One of my responsibilities here at Whitewater is to prepare scouting reports and film breakdowns on upcoming opponents. This keeps me more than busy during season in addition to my other duties. Here is the process I follow for completing scouting reports.
Prep work: Send out film requests in August. I look at our non-conference opponents’ schedules for the upcoming season and the past season, then I contact every non-conference non-common opponent on their schedule. I create a document in excel with each of our non-conference games and which teams I have contacted for film, in addition to teams that have requested one of our upcoming non-conference games from us. My goal is to have the four most recent games of each opponent. Sometimes, I have to look back a year, especially early in the season. Confirm requests and keep the excel document organized. This year, as film comes in, we are putting it on Hudl. This is our first year with this program.
The week of each game, the real work begins. These are my key components to a scout:
- Season statistics
- Predicted starters
- Offensive tendencies
- Quick hitters
- Defensive tendencies
- How they guard the ball screen
- How they guard in the post
- Where they are one pass away
- Amount of ball pressure
- How they guard OBUs
- Man/zone/press calls
- Press Break (this is REALLY important for us)
- Inbounds plays – sideline and baseline
To get this information, I comb through the film. Using Hudl, I think the easiest way to do this is to watch the entire film as is and write down times/clips/sets that I know I will need in my clips for the team. My goal is 6-8 1/2 court defensive clips, 3-4 full court defensive clips, 3-4 clips of their base offense, 4 quick hitters, 4-5 press break clips, and 3-4 inbounds plays. Obviously, if a team runs a lot of sets, then I want to clip them. I want to address each of my aforementioned keys in the clips I choose.
After I watch the whole film and take my notes, then I select each video, choose “edit video” and clip out what I need. Then I take all the clips (normally between 25-30 clips total) and place them in a playlist. I organize the playlist according to which type of clip it is: offensive, defensive, inbounds, or press break.
After I have the film how I want it, I make sure I have it on my paper version. No one else uses my paper version, except Coach if she wants to see stats. I write down what I think is most important and what I think we definitely need to prepare for, then that is what I put in with our scout group in practice. We are fortunate to have a diverse enough and skilled enough group that we can normally emulate the opponent pretty well.
*Sidenote: My paper versions are never more than one page. Personnel/statistics on one side. Everything else on the other. No staples. And when I’m watching film, I have to trust my ability and my work. I can’t watch and watch and re-watch. That’s not efficient nor productive, and I really need my sleep during season. I learned this from Coach Mike Neighbors (HC at Washington) during the WBCA convention in 2012: When you stop writing stuff down, stop watching.
Here is a pdf of my paper version. I left this one empty for you. I put personnel on the back of the page (season box score, projected starters, personnel tendencies). If you like it or want to make it your own, feel free to take it. You can email me if you want it as a word document.
I work with our scout group the week leading up to the game to put this in piece by piece. We don’t try to do it all in one day. We work on the press break each day, slowly add in quick hitters and defenses, and do inbounds on the last day.
I believe that our scout work really aids our game preparation and makes a big difference in our performance. It helps our team and our staff feel more prepared. Selfishly, it gives me something to do, and I love doing this. Film and advanced statistics are my favorite part of coaching. By showing film, actually putting things in, and talking through each part of the scout, we put our women in the best position to absorb the information. We work hard not to give them too much information and keep what we give them applicable.
Do you have anything else that is a “must have” for your scouting report?