Loughborough University Partnership with Hudl Educates the Analysts of Tomorrow

The performance analysis students at Loughborough University are learning in one of the most advanced sporting facilities in the UK. Hudl technology is an essential part of their education and knowing how to use this technology is key in helping them secure a future career in the performance analysis industry.

For any university student, being able to secure employment in their chosen industry is an absolute must. In the performance analysis industry, Loughborough student Maddy Burnage's use of Hudl and Sportscode with the Loughborough Lightning women's rugby team is preparing her for a future career.

"The best thing for me is that I obviously came here as a student and being able to learn Sportscode means I can get a job within so many teams," said Burnage. "I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to learn Sportscode somewhere else and because I can do it here as a student I can learn it as I go, so that when I hit the industry, I know what I am doing."

One of the strengths of Hudl and Sportscode is its adaptability and how it can be used for analysis across the entire team at the Lightning.

"I would have said that using Sportscode was essential to developing my future career as it is so vital to all analysts," said Burnage. "It’s the best software that you can get and it’s the easiest to use. It links so well between, coaches, athletes and myself. Even for the physios it’s so good to use, it can be applied to any sport, any time."

The Lightning play in the premier women's rugby competition in the UK, competing against the likes of Saracens, Harlequins and Wasps on match day. For this reason, the level of analysis provided to the team needs to be of the highest professional standard. 

"Daily we use Hudl to put the footage out to the girls and we get every training session, every match that we have and obviously every training session is coded up as well," explains Burnage. "As soon as it’s coded, it can go straight into a report, so within 24 hours we can have a report out to the girls on how their performance was. It can help the coaches rapidly turnaround after a weekend fixture for Monday training sessions to say this is what we need to do this week."

For performance analyst intern Gabrielle Light, learning how to use Sportscode during her placement was a much easier process than first expected.

"I thought picking up Sportscode was really easy," said Light. "When you first look at it it looks really intimidating, just because how many buttons and codes there are. I would say after the first couple of weeks I was confidently coding games and able to give information back to the coaches, even though not only had I never used the product long beforehand, I had also never played the sport before." 

"I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to learn Sportscode somewhere else and because I can do it here as a student I can learn it as I go, so that when I hit the industry, I know what I am doing."

The Hudl Academy platform was also effective in the ongoing education in upskilling students with Hudl and Sportscode use during internships.

"There’s loads of resources available for you to enhance your knowledge and go away and learn yourself online," said Light. This meant that I was able to make things, produce code windows, and do things that hadn’t been done before. The partnership with Hudl has really helped me gain a holistic understanding of performance analysis as a whole, it’s enabled me to not only really grow my understanding to use Sportscode within my sport, but also I’ve been able to interact with the sport’s other practitioners in the industry which really helped me build my knowledge."

For Loughborough sports performance analysis lead Andy Rhys-Jones, the partnership between Loughborough and Hudl is vital to the preparation of student analyst progression from intern to full-time professional.

"Our relationship with Loughborough and Hudl is way more than just your typical license agreement," said Rhys-Jones. "We work really closely together with mentorship and support for our volunteers and placements. This is a great link in to professional networks, whether that be professional rugby or football and it’s a great way for our placements to gain some additional experience.

The Hudl Academy prepares our placements and volunteers for the professional industry by giving them accreditation and access to additional knowledge that really prepares them for what they are going to go into in later life."