There are few areas in football where speed is more crucial than the 7-on-7 circuit. Coaches have just seconds to assess what happened on the previous down, make adjustments and substitutions and call the next play. Time is of the essence.
Enter Hudl Sideline. Sideline transfers video from a recording device to the field literally moments after being recorded and has already proven its mettle during the season. But how would it hold up when tested against the breakneck speed of a 7-on-7 event?
Hudl set out to find that answer at the NebHSSports.com 7-on-7 Tournament. The Sideline technology was set up and made readily available to all teams in attendance. Those who used it felt they gained a distinct edge.
“My assistants were blown away,” Terry Beair, the head coach at Wayne HS, said. "The immediate feedback you get and the view you bring to the table onto the sideline is incredible."
The speed of Sideline both surprised and delighted the coaches. With just 25 seconds between plays, every moment is precious. But Sideline put video in the coaches’ hands almost immediately, allowing for adjustments and corrections to be made in the midst of a series.
“Within two seconds you had the information,” Beair said. "I think that’s more than fast enough to get what you need out of it, especially when you have a 25-second clock. We had a pretty quick tempo there with a no-huddle, but we were still able to get feedback and adjust our next call. It was really nice to have that."
"I got to see what mistakes were made in real time,” Stephen Gentry, the linebackers coach for Bellevue East, added. "I just really like it. It allows for immediate coaching so we can fix in-game. It just gives you an edge on your opponent."
While the coaches made some scheme changes on the fly, the main benefit was the ability to correct on-field errors. North Platte’s Phil Willey found that his players often needed to actually see their missteps to accurately correct them.
“When they’re already out there, they don’t believe (they make mistakes) sometimes. The ability for them to see it is going to be pretty awesome."
For example, Lincoln Northeast’s tight end was consistently struggling with a corner route - he wasn’t getting to the right landmark before making his cut. Landon Miller, Northeast’s offensive coordinator, was able to pull him aside and show him exactly what he was missing between series.
"It kind of corrected that in-game as opposed to doing it post-game,” Miller said. "Our quarterback likes to look at it. The kids think it’s neat. It’s new and it’s technology and the kids really respond to that."
Beair also stressed the importance of giving his players a different angle from what they typically see. Sideline employs an end-zone view that really helped Wayne’s safeties and linebackers better identify the routes their opponents were running.
The coaches agreed that Sideline helped improve their team’s performance during the tournament. The speed at which corrections were made increased greatly, and these coaches are looking forward to taking advantage of that benefit during their upcoming seasons.
“I think it’ll be one of the most powerful things we’ll have in our arsenal next year,” Willie said. “I think it’ll be a big impact, especially if one school has it and one school doesn’t. Being able to make adjustments, even for coaches, will be big."