Hudl Assist – Pros and Cons

Hudl Assist is a simple concept that helps soccer coaches with the breakdown and analysis of their soccer matches but is it worth the money charged for this service and should you use Hudl Assist for your soccer team?

To answer this question, it’s important to understand exactly what Hudl Assist actually does for you and why this service is really only half of a match analysis.

Here is what does Hudl Assist tracks for your team:

  • Attacking: Goals, Assist, Shots on/ off Target, Crosses

  • Defending: Blocked Shots, Saved Shots

  • Possessions: Time of Possession, Count of Possession, Count of Transitions, Possession Percentage

  • Set Pieces: Corner Kicks, Free Kicks, Penalty Kicks, Throw-Ins

  • Infringements: Offside, Fouls

  • Player Stats for your team: Who Shot, Who Scored, Who Assisted

On the surface, this might seem like great information to know.

Statistics do matter and the team that continuously suffers on the wrong side of the statistics equation is also likely going to be the team that suffers on the wrong side of the win / loss column as well.

Here is where the Hudl Assist program falls apart.

Because Hudl for soccer is really just a variation of Hudl for football, and since football is a “set play” sport versus a “free flowing” sport, the entire system mentality is wrong from the foundation up.

Let me explain.

Statistical analysis provides the “what”… Coaching Tips are the “why”.

When you look at the statistics in isolation from the game itself, the statistics mean very little, especially to youth soccer players. Telling an 11-year old that they need to improve their time of possession is useless until you give them the “why”.

  • “Why” is their time of possession poor?
  • How can they change their game to improve this time of possession?
  • Are they playing too narrow?
  • Are they making bad passing decisions?
  • Should they dribble more and pass less or pass quicker and hold the ball less?

There are so many reasons that a team may have poor time of possession that this number in isolation is never going to improve a team’s match performance.

The root of the Hudl Assist Problem

The “playlist” centric methodology that Hudl uses also hinders the usefulness of the video review. If you have a “throw-in” statistic but cannot easily go back and review the actual throw-ins that created the statistic… what good is it?

In SocrPro, the tags that created the throw in statistic also allow for easy review of every throw-in from the match because you can simply press the “Jump” button and skip to every throw-in that occurred during the game.

Every tag in SocrPro creates the ability to “Jump” to that location making the statistics far more useful for video review.

Hudl Assist is a valuable tool because knowing if your team is improving or declining over time is important.

The major problem with Hudl Assist stems from their fundamental lack of understanding of soccer. Hudl’s hard core focus on football, and the fact that Hudl Assist only provides the “what” without association to the source video render the entire soccer development process useless.

Statistics disassociated from the actual game video does nothing to help explain the “why” that your players need to actually improve their statistics over time.

The SocrPro “Virtual Coach” gives you everything that Hudl Assist does but since we understand how true soccer player development works, we made our system perfect for soccer. SocrPro takes the basic “what” and turns it into the “why” that actually improves the “what” with smarter, better players that win more soccer matches.

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