Belton football program using latest technology for Friday night game plans
Sunday, 08 July 2012 by David Tuma
With the changes in technology, advances in sports is virtually in every home that has a varsity football player in Belton. Anyone who has played the sport remembers those sheets of stapled paper with that week's game plan and the alignments and key players by the opposing teams. The paper was just that, paper.
Teams would watch game film but in today's world things have changed in terms of high school football. The Tigers use a software company called Hudl that they send to each player. Hudl is used by Division I football teams to Pop Warner leagues and it has some huge advantages.
After playing a game and getting back late on Friday night, Saturday morningthe coaches would go over game film piecing together what they needed. Teams trade films and send scouts out to the games but what Hudl does is unique.
BHS coaches can send game film to the players phone or I-pad. Every Saturday players go back to the athletic complex to look at Friday night's game film and after that is done the coaches begin work on the next game.
What makes the program unique is that coaches can look at situations and what plays a team might run if they are inside their own 10-yard line or at the 50-yard line for both offense and defense. "If I want to see all the first and tens I tell the computer to provide that for me. You used to have to watch all the film to get that. We can also track what players look at and for how long," said Tigers head coach Rodney Southern.
"I want to see those first plays after a big play and that first play of the second half." The program allows the team to be mobile in getting ready for each weeks game. Game film is a huge part of football. When you walk into a coordinators office the forward and back button is worn off the controller. From watching that lead step of the linemen to situation on down and distance it takes a lot of work getting prepared.
"We can walk into a room and plug in the I-pad and start the meeting. No lugging a projector or pushing a cart from room to room. The memory we have is for three seasons worth of games. A large number of our athletes have an I-pad," said Southern.
Each coach at BHS has their own I-pad. The new athletic complex actually has a film room that will be used by multiple sports. It is a meeting room like Belton has never had before.
The reason Belton has been successful the past three seasons in football has been preparedness. Belton rarely has been the more talented team the past 34 games. Being game ready means a game plan that includes plays a team runs, offense or defense concerning where they are on the field and what the down and distance is.
"If your are facing a 3rd and 12 that is different than baseball or basketball. When you throw in the field position it changes again. We spend a lot of time studying what a team will do in a certain situation. David Brewer and myself work on this for each game. An offensive opponent 3rd and 12 on your own 28-yard line is a lot different than when they are on their own 20-yard line. There are so many factors in a game. Is the ball on the left hash and when it is what percentage to they run to the wide side of the field," said Southern.
Hudl provides film samples that the coaches can show athletes in their home or at the field house. A football field is divided into six zones not by yards, if you are a football coach planning a game.
"What a team will do in zone 6 is different. Inside their own 20-yard line a couple of teams in our district have about six different plays they might run," said Southern.
Belton adjusts what they do on both sides of the ball from game to game and their halftime adjustments have won some games the past three years.
"What this program does for us is it gives us the capability to say I want to see this or see that. By Friday night Tyler Santellana can tell you what a team will do based on field position and down and distance. It also can help us study ourselves. If we want to look at when we throw to Derrick Bates we can find that. It can tell you if we only targeted him on third down," said Southern.
Hudle also enables coaches to provide clips of players for colleges who ask to look at a certain player. Players can also have their own Hudl profile. "Wyoming called and wanted us to send more film on Bates and we got them what they wanted instantly," said Southern.