3 Tips for High School Basketball Coaches on How to Better Scout an Opponent

Properly scouting an opponent is probably one of the most time-consuming and difficult tasks for a high school basketball coach. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow a few simple tips and organize yourself with a basketball coaching planner.

High school basketball coaches don’t have a large staff to brainstorm or break down film with. Most of what we do, we do with limited time and resources. When we scout we have to often drive for an hour or more to sit in the stands and watch a live basketball game. We don’t have the luxury of pressing the pause or rewind button to make sure we get the play drawn right. This can be very difficult to do.

Generally speaking, we walk away from scouting an opponent with scribbled notes and a few plays on the back of a program guide. Then the hard part begins as we have to make sense of it all and somehow communicate what we learned to our team. Here are three simple tips to make your scouting more effective and efficient.

Use Pre-Made Diagrams and Notes Pages for Drawing Your Plays: Quit going with a blank sheet of paper or relying on a program guide for your notes and plays. By using pre-made diagrams and notes pages you will be able to focus more on the action on the court instead of drawing new diagrams each time you want to remember something that happened. You can create your own forms on a word document which is nice but time-consuming or you can use a planner with pre-made forms. The goal is to have easily accessible and nicely organized reports on all your opponents.

Break The Action Down By Quarter: This is actually extremely valuable. Too many times we walk away from scouting with things that our opponent did but not when they did them. If we break the action down by the quarter we can start to see the tendencies of the opposing coach which is every bit as valuable as the strengths and weaknesses of the players. Simply knowing that the other team presses versus knowing that the coach presses to start the third quarter will help mentally prepare your team for what is coming. Most coaches have tendencies and when you break a scouting report into quarters you can start to see your opponent on a whole new level.

Don’t Get Too Specific: Sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves with information especially if it is unorganized. If we are overwhelmed imagine how our players will feel as we try to teach them everything about an upcoming opponent. They will experience sensory overload. Instead, look for general tendencies or things that happen repeatedly. This will give you a better idea of how your opponent plays. Writing down every play is difficult and not worth your time. Again as you organize yourself you will begin to see the patterns emerge.

Scouting and preparing for an opponent properly can give you that added punch you need to turn that five point loss into a victory.

Good Luck Coach!

The Basketball Practice Planner is the ultimate coaches companion. Organize yourself with your season calendar, all your practice plans, film review, scouting reports, and game plans all in one neat sturdy coaches planner. It is literally everything you need to stay organized for the entire basketball season. You will wonder how you functioned without it. You will find the basketball coaching planner at http://www.coachingplanner.com

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