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Satchmo-n-Dizzy
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Become a SCOUT!

Scouting can be very simple or more complicated, depending on your level of expertise. But it doesn't have to take a lot of time. I currently scout for more than 30 teams and have scouted for more than 50 in a single day.

The key is to find something simple to do, easy to repeat, and not terribly time consuming. Any scouting that involves replays or Play-by-Plays will take a little more time for each successive game. You should take that into consideration when deciding how to scout.

Some SIMPLE but EFFECTIVE ways to scout

1) Check upcoming opponents for open builds
Some teams will have several players whose builds are viewable to everyone. Since most teams try to encourage players to build toward the same paradigm for each position, these builds can give a coach/coordinator insight into what the team is trying to accomplish.

2) Compare Player Levels
This is extremely simple to do and can really add a lot to the preparation for an opponent. You may wish to compare the starters position by position to see who has the advantage; compare the two deep for the same info; compare Offenses, Defenses, and Offense vs Defense.

You can make this information even more valuable by tracking it game-by-game so that you can report when a team 'boosted' many/most of its players.

3) Compare Player Matchups in Depth Charts
Track how upcoming opponents handle their depth charts from game to game. Many will stand pat and virtually never change. Others will micromanage and constantly move players around to get the individual matchups they like (maybe always putting the #1 CB on the #2 WR or something similar). Still others will demonstrate their paranoia by blanking their depth chart after every game.

If you want to scout with this method, make it a habit to scout during the games. Teams can monkey around and play games all they want but, come gametime, they will have their actual depth chart set.

There are many other simple methods of scouting as well. There are probably things no one has even used before. Be creative and find something you enjoy.



Some FUN ways to scout

1) Visual Scouting for Tendencies
If you enjoy watching game replays anyway, grab a pad and pencil and make it work for you. You can track virtually anything you choose (but try not to overdo it):

How often does the team play zone?

How often does the team blitz?

How often does the team use a FB or 2 TEs?

How effective are their pulling Guards in space?

The list is endless and can be extremely helpful to any gameplanning session. You might even check with the coordinators to see what kind of info they would like.

2) Visual Scouting for Player Stamina and Matchup
Another very effective type of scouting. The opponent has a monster CB that scares your OC to death. You can tell him how many plays he is in the game before he has to rest. You can tell him how often he plays on the right side or the the left. You can even tell him how often he is beaten vs how often he makes the play.

This type of scouting is best used when you know what concerns the gameplanners on your team. It's very difficult to track more than a couple of players at a time so take that into consideration before you commit to provide reports on the whole roster.



Some MORE COMPLICATED ways to scout

1) Track opponent tendencies in Play by Play
This has been the bread-and-butter of my scouting and has apparently been very helpful to teams. This will typically require some scripting or programming ability due to the amount of data and the need to provide a uniform report for each opponent. If you just want to scout for one team, you could accomplish this w/o computer help but it will become very tedious over the course of a season.

As stated earlier, this type of scouting will take longer to do for each game. Take that into consideration before taking on too much responsibility.

2) Detailed Roster Analysis and Player Ratings
This is another type of scouting that will likely require computer help. The basic premise is to compare the player production (stats) to the league norms. All the data can be easily gleaned from 5 pages provided by GLB: Team Profile, Team Roster, Team Leaders, League Team Leaders, League Player Leaders. When used properly, this type of analysis will cause the main threats and weaknesses of an opponent to virtually leap out and bite you. It can be very effective for depth charting and scheming alike.

The advantage to this type of scouting is that it requires the same amount of time (same # of pages of data) for each game including the playoffs.



The list above does not begin to cover all the types of scouting out there. If you want to be more involved in the game WITHOUT SPENDING A DIME to do it, Scouting may be the way to get there.


Okay, I'm a Scout. How do I get a JOB?

The first step is to generate a report to provide to prospective clients. If possible, you may wish to make this report specific to their next opponent. A resume is great but nothing beats value in hand as a selling tool.

The second step, if you have access to a team forum, is to post scouting information for upcoming games. I assure you that a well detailed report will draw considerable notice and you will likely begin to receive job offers from all over the place.

The third step is to advertise. Check the 'Players Looking for Teams' forum and you'll see the sub-forum listed last. The more experience you have, the more quickly you'll get noticed. But a lack of experience need not be a problem. Post a sample report for people to see (it may be best to redact team/player names on the report in this setting so as not to anger some).



Things a Scout should NEVER DO

1) Never post 'insider' info gleaned from an opponent's team forum. Not only is the unethical in general, it will likely guarantee a lack of trust between yourself and the teams for whom you scout.

2) Never include your unsolicited suggestions for tactics in your reports. Post the report and answer any question posed. Let the gameplanners deal with how to use the info. Failure in this regard will often lead to resentment by Coordinators that may feel their job is being threatened.

3) If using a script or program to assist you, DO NOT use page scrapes to populate your reports. As Bort has stated, he will make data more readily available for scouting programs in the future. In the mean time these cause considerable server lag for everyone.

4) Never take on more responsibility than you are willing to handle. Scouting can be a lot of fun, but as the season drags on your excitement could wane a bit. Take that into consideration before you take the job(s).

5) Don't pretend to be a scout to get your player signed. This is more about being a stand-up person than specifically a scout but, don't be the idiot that runs a scam to get his player signed and then is never heard from again. It will be that much more difficult to find anyone else to offer your player.


I hope you all find good homes for your players and a fun way to help out your teams.
 
Bob1-3
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first to post!
 
Atropates
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Great Post!
 
Bob1-3
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uhhuh
 
shuebru
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these computer programs you speak of, is there anywhere I can find these? Or at least a link to a site that teaches how to program Greasemonkey.
 
Satchmo-n-Dizzy
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http://www.google.com/search?q=Java+Scripting&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGIC


http://www.google.com/search?q=Writing+Greasemonkey+Scripts&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGIC
 
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Nice
 
dave441
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yup this helps a lot
 
Razordog
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Thanks-

Well done piece of info.
 
bigswole
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As usual, a very informative article
 
Scratch9e9
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i want to talk
 
Mckee29
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Hi
 
cardskid22
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this is great, I use this all the time
 
MassGuerilla
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nice work
 
Zing
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Great Work!
 
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