Former Division I participant and coach Yolanda Bronston was seeking to give this Jacksonville-area women basketball program a shot within the arm when she took over in 2017. Hudl’s instruments gave her rocket gasoline.
Yolanda Bronston knew it was going to be an uphill battle when she took over the women basketball program at Orange Park, Fla.’s Saint Johns Nation Day, a small non-public faculty in suburban Jacksonville that was struggling to compete. The Spartans had received only one recreation the earlier season, hadn’t had a successful season in almost a quarter-century, and the pinnacle depend was skinny. Of the ten gamers on the varsity roster, six have been middle-schoolers.
Bronston knew she had the chops to whip this program into form, based mostly on her experiences in Division I school basketball as each a participant (Central Connecticut State, 1991–95) and an assistant coach (Norfolk State, 1996–98). What she didn’t know was how quickly this system’s tradition would remodel by using Hudl’s video evaluation instruments.
Basketball was once one thing the women on this program did largely for leisure. Now, this system i
s filled with gamers with earnest aspirations past highschool. Three of her seniors need to play in Canada after commencement. A kind of middle-schoolers she inherited obtained her first begin as a 10-year-old; she’s now “on monitor to be a scholarship athlete” as she begins eighth grade. One other participant, an incoming freshman, is critical about eager to play Division I school basketball.
“She desires to get to the WNBA, so my job is to take her to the subsequent degree,” Bronston mentioned.
The Spartans posted back-to-back successful seasons below Bronston’s watch, together with a 16-8 marketing campaign in 2018–19 that featured a 10-game win streak and Convention Participant of the 12 months honors for her prime senior, Kendall Sage.
“With out Hudl, I don’t have a convention participant of the yr,” Bronston mentioned. “I’m not capable of present her and her teammates, ‘That is what we have to work on. That is what I imply by filling the lane, protection in transition, defensive rotations’. Youngsters be taught otherwise. A whole lot of them be taught by seeing.”
How did this all occur so shortly?
Smarter, extra engaged gamers
First order of enterprise for Bronston was to instill extra goal into these gamers’ workflows.
“These women have been all kinda taking part in for enjoyable, and didn’t actually perceive the sport,” Bronston mentioned. “Educating basketball IQ was an enormous a part of the duty, so far as what I wanted to convey to the desk for this system to show round.”
The surest option to constructing that IQ, Bronston knew, was going to be to put money into some type of video software program. It was a far cry from her experiences at Norfolk State 20 years in the past, when scouting stories relied on phrase of mouth from a coach’s community and recreation tapes (when accessible) have been on VHS. With so many extra superior video sources available on the grassroots degree in at this time’s recreation, placing these instruments within the fingers of somebody as skilled as Bronston was like rocket gasoline.
“With out Hudl, I don’t have a convention participant of the yr. I’m not capable of present her and her te
ammates, ‘That is what we have to work on. That is what I imply by filling the lane, protection in transition, defensive rotations’. Youngsters be taught otherwise. A whole lot of them be taught by seeing.”
That first season, Bronston had video games filmed, and was capable of sit down along with her gamers and stroll them by the place they wanted enchancment. The Spartans went 12-10 that season, with gamers as younger as 12 years outdated having to log important minutes, for this system’s first successful season because the early Nineties. However there wasn’t sufficient time in a day to get all the things she needed out of it.
Enter Hudl and Hudl Help, which fostered an much more accelerated enchancment in yr two. Gamers weren’t simply watching movie—they have been watching it on their very own earlier than movie periods, making for extra partaking chalk talks. Movie doesn’t lie. Neither, Bronston says, do numbers and statistics.
And the numbers at Saint Johns painted a colourful image. Spartan gamers littered the highest of main scorers, rebounders and assists lists within the native media shops. All-Convention and All-County honors rolled in. The distinction, she says, “was actually evening and day.”
Bronston believes strongly in having sound man-to-man protection ideas on the basis. If you wish to play on the subsequent degree, she says, you possibly can’t afford to simply sit again in a zone protection. Even the best zone defenses in school, similar to Syracuse’s celebrated 2-3 Zone, require you to first be disciplined in man-to-man.
Paired with an offensive type that consistently appears to push tempo, the Spartans are immediately laborious to cease. Bronston makes use of movie examine to fine-tune the main points that add as much as a troublesome, bodily protection, from diving for free balls to deflections to rotations.
With Help’s lineup efficiencies monitoring, Bronston has been capable of be taught what lineup to make use of when a sure state of affairs requires a selected energy on the court docket.
“I’m used to watching movie, however to have the ability to break down by participant, the analytics have been wonderful,” Bronston mentioned. “I do know which lineup is my scoring lineup. I do know the lineup to place in after I want steals. On the finish of the sport after I want free throws, I do know one of the best lineup totally free throw share. I exploit it for all the things.”
Extra time again
Relating to recreation prep and scouting, Bronston estimates that Hudl Help has freed up anyplace from 17 to twenty hours per week for her through the season. That’s time she reinvests elsewhere in this system, to the touch up on participant growth and recreation technique.
This yr she’s including one other assistant coach, a former head coach from a well-recognized opponent who works with Bronston within the offseason. And with no need to assign stat-keeping to any coaches through the recreation, she’s difficult herself and her employees to raise their recreation. That free time goes to permit her to take a deeper dive on the superior analytics supplied from Help, utilizing the effectivity metrics to “minimize the fats” with what’s working and what’s not.
“I’m planning on doing extra this yr,” Bronston mentioned. “I’ve been reaching out to different coaches within the space about doing movie exchanges on Hudl. Simply with the ability to break down that movie, that’s enormous. It’s actually a game-changer.”