Technology Brings the Swarco Raiders Tirol to the Top of the Competition
American football in Europe is extremely competitive — the 2018 Austrian Bowl Champions Swarco Raiders Tirol are embracing video analysis to keep them at the top of the game.
Legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells once said in relation to using video to study matches, “If you’re still using a notepad, you are going to lose.” This advice has rung true to the staff of ultra-successful Austrian Football League team the Swarco Raiders Tirol, who place a great emphasis on video analysis for their match and training preparations.
Statistics are ingrained into American football — each down or passage of play is analysed in depth.
Hudl Assist is a key tool for the Raiders’ statistical analysis as it allows for a team’s match film to be broken down by Hudl with a quick 24-hour turnaround, allowing Coach Shuan Fatah to reinvest time where it matters most.
“Initially we came in the office after game day and then you have to break down your own film, but you already have a backlog of four games waiting for you,” said Fatah.
“That was the past and something that was really slowing our operation down. Now we have Assist and we come in on Monday and it’s ready to go. We have every basic piece of information implemented for us and I am ready to watch the footage.”
Assist is easy to use. The Raiders submit game footage online and are provided with 16 columns of data including offensive formation, backfield and strength.
For the Raiders, this means they can get their analysis fast and accurately when they need it. “Normally it would have taken us a day or more just to get to the point where I can pick what I want to see in the footage,” Fatah said. “For example, if I want to see a goal line view, it’s sorted and ready to be presented it to me.”
Fatah is adamant that Assist is mandatory for ambitious teams who want to compete with elite teams. “If you’re serious about American football and you want to do it right, this is what you have to do,” said Fatah.
“You don’t have enough time, time is your enemy, and especially in Europe where not everyone is a full time coach, they have other jobs next to whatever they do in football. I’ll tell you, this is groundbreaking for us. There’s only so many hours in the day.”
Fatah has been the Raiders’ coach for eight years and has ensured video is included in preparations at all levels of the club. “Every team, every division of our club has Hudl to review video and there’s of course a lot of film study going on with our elite team,” said Fatah.
“This is the PlayStation generation, everything is visual.”
“Video is a very important part in our whole preparation and the structuring of the club. We do the same with the junior guys, I mean, we have 13, 12, 11-year-olds watching film and making themselves better.
“This is the PlayStation generation, everything is visual. So we are using Hudl as exactly that, we are teaching them over film, that’s a process we started years ago. There’s not much talking going on the field and we are very fast in practice because we know we can use the platform to educate our guys by watching the film afterwards.”
The youth section at the Raiders is flourishing, with a number of graduates being recruited and scouted by U.S. college and high school teams.
Former Raider Christoph Henle is now a regular starter at tight end for NCAA Division I Baylor University, while offensive lineman Thomas Anonokhale has committed to Ohio University for the upcoming season.
These are the latest talents from a highly-reputable Raiders environment that has produced first-round NFL draft choices in the past. Fatah is quick to highlight Hudl’s involvement in these invaluable scouting opportunities.
“Players who are on top of their technology will only benefit in the long run because they will be in a network where their talent will not be hidden.”
“Hudl is the tool for us to get in contact with teams and organisations that can hook our players up with overseas opportunities,” Fatah said.
“Technology makes the world small. Teams from the U.S. can be in contact with us and Hudl is a big bridge for that. Players who are on top of their technology will only benefit in the long run because they will be in a network where their talent will not be hidden.”
As a club of proven winners, the Raiders hold high standards to everything they do, and coach Fatah believes Hudl is now ingrained in the team’s culture of success.
“We have our ‘Raiders way’ of doing things and Hudl fits in with what we do and how we think,” said Fatah. “We are a trail-blazing club and don’t leave any stone unturned in finding ways to get better. To live that mentality you need to be on top of your game and that’s the kind of thing that Hudl allows us to do.
“American football in Europe is getting more professional. The game is faster, the athletes are faster and luckily the analysis is now faster, too.”
Want to find out why Hudl is so useful for elite clubs? Check it out.