Major professional sporting leagues are becoming year round endeavors for their fanbases. Following amateur drafts has increasingly become as important to many fans as the season itself. For many casual fans, player analysis seems fun, but can be intimidating to those without experience and knowledge. Fanteractive.com offers an easy and fun way to get started scouting players for multiple sports as part of a larger community. As football is the most popular sport for scouting amateur players in the US, and the next major draft, this article will focus on using fanteractive to scout amateur football players.
Scouting doesn’t need to be intimidating. Like most every other skill success is simply a matter of putting in the time and finding the correct information. Many people, incorrectly, believe, that a history as a player is required to start scouting, but rarely do scouts look at game film in the same way that opposing coaches and players do, at least at the amateur level. That is not to suggest that the unique understanding of the game cannot only acquired by playing is not a benefit, on the contrary, it is. But it is only one aspect that makes a good scout.
For the burgeoning amateur scout, or the casual fan, a good place to start is with Fanteractive’s positional scouting guide articles. (linked below)
These are very rough guides designed to help the beginner scout, but are also (very broad) concepts used by professional scouts (though applied much more specifically and with greater nuance.)
Relying on the television broadcasts can be limiting for scouts, who need to know as many prospects intimately as they can. Therefore finding alternative sources for video tape is paramount. Many of the top rated, and most well known, college prospects have their tape at Draft Breakdown. Some others can be found on youtube or other sources. Be warned, however, that using “highlight tapes” to scout isn’t advisable as they are, obviously, only the best plays for a certain player.
The most important thing to remember when scouting players is that no one is perfect and everyone gets better. The best scouts realize this and work accordingly.