Power your preseason drill menu with 100+ hours of tagged game and practice video.

Table of Contents

  1. The X&O Labs Film Room Is Now on Hudl
  2. Highlight Top Drill Clips
  3. How to Use the Film Room

In-season camp is only a few weeks away, but while some coaches are wrapping up their vacations, we’re already hard at work segmenting my drill catalog for the preseason.

At Bridgewater College, we have a running list of drills, broken up by position and skill, to catalog before the start of each season. Our coaches are asked to modify this as the season goes on. It’s a huge file, but an awesome reference that has only gotten easier to use with the new collaboration of X & O Labs and Hudl, and the launch of the Film Room.

Most coaches understand the importance of self-scouting play concepts in their offensive and defensive arsenal to validate their efficiency, but how many use the same process to monitor the effectiveness of the drill work they’re using during practice time?

The NCAA places restrictions on how much time you’re given during the week to work with your players, so we can’t afford to waste any time incorporating drills that aren’t essential. Every year around this time we segment all of my preseason drills with the following directives in mind: are our drills working “football” skills, and are they showing up on game day? This process is placed at a premium, so I’m not afraid to search the ends of the Earth to find more efficient ways to meet this goal.

The X&O Labs Film Room Is Now on Hudl

As an X&O Labs Insiders member for several years, I understood its mission to deliver high-quality content to coaches in a functional and efficient method. This objective seems to have been clearly met through its partnership with Hudl and the hosting of film in the X&O Labs Film Room, which provides coaches more than 100 hours of tagged game and practice film.

You can’t get that accessibility anywhere else. The time I previously spent boarding planes to meet with staff or scouring the internet to find the right drill tape has been superseded by the usability of this product. Now I’m able to segment my research by using the 78 tags available in the library, which are divided into offense, defense and special teams.

X&O Labs has put seven years of research video in one place. It’s hosted on X&O Labs’ private Hudl account and has every game and practice drill video ever published on XandOLabs.com, searchable by film type, drill type, scheme, position and even program name. Coaches can even create a playlist of video to easily share key points with other staff members.

It has become a virtual clinic space, without the limitations that traditionally come with clinics and hard copy content. The Film Room has grown from a few hundred videos to well over 1,500 playlists. Until now, only X&O Labs researchers have had access to this vast resource of college and high school video.

Highlight Top Drill Clips

I decided to target defensive block destruction as our number one fundamental objective to develop this preseason. Contact is a fundamental part of defensive football, but the drill work associated with it often centers around “getting tougher,” not the progression needed for defenders to get off blocks and make tackles. I already had my favorite block destruction drills designed, but I needed to find other types of drills that incorporate some of that same technique in a different setup.

This season we’ll work two circuit periods in each practice, which will focus on agility/change of direction, block defeat, ball drills and tackling. Every drill we do is modified to best represent that position, usually by changing the depth/width of the starting point of the drill.

The X&O Labs Film Room gave me access to some great block destruction drills and coaching points with footwork, hand placement and leverage at its core.

I’ve cataloged some of my favorites below.

Editor’s Note: These are vignette samples of the actual drill. Coaches who join the Film Room have access to the full-length drill film.

Bridgewater College Diamond Drill: One of my favorites from this spring because it taught interior linebackers to work on switching their lead foot forward while getting downhill to attack the ball. Adding hand shields to “cage and patch” in the drill is a great variation that allows players to practice making contact without overextending. This drill can be performed inside a chute to enhance pad level.

Bridgewater College (Va.) Eagle Two Step Drill: Designed to work block recognition for defensive linemen. The purpose of falling forward is to simulate the movement out of a stance and the redirect that may be required once a block is recognized. The drill can be worked from a shade or head up position. Offensive linemen will work through every block the defender will see that week.

Montana State University Sled Progression: MSU defenders working against a one-man sled may not be unique, but the sled itself is. This sled has its pad removed to focus on hand placement and arm extension. We preach extension, yet a sled pad makes it easy to execute bad form by making head-first contact. . In addition, a smaller target encourages player control on contact.

Virginia Tech University 3-on-1 Drill: There are some classic linebacker drills in this database from Bud Foster, the Hokies’ defensive coordinator. My favorite block destruction drill is the 3-on-1 drills and its variations. This drill works reaction, leverage adjustment and footwork all in one setting. This season, we are going to insert a ball carrier on the third rep to work different paths on run schemes.

Stanford University Block Destruction Progression: The value of this drill is right in its name—progression. You see the different phases of block shedding (from contact first, then from space) as well as adaptability by the different positions (defensive linemen have different space and angles of defensive backs). Finally, I love the way this drill shows a lot of players working.

Not only is there a complete section on block destruction in the Film Room, but coaches can segment their research by selecting which position they want to focus on.

Defensive linemen see different kinds of blocks in closed space than linebackers and defensive backs do in the open field, so it only makes sense to have those different skill sets categorized.

How to Use Film Room

Almost every program in America uses Hudl in one capacity or another. Film storage, exchange and recruiting are easier because of its ease of use and price point. Putting X&O Labs’ Film Room on Hudl allows coaches to save their own digital storage (and shelf space) and easily access valuable content.

This platform is a different version of Hudl than most football coaches are used to seeing. The filters and tags are on the left-hand side with a search bar at the top to help find relevant video. Once I saw Film Room for the first time, I was excited to find two simple functionalities: creating clips for further investigation and creating cutups of drills to distribute to our staff and players.

Follow these steps to create a clip for your personal reference:

  1. Select a film and scroll the time bar to the desired location.
  2. Select Create Clip. The default is seven seconds.
  3. Select the clip and adjust the time window by moving the blue bar. 20 seconds is the maximum time for each clip.
  4. Add notes if necessary.
  5. Select Save Clip.
  6. Create additional clips and select Share in Playlist.
  7. Playlists can be accessed at the bottom of the main screen under content type.
  8. Select a playlist to add labels or edit.

Create shareable cutups with these steps. A work around for this process involves creating a highlight of the desired film and sharing the link.

  1. Follow the steps outlined above to create clips. Clips can only be 20 seconds long, but you can make multiple clips in a highlight.
  2. Select the desired clips and click Send to Highlights.
  3. Access highlights by clicking the link automatically created (at the bottom in green) or by selecting your profile (roll over your name in the top right and select Your Highlights). A link will also be sent to your email if your settings allow it.
  4. On the profile page, you can copy the URL to send to your coaches/players, rename or delete the highlight.

I’m excited to see how this partnership continues to contribute to the growth of football coaches everywhere.