How to become a basketball scout
How to become a basketball scout
Is your favorite sport basketball? And do you love it with passion? You can't even miss a game, and during the game, you are usually noting down individual players. If you find that you know most players in a match their strength, what they have achieved, and some that have potential based on your research.
To become a basketball scout, you need to know what kind of scout you will be, the benefits, disadvantages, and steps to follow to be a scout.
If you do that, consider basketball scouting as your career it could be the best job that you do. All you do is search for a player with talent and potential and get them to a specific team. Having passion isn't all that you need; there are some particular skills that you need just like a basketball player who has other skills other than playing.
What is a basketball scout?
A basketball scout is a person who searches for talent from talented players, evaluates them, and if they are a good match, the scout persuades them to play for a particular team.
The basketball scout discusses with the team that he is working on accepting the player he has scouted and gives a reason why he is a good match. The scouts work in three levels that are: amateur that deals with high school players. Other standards are college and professional, which deals with top league players.
Types of basketball scouts
There are various types of basketball scouts, but the most known are these two types: personnel scouts and advance scouts.
1. Personnel scouts
The most common type of scout and which people are familiar with is personnel scout. A personnel scout watches players while playing studies each player's role, strengths, and weaknesses. Before the game ends, the scout knows which player stood out from the rest and if the player has potential.
Another way is when a personnel scout evaluates a particular player when in the court, the scout only watches one player. He or she evaluates the player's tactics, body language, how they play with the team, following rules, and offenses committed.
Types of personnel scouts
College scouts watch college players and determine if they qualify to play in the NBA in the future.
International scouts- they travel to various parts of the world, searching for hidden talent. They will go to any type of basketball game even if the game is not accessible and has an attendance of 20 people.
Pro personnel scouts- they evaluate players from the NBA and G-League to know which player is beneficial to the scout’s team and the one that is not.
2. Advance scouts
The advance scout works with his or her team's coach. The scout watches the team's upcoming opponent games and analyses the team's defense, tactics, players, gestures used, offenses, and their coach.
The scout's team uses the information to form a strategy on how to beat the opponent. It is more demanding, and the scout has to have a coaching background and is time effective. The scout must be fast in analyzing the opponent's team and send the info early to the couch to review and incorporate it into their game plan.
Steps to follow to become a basketball scout
To become a good scout, you need to have specific skills and follow some steps to kickstart your career. You just can't get up one day and start looking for a basketball scout job. If you do that, I bet you will face many disappointments; everything takes a step at a time. This guide will show the steps to follow to become a basketball scout.
Skills that you will need
Passion for basketball- scouting will take up a lot of your time; you will watch many basketball games. Your love for basketball will make your job fun and exciting instead of it being boring.
Marketing and sales skills- your job will involve a lot of persuasions. On one side, you will persuade the player to play for your team, and the other will convince your team to accept the player.
An ability to spot talent- when watching a basketball game, the scout has to detect the player that stands out from the rest.
Communication skills- it is crucial to have excellent communication skills; it will help advance your career.
Decision-making skills- scouts need to be keen on making the right decision when choosing a particular team player.
Basketball knowledge- a basketball scout, needs to know everything about basketball like its history, rules, terms used, analyzing, e.t.c.
Adapt to change- the scout must be ready for any changes in the basketball game and be flexible since they will travel often.
Step 1: Study basketball
A sport scout needs to niche down to a particular game like basketball. Basic basketball knowledge like knowing what basketball quarters is not enough. Basketball quarters are 12 minute period of a tournament which s split into four is not enough. The scouts have to study basketball like rules, history, playing, most popular teams, etc.
They need to spend time reading basketball books, reading blogs on basketball, and being up to date on the latest basketball news. You will get to learn new terms like what a bonus is in basketball; it happens when a team accumulates a particular number of fouls.
Step 2: Acquire further education.
Having a college degree is not an essential requirement to be a basketball scout, but you need additional training and education to stand out from the other scouts. Some of the degrees include marketing, business, sales, sports sciences, and physical education.
When specializing in basketball scouting, other courses are more specific to scouting; they teach things not taught in college degrees. They are also guided by skilled professionals who have worked in the scouting field and can find them online.
Step 3: Gain experience
When looking for job recruiters, most cases, they want to know your job experience and basketball scouting isn't an exception. To qualify for a good job, you will need experience, but the problem is you are just starting. To get the experience, you can do volunteering work for a team or a coach to help them find good basketball players in your region.
Another way is to take an entry-level job in the basketball game industry. From there you can get contacts from essential people that you could work for in the future.
Step 4: watch many games
A big part of a scouts job is watching games as an aspiring basketball scout start watching many basketball games current or previous ones for different levels. The games could be viewed in person or on video. As you are contemplating, have a pen and paper with you and note the players that stand out. Note also the responsibilities of each player, their qualities, and what makes them stand out. Ask yourself some questions like how will a player from team A fit in team B?
When watching in person, ask the spectators some questions, and talk to the coach or players after the game. Organize your notes according to teams, players, or in dates with the games played.
Learn how to write in shorthand and create your own short-form words. Those styles are helpful because you want to write as many notes as possible during the game and still not miss any action done by the player. You need to write very fast, and that's why you write in shorthand form. From your records, you can create reports for individual players. Remember, you will go to many games before finding the right talent; it can even take 40 games, especially college-level basketball games.
Step 5: Develop scouting habits.
The first step to do in developing habits is setting goals that help in being focused. The purpose set helps analyze a particular game or player. If you watch a game without a plan, you will create meaningless notes. For example, you should know what you want to accomplish from watching the game.
Create a detailed report of a particular player doing this will set you apart from other scouts. Explain why you think a specific player is good. A scout considers the player's height, weight, age, shooting skills, ball handling, dribbling, and passing abilities to evaluate a player.
A scout could further include details like a player's instincts, goals, desires, coachability, and character for a detailed report. Think like a coach when choosing a player that he will want to hear and give reasons in your notes.
Step 6: make connections.
To grow your career as a basketball scout, you need meaningful connections. Get many contacts from coaches, players, basketball scouts, basketball scouting agencies, and other basketball industry people.
Try to talk to the coaches from any games that you watch in person and build friendships. Be social and attend global sports events and basketball events. Coaches help a scout in learning scouting and how to study players. They also help in learning how to think when recruiting players. The relationships you create could give you helpful advice and connect you to a particular team's recruiters.
Step 7: Adapt to change.
Nothing is constant in life; you have to change according to the changes that happen. Similarly, basketball is always evolving the players, coaches, executives, and playing style.
Always be up to date with the changes by watching or hearing sports news, and discussing with your network. You may not agree to specific new techniques used but approach them with a free mind.
Also, you should know your preferences and biases as they can destroy you. You might choose a player because he or she might play in ways that you like. Through that, you may forget the bad skills that the player has.
Benefits of scouting
A scout gets to travel to different parts of the country or the world when searching for the right talent. Travelling gives scout opportunities to experience different cultures and how others play basketball.
As a scout, you will enjoy talking to many people like parents, coaches, celebrities, players, and other scouts. To those that enjoy basketball, scouting is right for you as you get to attend many games. If you become a high-level scout, you enjoy additional benefits like front row sitting, paid game tickets, and paid traveling expenses.
Scouting is not dull as most of the time; you are not at the office; you get to work in different locations. It is not a 9-5 job on weekdays work is little as most games are on weekends.
Disadvantages of scouting
It is not a good career for those that do not like socializing, you must socialize in this career, and if you can't adapt, then look for other professions. Most of the time, you will be away from your family because you travel a lot, work late nights, and weekends.
A basketball game lasts for around 2 to 3 hours if it were during the night you would arrive home late when the family is asleep. Consider if the job will be beneficial for your family or harmful since it can lead to divorce or separation.
Monthly income is not stable for scouts that are self-employed. They search for talents, create reports, and sell to a basketball team. There is uncertainty if a particular month, you will sell a report or get a talented basketball player by being independent.
If employed by a team or sports scout agency, you could get fired if the team receives bad seasons because of the players you scouted. Another drawback is if you dislike traveling in general or different climates make you sick, then it might not be a career for you.
If you have a passion for basketball, then basketball scouting is for you. You get to do a job that you love by watching basketball and choosing a good player for specific teams.
Additional benefits include traveling to various places and maybe meeting your favorite basketball coaches or players. If you want to be a basketball scout, then the most significant action is starting with the skills you have and later advancing them by going to college.