In 2017, Minnesota Select Volleyball Club saw a 250% increase in the number of athletes who played collegiate volleyball after graduating from their program. Kayla Cole, the club’s Associate Director and Recruiting Coordinator, said that massive uptick is the result of a commitment to helping athletes find schools that fit them best based on their ability level and the volleyball experience they’re looking for.
“It’s such a combination of things,” Cole said. “We do think that because we provide competitive advantages through training, tournament schedules and resources, to name a few things, that certainly helps our athletes be recruitable at the college level. But I think Hudl has been super helpful with that.”
MN Select coaches use Hudl and Hudl Assist to help players learn and develop key skills. In recent years, tools like these have become a great differentiator for competitive volleyball.
“If we did not provide Hudl to our recruitable athletes, families would be left fending for themselves, which turns into a world of haves and have nots based on equipment, parent and athlete proficiency with technology, and time to be able to view and edit video,” said Cole. “Editing video [without Hudl] is really cumbersome…Hudl and Hudl Assist make it like one-tenth of the work.”
With video and data from every match, MN Select has more resources at its disposal. Having full seasons of video and data help coaches map out the growth of players, and helps players better understand their skillset and capitalize on playing time. When it comes to recruiting for their 15 to 18 year olds, the impact of video is huge.
To maximize the impact of their investment, Cole went so far as to create a “Hudl Orientation” of sorts for athletes and parents to demonstrate how video and stats will help players to improve.
Included in her training program are worksheets instructing athletes how to watch film. Click here to view the Individual Match Reflection Sheet. It teaches them to be critical of their mechanics and movement through questions like:
- Do I transition on defense to where I am supposed to be?
- After opponent contact, do I move and read early?
- What are my observations on my body language before, during and after the play?
Depending on how Cole’s athletes are understanding the feedback they receive and applying to their game, Cole will spend more or less time during practice doing this sheet. They also use it on an off-practice date or if practice was canceled due to weather. She utilizes the worksheet at least twice each season with her team.
“You can watch yourself as a spectator, or you can watch yourself with a learning eye,” Cole said. “That’s such a great skill to learn that I wanted to give athletes the resources to do that.
“What often happens with athletes is they’ll go watch video and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s not how it feels, it looks [different] and now I get it.’ That’s how watching film and Assist can be really valuable to younger teams.”
Similar to the Hudl training for athletes and their families, MN Select coaches receive guidance from Cole on leveraging video and data.
“We look at consistent errors across skills, across positions,” Cole said. “You have to be thinking as a coach ‘What did I not train to get that right?’”
But video isn’t just a corrective tool. It’s important to “catch them doing it right.” Cole and MN Select coaches make a concerted effort to praise athletes via film. Doing so prevents athletes from dreading video review sessions, and helps them focus on their growth.
When it comes to data, Cole believes stats can be helpful for coaches and athletes, but it’s important to have healthy skepticism. Stats help identify areas for improvement or uncover patterns in performance from previous matches, but they don’t show you what will happen in the next match.
“Stats—at any level—are just a number,” Cole said. “They don’t predict the future, they just inform decisions.”
This practical approach to video and data have helped MN Select as they take on new challenges. Combining these tools with the ambitions of the club, Cole and Minnesota Select Volleyball Club are ready for anything.
Minnesota Select (Maple Grove, MN) is a long time member of the Junior Volleyball Association, a non-profit that promotes the growth of youth and junior volleyball through program and resource development, education and events. With over 1,200 clubs nationwide, JVA is the only organization that is focused entirely on youth and junior volleyball.
A club-wide Hudl package gives everyone equal access to the tools they need to improve and earn next-level opportunities. Discover how you can bring video and data to your club today at hudl.com/solutions/club.