Learn how the Utes optimized their brand new practice facility for player development and video analysis.

In today’s coaching landscape, identifying key teaching moments and sharing insights quickly and effectively is crucial to success. Programs across the country are making it a point to optimize their facilities for video analysis, ensuring their teams have the tools they need to be competitive.

We talked with Scott McByrne, the video coordinator for the Utah men’s basketball program, to learn how they updated their facilities with player development in mind, and to hear their advice on how coaches can set up ideal environments for video analysis.

Everything is state-of-the-art in the John and Karen Huntsman Basketball Facility. From the practice gyms, to their world-class weight room, and even the team’s theatre, player development was at the forefront of their design.

"We wanted this to be a place where guys wanted to be. We want them to come here and hang out with their teammates," said McByrne. "If I could make any recommendation it would be to try your hardest to get your own space. The freedom for guys to come in and get in work on their own where they don’t have to worry about other sports using it. Figure out how you can design something that is your space for your team to workout whenever they need to."

"We’ve had some NBA guys come in and workout here. When you can leave those guys amazed with how nice everything is, when they’re walking in and saying, ‘Wow this is a lot nicer than what we have,’ that leaves you feeling like you did it right,” said McByrne.

More importantly, they didn’t waste money on fancy things like extravagant water features or touch screen televisions. They put it to good use within the locker rooms and lounge areas where it was more necessary.

"Not only is it a great recruiting tool but it’s just great for player development, period." Scott McByrne

Special consideration was also made for the players and coaches. Basketball players are some of the tallest people in sports, so everything in the Utes’ facility is oversized. From couches to countertops, the players never feel too large for the space they’re spending so much time in.

Even the court is unique. "It’s really easy to screw up a court, so for us we didn’t want any intersecting lines," said McByrne. "We wanted to be able to have a full practice and still be able to let players who are in rehab be able to workout with a trainer and not interfere with our full practice."

For the modern basketball program, video analysis should always be a part of the design process when building or renovating a facility. For Utah, they saw an inherent value in keeping video at the forefront of their design. "One of the advantages I have here is that I can capture video from the floor in my office," said McByrne. "There’s going to be days where you’re slammed working on something, but I have the luxury that if I missed the start of practice, I can still record it from my office. That was a big plus."

With cameras specifically, it was paramount the Utes purchased what was compatible with Hudl and Sportscode. "We talked with the Timberwolves before we started, and they had bought a whole system that wasn’t compatible with Hudl. So we made sure everything we were buying was," said McByrne. "Check with your Sportscode rep at Hudl. Get them involved and do your research with them. They’ll make sure it’s compatible."

For all coaches thinking about a new facility or a renovation to their current setup, it’s important you consider your own workflow as a staff and how you work with players. "For example, we wanted to make sure that we could streamline video so we had a server system set up so that we can access video anywhere. Figure out how you want things to work and how you want to do it. For us, it was always going to be a server. I like that a lot because that can be done in a new facility or an existing facility," said McByrne.

As far as the Utes are concerned, the additions they've made should have long term benefits to their program. McByrne added, "[We] have a lot going for the guys in terms of access that we didn’t have before. Guys can pull up any video they want. Same with the coaches. It’s going to help [us] win more games.

"If you’re not the most talented team, at least you will be the most prepared team. With access to our video from everywhere, it’s all there for them at their fingertips. I see that being the real key in pushing us forward."

Looking to level up your video? Become a Hudl Focus facility. You'll be able to record and upload straight to Hudl—no cameraman required.