Video is the ultimate way to scout opponents. Just ask Holland High School — they used detailed reports to take home the title.

There weren’t many curveballs opposing teams could throw at the Holland High School soccer team this year. Head coach Greg Ceithaml was very familiar with most rivals on the regular season slate and had his team well-prepared for each contest.

But as the Dutch advanced deeper into the Michigan Division 2 state tournament, that familiarity began to fade. Now facing opponents from across the state, Ceithaml didn’t have previous game experiences to draw insights from.

The coach wouldn’t let his team enter the most important stretch of the season unprepared, so he turned to Hudl. Holland already employed video to self-scout and improve its own players, but Ceithaml took cues from its state tournament foes and found some insights that propelled the Dutch to the title.

“Just watching opponents on video and allowing the players to see the type of teams we were going to be facing gave them the confidence in knowing that if they played their style, they could be successful,” Ceithaml said. “I appreciate that confidence level because I think that more than anything else created the success we enjoyed.”

Ceithaml scoured the scouting video to determine the opponents’ pace of play, tendencies and how they were organized. He also honed in on individual players to determine their strengths and weaknesses, then sent clips to his players to get them locked in.

One such instance came before Holland’s matchup with Coldwater in the state semifinals. The Cardinals attacked with ferocity, constantly pushing the ball, especially when midfielder Nasser Nagi got possession. Ceithaml took note and had his defenders swarm to stop quick attacks, particularly when Nagi possessed the ball.

“The commenting feature allows the video experience to be much more time efficient,” Ceithaml said. “I know that many of my players watch the games in their entirety, but the comments allow you to direct specific feedback and it really helps them see what we’re seeing as coaches.”

Make comments on the video to really drive your point home to players.

This method of scouting proved far more effective than the word-of-mouth reports Ceithaml received from fellow coaches in previous seasons. Instead of relying on the opinions of his colleagues, Ceithaml was able to watch his upcoming opponents himself and form his own opinions.

And being able to show his players what to watch for, as opposed to just telling them, proved to be a massive benefit. The athletes were able to see exactly what was coming, allowing them to make critical adjustments.

“There’s a huge difference,” Ceithaml said. “Players oftentimes don’t even realize what their tendencies have become. By showing them, they know definitively what we’re talking about and are much more open to advice and approaching and changing some tendencies.”

Want to experience the benefits of scouting with video? Get plugged in with Hudl.