It goes without saying that no single format for scouting fits all situations, but there should be standard that you go by that works for you. This will allow for a variety of scouts observe opponents, these scouts may be parents, friends, injured players or anybody who wants to help your team win. All the scouts should be looking for and recording the same type of information. It is easy to just send a volunteer with a camera and blank sheet of paper, but being that you may not always be able to get a camera to a person, and being that for most of us coaching is not our full time job, you may not have time to watch the entire game, not to mention that uploading video is not always a seamless process.

If you can get film and have time to watch that is great. But it is much easier to get some basic facts that can be sent to you via text or e-mail.

In this post we will look at defense. I will make another post offensive, riding and clearing recommendations.

Sample Defensive Recommended Areas of Concern:

  • Do they press out adjacent? How far? Is there a specific point where they tend play the ball carrier? Coaches tend to give there defense rules which can be identified.
  • Do they slide effectively if at all? Coaches want their kids to support and and play team defense. But it should not be assumed that all actually do it.
  • Is there a specific call for Man or Zone?
  • Do the change match ups or the defense off of a dead ball? Many coaches love the dead-ball as an opportunity to change their defense or try some gimmicks (including myself) as changing on the fly, especially at the younger levels can be challenging .
  • Do they double?
  • Do they force the offensive player down the side or into the middle?
  • Where is their strongest defender?
  • Where is their weakest player?

Sample Coaching Notes

  1. Tight Man to man at 20 yards and near hash marks;
  2. Their objective is to force ball down the alley. Long poles did this well. Short sticks regularly gave up a top side sweep.
  3. D mid plays solid technique
  4. Slide is adjacent- 2nd slide attempts to come from the crease by they struggle with it
  5. Best defender is #21 the long pole middle
  6. Short sticks deny the adjacent pass.
  7. Ask for specific facts! You do not want somebody to go as a critic or a fan of the opposing team.