December 3, 2004, Newsletter Issue #191: SCOUTING MADE SIMPLE

Tip of the Week

Before you play an opponent, it is a good idea to "scout" them and find out how they play. When doing so, some things to look for might be: your future opponent`s individual tendencies (preferred moves or shooting spots and who are their main players), possible matchups (who on your team will guard who on their team), team offensive tendencies including their fast break, early offense, and pressbreak. Important general items to note might be: 1) how do they start their offense? 2) are they patient? 3) does the offense have any continuity? 4) and do they prefer one side or the other? You probably want to try to diagram some specific plays that were most effective.

You also need to know their defensive tendencies. Will they press? Will they defend you man to man or zone, and if zone-what kind?

Once a team is scouted effectively, whether you saw the team one, two, three/ or more times, how you use the information really varies. Some teams go over all the information in great detail with the players, some post a summary in the locker room or give each player a copy. I like to leave the players with some real general or generic team concepts and immediately before the game hit them with some specific individual tendencies. Importantly, it helps determine an effective practice plan in preparing for that team. But most importantly, I think that it gives the coach some peace of mind in knowing that he has done all that he could do to make sure that his team is going to be the best prepared team that it can be.

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