University of New England volleyball coach Ian Blanchard recruited his entire incoming class remotely, with the help of Hudl.
In a normal recruiting cycle, coaches receive hundreds of blind emails from scouting services. Many lack originality or individuality, which eliminates them from the recruiting pool. Blanchard was hired in July 2020, when live events were non-existent or limited. He was forced to get creative—that’s where Hudl came in.
Hudl’s athlete profiles gave him a 30,000-foot view of player mechanics, evaluating all camera angles and non-action footage. In a normal recruiting cycle, coaches may spend hours combing through initial footage, finding as Blanchard puts it, “pine trees in an oak forest.” The value of a coach's time is crucial. With Hudl’s technology, Blanchard could more quickly discern talent and narrow it down to the few he wanted to go after.
His search took him as far west as Hawaii, and as far north as Minnesota. After an initial screen, he was able to pre-qualify athletes worth pursuing: women who showcased his program’s athletic benchmarks, but who also had a genuine interest in UNE’s academic curriculum.
This process was a perfect example of what Blanchard calls “areas of concern vs. areas of control.” Teams have to concentrate on what they can control—their side of the court. In 2020, Coach Blanchard was able to rely on Hudl to control his approach to the recruiting process, and stay above the concerns that plagued him during the 2020 season. In this way, and in many more, Hudl arms club programs with the tools to train athletes for the next level.
Only the Beginning
If necessity is the birth of all innovation, then consider Hudl the gateway to the new and next. Our world, now more than ever, is reliant on technology to bring streamlined solutions to the table. In the next few years, expect Hudl, their athlete profiles, and their entire suite of services to be standard among the ranks of coaches. Especially those looking for that competitive edge.
Though this was his first time on the platform, Blanchard said it won't be his last. He's embracing the future, the unconventional, the new. When it comes to that, you should never be afraid to look for that path forward. To look toward Hudl.