A Premier League Championship was a distant dream for the Sutherland Hockey Club at the midway point of the 2017 season. The club sat in seventh place—rising from that hole to take the crown is virtually unheard of.
Yet at season’s end, Sutherland hoisted the trophy despite the long odds. And while its players and coaches deserve all the credit for climbing out of the early-season pit, they received help from another source as well—Hudl.
“With any premiership win you need lots of things to go well both on and off the field,” Peter Tait, the team’s coach and Sydney Hockey’s 2017 Coach of the Year, said. “Having good resources and tools off the field such as Hudl helped provide us an advantage to give our playing group the feedback they needed to keep on improving each week.”
Sutherland had previously emphasized video to improve, but its methods were far less efficient. Tait would give his players DVDs or USB drives of entire games, and the athletes were limited by time constraints on how much they could watch and what they focused on.
Hudl eliminated these issues. Tait now breaks down video for specific groups of players, allowing each unit to see the plays vital to their success.
“It gave our team the opportunity to review video in more detail and more specifically by breaking it down into certain sections that was relevant to each of the playing groups such as defence, midfield and strikers,” Tait said. “It allows specific review of areas such as defence, attack and short corners, which are key in hockey.
"The good thing is the players can review their area in a short space of time and it can be viewed on multiple platforms such as mobile devices as well as a PC.”
Tait sent specialized playlists to the athletes each week, who were able to gain valuable insights from the video. This helped them provide better feedback to the coaches and played a role in creating game plans.
Tait admits Sutherland was a bit skeptical about turning to Hudl because it was unfamiliar territory. But it quickly became a part of the team’s workflow and helped the club ascend to the championship.
“Once we got used to Hudl and its features it was pretty easy to use,” Tait said. “We had an excellent playing group who managed to review on a weekly basis, so the key thing for us a coaches is the players were engaged with Hudl and it helped them with our team’s overall performance.”