Jefferson Academy Sharpens Soccer Smarts with Hudl

The women’s soccer program at Jefferson Academy (Colo.) was part of a small group of beta users to try a number of brand new soccer tools.

Jefferson Academy Sharpens Soccer Smarts with Hudl

The women’s soccer program at Jefferson Academy (Colo.) was part of a small group of beta users to try a number of brand new soccer tools.

This past season, the women’s soccer program at Jefferson Academy (Colo.) was part of a small group of beta users to try a number of brand new soccer tools. When asked about her experience with Hudl and the new tools, Assistant Head Coach Hannah Wilson excitingly replied, 

“So many things. I’m a raving fan.”

A Culture of Community

Head Coach Denise Sutton and the staff can sum up their coaching philosophy in one statement. “Our goal is to create a culture for young women to have access to a safe, healthy community, and to enjoy the sport of soccer.

The Jaguars have achieved a lot of success over Sutton’s four years as Head Coach and it encompasses more than just wins and losses. The entire staff has laid the foundation for a program that not only fosters champions on the field, but off of it as well.   

As is the case with many high school teams across the United States, the time spent with their players is invaluable to their development. “We have a lot of very talented athletes (multiple all-state athletes), that are committed to the craft,” said Wilson. “Our goal is that for the 4-5 months we have the girls, they leave each day not only a better player but person. That they not only enjoy their time playing high school soccer with their friends, but that they are better when they leave us than when they walked in the first day of practice.”

We spend time not only growing as an individual in their skill sets, but we spend a lot of time on the collective whole.”

That doesn’t come easy. “I think one of the most difficult things we battle with on our team is the mental components. They go to one of the top rated academic high schools in the state, most of them compete at a high level on their club teams, many of them are 2-4 sport athletes. That is all a ton of pressure,” said Wilson. “Add to that joining or playing on a team with a lot of recent success. That’s one of the reasons we focus a lot on emotional connection - joy, fun, and excitement.”

It’s not without competition, as Wilson elaborated. The staff’s coaching philosophy is about growing a player’s soccer IQ to take success from the training ground to the field. “Coach Sutton tries to create an extremely competitive environment so they train daily against some of the best players in the state, their teammates,” said Wilson. “We talk a lot about the game from a tactical and intellectual perspective - we want to grow their Soccer IQ. This is often where our film review comes in.”

Hudl Helps The Jaguars

Hudl provides Jefferson Academy the tools to help both players and coaches improve. “You have to be willing to self-evaluate and learn. Hudl helps make that happen,” said Wilson.

“We like the ability to review a game’s set-pieces, and breakdowns in play.” Video and data show them what to work on. “We can replay them and look at each player’s movement and role,” said Wilson.

Hudl’s new tagging tools for soccer help the coaching staff uncover these insights faster than ever. “Review is possible almost the instant the film is uploaded, and the 4ish hours I used to spend per game tagging I don’t have to do anymore,” said Wilson. “I loved when this was launched, because it pointed out some very specific trends our team tended toward, and we were able to address them.”

Jefferson Academy has also been able to use the new tagging tools to enlist help from people outside of the coaching staff. Wilson has parents help tag and film the team’s games. “I have one parent assigned to tagging all the games in the season, and one parent that does all the filming,” said Wilson. “I went this route because I didn’t have to think about it. They had a good grasp on the change of possession, and there was consistency from a statistical standpoint.”

Interested in learning more? See what Hudl can do for your team.

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