New Club, No Problem: How Hudl Helped New Volleyball Academy to Successful First Season

The Southern Kentucky Elite Volleyball Academy is grow­ing, and Hudl is help­ing every step of the way.

New Club, No Problem: How Hudl Helped New Volleyball Academy to Successful First Season

The Southern Kentucky Elite Volleyball Academy is grow­ing, and Hudl is help­ing every step of the way.

When Caleb Sheffield and his wife Lindsey decid­ed to cre­ate the Southern Kentucky Elite Volleyball Academy in Bowling Green, Ky., last year, they knew they’d need a way to incor­po­rate video and stats to legit­imize their club and help their teams win. They just weren’t sure what it would look like.

About one-third of the way into their inau­gur­al sea­son, it became abun­dant­ly clear Hudl was the solution.

Caleb, who also coach­es the club’s 14 Blue team, found Hudl helped with every aspect of his job — sta­tis­tics, devel­op­ing play­ers, win­ning games, get­ting ath­letes col­lege atten­tion and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with parents.

We prob­a­bly end­ed up work­ing more when we got Hudl, but in a good way,” Sheffield said. Had we not got­ten Hudl, we would’ve invoked a dif­fer­ent form of keep­ing stats and video. If we had tak­en a more tra­di­tion­al approach with a record­ing device and do all that stuff man­u­al­ly, it would have been hor­ren­dous. Hudl saved us a ton of time.”

Sheffield used sta­tis­tics like pass­er rat­ing and the per­for­mance of cer­tain rota­tions to find inef­fi­cien­cies in his team’s play. A self-pro­claimed data geek, Sheffield found areas where his team need­ed some help, then watched the video asso­ci­at­ed with that sta­tis­tic to find solutions.

He was pleas­ant­ly sur­prised to find he wasn’t the only one embrac­ing the num­bers. The play­ers looked into their own num­bers linked to video for ways to improve. 

To be able to just lit­er­al­ly click on the stat and watch the play… that was some­thing that our kids used,” Sheffield said. If you’re a hit­ter and you had six hit­ting errors in a game, you’re won­der­ing, What the heck am I doing wrong?’ You go and you click that stat and it’s going to tell you. You’re going to see what you were doing in that game that was caus­ing you to have those errors. It’s huge for them to be able to learn.”

The play­ers were so tak­en with the video, they would grab an iPad and rewatch their per­for­mance between games at tournaments.

They were putting two and two togeth­er from what I’m say­ing to them dur­ing the game,” Sheffield said. When I say some­thing to them dur­ing the game and they don’t under­stand it, if they go two or three days or even a day with­out see­ing what I was talk­ing about, they prob­a­bly won’t remem­ber it. But after the game if they’re con­fused, they can go back and see exact­ly what I was talk­ing about. It real­ly helps them to understand.”

As much as Hudl helped SKEVA on the court, it was arguably just as effec­tive off it. The new club need­ed a way to attract local tal­ent, so Sheffield craft­ed high­light videos from SKEVA’s first sea­son and pro­mot­ed them on social media as a way to get the word out. The program’s first meet­ing this sea­son was kicked off with a pro­mo­tion­al video.

And while SKEVA’s play­ers aren’t yet old enough to be heav­i­ly recruit­ed, they’re already draw­ing the eyes of col­lege coach­es. The play­ers cre­at­ed high­lights of their best plays, then sent them to schools they’re inter­est­ed in. And those schools are pay­ing atten­tion — Sheffield said coach­es from Ball State checked in on one of the club’s 13-year-olds last year because of her highlights.

It’s sim­ple and it’s easy,” he said. I don’t have to know pro­fes­sion­al video-edit­ing soft­ware to make a quick high­light video. I don’t think a col­lege coach cares if it’s pro­fes­sion­al. They just need to see it.”

SKEVA may just be get­ting off the ground, but Sheffield has high hopes for the club. It has already made a large impact in south­ern Kentucky, a foot­print Sheffield hopes will con­tin­ue to grow. As SKEVA con­tin­ues its ascen­sion, Hudl will be there to help.

I don’t have any data to give you hard facts about how it affects our num­bers, but I’ll say this – we were the pop­u­lar club this sea­son and com­ing into reg­is­tra­tions,” Sheffield said. Our clin­ics were high­ly suc­cess­ful. We had an online mar­ket­ing cam­paign through our social plat­forms. We made a high­light video and we put it on Facebook. We pushed it out and tried to get inter­est from any­body. If you’re like me, you’re way more like­ly to watch a video than read somebody’s post. It was perfect.”

See how Hudl can attract new tal­ent to your club, devel­op your play­ers, help your coach­es win and get ath­letes to the next lev­el.

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