A shared mission to educate and improve players led Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, NE to a district-wide partnership with Hudl that gives all its student-athletes the advantage of video performance analysis.
Lincoln North Star
Lincoln Public Schools coaching staff visited Hudl headquarters for in-person training before the 2018–2019 school year began.
One thing Lincoln Public Schools and Hudl have in common is geography. As the school district in Hudl’s hometown, Lincoln Public Schools has a long history of partnering with Hudl to test and improve products.
But in 2018, Lincoln Public Schools took the relationship to the next level with a district-wide deal to bring Hudl to every team and athlete in each of its six high schools.
They knew proximity wasn’t the only thing Hudl shared with the district.
“The advantages in partnering with Hudl come down to it being a fast-growing company that’s in it for the educational-based values that we’re standing for too,” said Zach Limbach, athletic director at Lincoln East High School.
“As a district, it’s really important that whatever high school kids go to, they get the same opportunities.”
District Athletic Director, Lincoln Public Schools
A Level Playing Field
By purchasing Hudl as a district, every student will benefit from tools that help them develop their technique.
“For us, as a district, it’s really important that whatever high school kids go to, they get the same opportunities,” Kathi Wieskamp, district athletic director, said. “Looking at this partnership, it levels that playing field.”
The impact of Hudl can extend beyond a student’s high school career. With recruiting tools like shareable highlights, players can attract attention from colleges. North Star High School soccer coach Rusty Moreno said highlights are a huge help to students looking at out-of-state schools.
“I have college coaches that can’t make it to Nebraska, but they’re like, ‘Hey, I’ve seen this kid play club soccer, do you have any film you could send me?’” Moreno said.
Students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the partnership. Lucas Varley, a football and track and field coach at Lincoln High School, has been using Hudl for both sports. Tools like film exchange and automatic game breakdown through Hudl Assist save him countless hours every football season.
“Hudl makes life easier,” Varley said. “My dad was a coach for 30-some years. Every Saturday I’d hop in the minivan with him, and he would drive 45 minutes or an hour to meet with some coach to trade VHS film. And then he’d have to come home and break it down. Now it’s an instantaneous switch of film, so it saves you all that time and travel, and you already have a lot of that stat breakdown so you’re not doing it yourself.”
Jeff Campbell, Lincoln East basketball coach, said Hudl gives him back some personal time.
“Before Hudl, we had to spend most of the time at school breaking down film,” he said. “Hudl’s allowed us to take that work home. For me, it’s worked out well because I get home from practice and can spend time with my family. When my kids go to bed, that’s when I can get out Hudl and start working on things. Prior to that, it had to be time that was being spent at school, time away from home.”
“We’ve all learned that kids learn differently.”
Athletic Director, Lincoln High
New Ways to Learn
Hudl also helps coaches teach student-athletes.
“We’ve all learned that kids learn differently,” said Pat Gatzemeyer, Lincoln High athletic director. “As teachers and coaches start to learn how to use the technology, lots of times the students and athletes are already ahead of that.”
Paige Hubl, volleyball coach at Lincoln Southeast High School, said Hudl helped her as a first-year coach with no prior teaching experience.
“For me, teaching is a new thing, so rather than just telling them how to do something and expecting that, I was really giving them the education of ‘why,’” she said.
“Some kids learn better by visually seeing something,” Wieskamp said. “Hudl is a teaching tool, and that’s what we’re about.”
Though many LPS schools had at least two or three teams using Hudl, now every team in every sport (19 at each high school) will have a competitive advantage.
While it may be bittersweet for coaches like Varley to see their closest competitors using the same tools they’ve been using for years, they’re ready for the challenge and excited to improve the district’s chances at state.
“Any time we can increase the competition, we all get better,” Limbach said. “Hudl has the ability to do that for us.”