. Perez, the head basketball coach at Pennsylvania’s Reading High, has gotten immense value from using Focus video to help his athletes grow.  

“We’re able to be much more efficient with our teaching,” Perez said. “The majority of our learning happens in the classroom with film, and then we practice. You can’t constantly tell a kid what they’re doing and how they can improve—you have to show them examples, and our kids are really receptive to it.” 

Athletic director and head basketball coach Robert Rodgers of Massachusetts’ Whitman-Hanson Regional High School agrees. “Teams that use Hudl to record practices and then use real-time video for immediate feedback have a huge advantage over others who don’t,” he said. 

With a Hudl subscription, athletes can review game and practice film on their devices at any time. Coaches can highlight key moments, or create playlists for individual players and teams to review. Athletes and coaches can easily communicate within Hudl through messages, comments and more. Feedback is directly attached to video so players can see exactly what needs to be corrected. 

Not only do players get better with constant access to game and practice footage, but they’re able to show their growth to the world. Athletes can easily create their own highlight reels to share with friends, family and college recruiters. “You’ve got to have it,” Barnes said of player highlights. “It’s something we teach the players. The kids got to have a little skin in the game, and if you want to be recruited you have to take that time.” 

At Farmersville High School, players are taught how to watch film and cut their own highlight videos. The videos, shared widely on social media or the team’s website, go a long way toward building school spirit and creating buzz about the program. It also serves as motivation for the athletes, eager to fill their reels with highlights that catch the eye of recruiters. 

Connecting With the Community

The effects of the athletic department package aren’t just confined to the walls of a school. It’s a valuable outreach tool that can help schools forge stronger ties with their communities. It all starts with the livestreaming capabilities of the Focus cameras. Schools can stream their live events directly to YouTube for free viewership, or use a compatible broadcast software to monetize it. It allows fans near and far to tune in—like a grandparent in a different state, or a parent on a business trip. 

Livestreaming helps to grow and promote athletic programs and elevate any team’s games, providing equal access for all Focus-equipped teams. “People love it. (They) can watch on their big screen on YouTube,” said Rodgers. 

Rick Perez is in awe of the exposure it’s given his team. “For some of our games, we’ve had more than 10,000 views,” he said. “And when you look at that, we always say if there’s one viewer, there’s at least three people behind that screen. Knowing that we’re able to reach that many people—it’s incredible.”

For programs that choose to monetize their livestream, it’s proven to be a simple and rewarding endeavor. Teams generally take one of two approaches; creating a pay-per-view option by charging viewers, or obtaining sponsorships from local businesses.


In their conversations with coaches and athletic directors nationwide, Coach & A.D. found a common theme: Hudl’s athletic department package is the tool that modernizes your operations and uplifts every area of your program. “It’s the most efficient way to run your program,” said Barnes. “If you want to provide your student-athletes with what they need to play at the next level, you need to get on board with Hudl.”

Want to discover more of Coach & A.D.’s findings? Download their exclusive digital guide.

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