Setting the Standard: Loughborough University Partners with Hudl to Provide Elite-Level Analysis

One of the world's leading universities in sport are implementing video analysis across a range of sporting codes with great success. Here's how we help elite level sport at Loughborough improve both on and off the field.

An absolute giant of University sport, Loughborough University set the standard across the United Kingdom having won the British Universities & Colleges Sports championship for the past 40 years running. 

A testament to the strength of their elite athlete pathway can be seen in the 2016 Rio Olympics where over 80 students, graduates and Loughborough-linked athletes secured 12 medals - including five golds.

Loughborough head of performance support Nathan Miller states there are three pillars that the vision for sport at the university are based around.

  1. Winning competitions on a national and international stage as well as university championships every year.
  2. Developing athletes during their time at University.
  3. Developing staff.

With a wide range of sporting codes being played at an elite level at Loughborough, a video solution needs to cater to the specific analysis points which vary greatly from sport to sport. Loughborough sports performance analysis lead Andy Rhys-Jones explains how Hudl is effective in this area.

“With 16 different sporting programmes the needs and wants can differ hugely and the way in which analysis will be delivered is going to vary hugely,” said Rhys-Jones. “However, the common theme is the athletes and analysts want something they can really rely on that’s consistent and the players know they are going to get their analysis at the same time every week and can review how they did from one game and know they will have the same framework”. 

Rhys-Jones is also looking forward to introducing the new and improved Hudl Sportscode into Loughborough’s elite sports performance programme.

“Hudl Sportscode is a really great new tool that we will be looking to introduce in the coming months within our performance sports and we are really excited about the IP capture and multi-angle capture as well.” said Rhys-Jones. “We are really looking at how we can enhance our workflows. whether that’s how things are stacked, how we enhance our code windows and the additional power of the scripting tool that’s come in, It’s a really exciting addition for us.”

From a coaching perspective, women’s hockey head coach Brett Holland has Hudl to thank for providing detailed analysis within short periods of time which directly affects positive results on the turf for his team.

“Quite often in hockey we have games that follow on very quickly,” said Holland. "Thinking back to last season when we had our Premier League playoff we had a game Saturday evening and then Sunday morning, so be able to put up key moments for the first game before Sunday’s game was critical. We know going into that final game that we needed to win by a certain goal difference so those key bits of detail we were able to get out of the video made the difference and we ended up winning the game by three goals. We were then promoted and now we stand here as a top 10 team in the country.”

For Loughborough Lightning netball player Annabel Roddy using video has been a new skill that is preparing her for a potential career in elite sport. 

“I’ve stepped up this year to the Superleague netball franchise and video is such a central part of our sessions,” explains Roddy. “ The reasons we lost games we could find out the reasons and it’s just that next level elite where it’s not just you turning up on the day, it’s you having prepared a plan knowing exactly what you are going to come up against.”

Sarah Hunter is the England women’s rugby captain as well as Loughborough Lightning’s performance rugby coach and is extremely qualified to describe how important it is for student athletes to be using video to improve their game.

“It’s used so much within sport now and at the very top level that in order for you to reach that then you have to look at how you perform because naturally you have to be able to self-critique yourself,” said Hunter. “You have to be able to sit down with your coaches and have one-to-one feedback about how you are going to improve as an athlete but more so you have to be able to look at how the team is performing, how they can get better and how you play a critical part in that.” 

Put simply by coach Hunter, her experience using video at the a highest level of sport leads to a sharp conclusion.

“I just don’t think that you could be a professional sports player these days without having used analysis.”