Scouting is one of the more significant skills any basketball coach will need to master as they develop their knowledge and understanding. Scouting becomes more and more significant the higher a coaches moves through the ranks and the standard of competition they are exposed to. However, being an expert coach in regards to scouting is one thing, being able to communicate the scouting information to your team members will be another completely. If the information is locked in scouting notes never to be seen or understood by players then the process of scouting will have no value or worth.
Communicating scouting information can be performed in a number of different ways. What is the best strategy or strategies will depend on the individuals within the team. Some players will prefer the scouting information delivered in person, others will have the discipline to be able take notes or scouting content away to review by themselves. It is very important to note however that unless someone from the coaching staff are leading this activity you will not know if the scouting information has been read or understood. It is not unusual for players to read something and not fully understand the meaning of the content, but not ask a coach to clarify.
So what are the options a coach has for communicating scouting information?
There are a number of different strategies that can be used in communicating scouting information and options can include:
Scouting Note Sheets: these are specially designed sheets that describe all the relevant information known about a team. A mixture of text, statistics, diagrams, and pictures
Workshops: a tried and true method of communicating information face to face with players. This ensures if performed correctly that players read and understand the scouting information. This is the most resource intensive method however due to the time needed to deliver the content effectively.
Game Tape/DVD/CDROM: this resource is simply game footage of recent or relevant games about the opposition
Game Tape/DVD/CDROM Multi-media: this is a similar resource to the game tape option however, this resource has presentation software packages spliced through the footage to highlight important information, or aspects players need to beware of
Podcasts: a more recent technology that can be used is podcasting. Podcasting can either be in audio or audio-visual format. In formation can be locked behind a password protected firewall to stop anyone accessing the content. Players will download the information to view on their own MP3, Smartphones or tablets
Youtube: similar to podcasts footage, and multi-media presentations can be uploaded for players to access and view. Again, these pieces of information can be password protected so only some individuals have access to information. This information is housed through the Youtube website so players will need to have access to the internet to be able to access the information.
Cloud Technology: refers to when information is uploaded to an internet depository. This can really be anything at all with regards to electronic copies of scouting information. The most useful aspect of this option however is the information can be accessed or uploaded anywhere in the world as long as the individual has access to the internet. All information is password protected.
Social Media: social media has come a long way since the early years of the web based services. Many options now in services like Facebook allow information to be uploaded and accessed in a variety of formats. This can be text resources, audio-visual, or links to the content throughout the web. Closed groups can be established so only people invited to join the group can gain access to the resources.
Consultancy Services: Depending on the budget your program has available there are many different options in regards to the services that are able to be bought. Everything from the development of the resources themselves to providing access options are all available for a fee.
An excellent option with regards to the use of technology based on the web is it often provides an opportunity to track the individual who visit and view the content. This is a very handy feature in tracking what players are keeping up to date with scouting information.
Take some time to explore the options your team is happy to utilise and as these will only help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of communicating with the individuals of the team. Scouting requires a lot of effort as a coach so why waste this time if the players are not listening or watching…