This piece is about compiling a finalized scouting report. I am sure that there will be those that are seeking a template but honestly it really does not exist at a higher level. Usually scouts are in a situation where they need to work fast (not rushing the work at hand) yet be able to compile information on opponents the best way. Condensing the information the right way is an issue for some and even if you know what the coaching staff (especially the head coach) wants being critical and yet objective. Pertinent information that can be utilized is what it should contain.
In general splitting up your reporting into three subtitles is the best way to approach it. Beginning out with offense is always the best. Given that coaches generally would prefer to see what their opponents can produce on the attack has become a norm in itself. Followed by the defensive strengths and weaknesses ending in the opponent’s personnel detailing tendencies of the opposing team.
Aside from the above its good to also have a general statement as a sort of foreword. Bare in mind that this foreword statement is aimed at being explanatory so to the fact that it clarifies hidden points that a scout uncovers during trips or games that are watched. To me a key is to always have an eye out on the bench; it’s a telling sign how players react when they DO NOT play rather when they are on the court; therefore attempt at incorporating such info upfront. Injury updates, win – loss situations, schedule details (when they play tough opponents vs. regular ones), tough breaks so to say if they might have lost close games are all things scouts should appraise while being brutally honest about.
While getting into the offense and defense of the report in majority is straight forward. Scouts should not fall into the habit of trying to dissect the plays that personnel usually play out. I can state that trying to utilize a third party app that would allow scouts to see lineup analysis this could be a very good addition for both the offensive and defensive ends that can get you into the good books of coaches overall.
When it comes to the final bit on the personnel insights be clean about what you set into the report. Height, weight, wingspan, class, position, role significance (i.e. first string, second string…), stats (the ones that do not appear on the boxscore and that make the player valuable), these are the usual suspects. I am all for the fact that details or rather insights such as how a player runs, what hand they shoot from, are they more a jump shooter or a static shooter, are they a one or two hand rebounder are things that assist the coaching staff so much so they begin feeding these to players during games and it can make a world of difference. There are scouts that prefer to report more on biometrical vs. biomechanical ability but my opinion, strongly is that a balanced output of both makes the best read.
I need to reiterate that including repetitive information such as the boxscore stats that coaches can have printed out courtside is not the aim of a scouting report. Insightful stats as well as analytical information that makes sense that does NOT need to be explained but is simple enough to possibly pass on to players.
A scouts work in the long run is to get to know players as well as how coaches utilize players (this is my biased opinion). If a scout can as an end result point out objectively and provide enough of incomparable insight on a player than their work will standout as better than many of their counterparts. The trick for a lack of a better word is to be able to highlight significant, usable information on all aspects of a player.
I am against the notion of having two versions of the scouting report prepared. There should not be a coaches version and a player version but rather one copy that everyone can depend on. It gives enough insight so that coaches can rely on it and players can omit details they won’t rely on too.
I also am of the strong opinion that video scouting more and more is becoming intertwined with how a scouting report is formed. While this “THE Scouting Report” should run in parallel with any video session that is done as a team, I am not of the opinion that making the report fit to what the players see.
Sample Report of what you should be looking at:
NAME OF OPPONENT: