What is a Scouting Report? Should You Be On One …

When you hear the words “scouting report” what do you think of? Some may think of coaches giving you a breakdown of the opposing team of next weeks game, some of you might think of scouts at your tournament games and some of you might think of services that put you on a scouting list. Well, all three are a form of scouting report. The main thing that you as player need to focus on is which scouting report do you need to get on and why you should even bother.  Lets dive into this a little bit deeper so you can truly understand what a scouting report is and why you should be in one.

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Defining a Scouting Report

The definition of “scout” means to explore. The definition of “report” means to give information on something that has happened.

What a Scouting Report is in a Nutshell

A scouting report is a summary of all the important information about a prospective student athlete. A good scouting report will provide a framework for college coaches to see if a basketball player is what they are looking for when assembling their winning team for the season. Scouting reports provide the ability to quickly see what player will make the best impact for a team. This can be the difference between success and failure from a coaches point of view.

What is a Scouting Report for a Player?

A scouting report allows a coach to compare a recruit’s stats against other players at the same position. It gives a coach an idea of what they can expect from the player. A deep analysis of your video has been undertaken. Many hours go into watching full games. The following are the types of questions that are asked and recorded when a scouting report is being conducted:

  • What was their style?
  • What moves did they use?
  • What were they great at?
  • What did they struggle with? (strengths and weaknesses)

NOTE: The Coach is looking to fill a spot based on data collected for the report, over an extended amount of time.

What Does a Good Scouting Report Look Like?

A good scouting report provides insight on the following:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Preferences
  • Tendencies
  • Triggers (good and bad)

What stats are included in a scouting report? Basic information such as your full name and jersey number for clear identification for when a coach is watching your highlight film. Other basic information such as your position, age, height, weight, wing span, vertical. But this is not all.  A paragraph about “your story” for example, this would include a paragraph about: is the player a shooter or a defender? is the player a pass-first or shoot-first player? what is the players role on the court offensively and defensively? A scouting report will rate a player on the below list, this will help highlight the players strengths and weaknesses.

Here is the list:

  • Offense
  • One on one offense
  • On ball defense
  • Off ball defense
  • Defense rebounding
  • Offense rebounding
  • Box out ability
  • Ball handling ability
  • Off hand dribbling ability
  • Dribble penetration
  • Outside shooting
  • Mid-ranging shooting
  • Free throw shooting
  • Inside shooting
  • Passing ability
  • Off ball movement
  • Assisting
  • Shot creation
  • Blocked shots
  • Steals
  • Turnovers
  • Decision making
  • Aggressiveness
  • Strength
  • Quickness
  • Jumping ability
  • Leadership

Why is a Scouting Report Needed?

A scouting report is needed because it helps a college coach quickly identify players they want to pursue. College coaches have a lot to do and time management is key. If they can receive a list of already identified players at their respective level, that has already done a in-depth analysis on the player and their game, this saves them a tremendous amount of time. Good recruitment is the backbone of every successful college basketball program. Another reason college coaches want to receive a scouting report is the fact that they get to know about players they would have otherwise missed out on. These could be players from the other side of the country, in a state that is not logistically accessible or international players from another country outside the USA.

How is a Scouting Report Created?

A good scouting report is put together in a very clear and organized way and will contain divided overviews of a players game. The scouting report will look at the players games from an offensive and defensive perspective plus, a personal overview which provides more of an insight into the players personal characteristics and habits.

The main overviews sections which are included in a scouting report:

  • Offensive overview – strengths and weaknesses, role, style
  • Defensive overview – strengths and weaknesses, role, style
  • Personal overview

In the personal over view, the scouting report will provide a description and evaluation of the following for the player:

  • Physical attributes
  • Players favorite move
  • Plays they run regularly
  • Which direction they favor to drive
  • Dominant hand
  • Personality – reactions, responses, passion
  • Leadership – is he confident, know what he’s doing, make his team better?
  • Is he a decision maker
  • Team player – does he cheer his team on?
  • Average minutes played per game

When a good scouting report is written you will be able to tell by the language and the way it reads. The key to creating a good scouting report is to be very familiar with the sections that must be evaluated. The point of a well written scouting report is to create an image in a college coach’s mind of the player, solely based on words. When writing a scouting report, comparisons to other well know players can be made but it is not necessary (or even relevant) in most cases. You can also note any specialist potential which again, can be important information in some scouting reports but not necessary.

What Do College Coaches Want From a Scouting Report?

College coaches go through an exhausting, thorough process of analyzing prospective college basketball players. They are looking for key attributes, tangibles as well as the intangibles. A lot of college coaches are looking for the following:

  • Athleticism: vertical, lateral quickness, dribbling speed
  • Character: work ethic, coachability, leadership
  • Ambidexterity: can a player use their right and left hand equally well (or not) because this is useful in dribbling, scoring, finishing around the rim and shot blocking
  • Versatility of the player: can he play different roles within the team
  • Body frame: muscular, potential to build muscle, or wiry
  • Instincts & court awareness: is there any natural ability/talent here

Why Get On a Scouting Report?

We have just taken a good look into what a scouting report is and what goes into creating one. The last question to address is why you should get yourself on a scouting report. There are many reasons, for this we are going to break them down into bullet points for easy understanding:

  • Get yourself in front of more college coaches: this is a bit of an obvious one but you will put yourself in a better position to be seen by lots of college coaches. Depending on the scouting report you get on, your profile can be sent out to hundreds of coaches. These coaches more often than not have paid for the scouting report so they have already invested to see your information.
  • Save travel time and money: Playing in exposure events is very costly in both time and money, getting on an online scouting report is not and you get all the same benefits. The college coaches will receive the same detailed analysis and evaluation of you but without the added costs of traveling to games with your family.
  • Increase your chances of getting contacted by a college coach: By having your scouting report send to hundreds of college coaches you are eventually going to have a coach who is interested in you, reach out and want to speak with you. A scouting report increases your chances of this happening because you are getting seen by a high number of college coaches outside of your region.
  • You will be taken seriously by college coaches: If you are on a scouting report this means to coaches that you have been verified as a worthwhile prospect that should be looked at. You will be taken more seriously as a potential recruit than if you were to just contact a college coach on your own. Being on a scouting report gives you some backup due to an un-biased evaluation.

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