Hart High School (CA) defensive coordinator David Padilla is one of the country’s most frequent users of Hudl’s What’s Next report. Here’s how he says he uses data to organize his game-day call sheet.

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Our game sheet for defensive calls is completely Hudl-driven. Since some of my assistants aren’t as Hudl-crazy as I am, it’s important everyone’s able to understand it clearly. 

Using our tendency data, we list the run/pass breakdown and top five plays, regardless of formation, for each down-and-distance situation (short, medium, long). Next to that, we list the stunts and base calls that we think will be the most effective responses to their tendencies.

It’s important to note that every stunt you call is going to leave you vulnerable somewhere. But understanding the analytics allows you to minimize that exposure with the greatest percentage of effect.

Nothing you call is ever going to be 100 percent efficient. So when you’re crafting your play-call menu, ask yourself two questions:

  • Is my gut telling me it’s going to work?
  • On paper, does this match my gut?

We use the What’s Next report in a unique way— we’ll run it on every single scout film of our opponents. Seeing what plays the report predicts against different defensive looks, and the commonalities between each, influences our automatic checks at the bottom of the sheet.

Of course, there’s times I look at my sheet and say “nothing’s working.” But 75-80 percent of the time, the sheet is right. The numbers don’t lie.

The most important thing to keep in mind with any game plan is that analytics are really important, but if you can combine it with your own instincts, you’ve got a great thing going.

Padilla went into more detail about predictive models like Hudl's What's Next report impact his game week, in his speaking session from Blitz '21.

Down and distance tendencies are easier — and faster — to find than ever with the analysis feature. Just click on the “beta” icon at your home screen in Hudl to start filling out your game sheet in minutes.

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