An Introduction in scouting
In the upcoming blog series, we will write about scouting, we will cover all topics of scouting: what scouting is, where scouting is used, the different goals of scouting, innovations in scouting and we will show you a scouting report.
In the first blog, we will give an introduction to scouting. Meaning that we will explain what scouting is and where and how it is used.
What is scouting?
Scouting involves the process of identifying, assessing, and recruiting players. Scouts are responsible for evaluating players’ skills, potential, and suitability for the organization it’s scouted for. Scouts often attend matches, tournaments, and training to observe players in action. Scouting also includes analyzing players’ technical abilities, tactical understanding, physical attributes, and mental characteristics. The goal of scouting is to find the right fit for the organization.
Scouting has become more and more important in the last decades, this is because it’s a good way for a club to outperform clubs with a higher budget, and also from a commercial point of view to get good economical results. Get a player with potential and develop and sell this player for more money.
Where is scouting used?
Scouting is most frequently used a professional clubs. But also federations, agencies, and even commercial organizations are scouting players. Below we will give an overview of the scouting goals for the different organizations.
1. Professional clubs
Professional clubs have two types of scouting, one is for players at the senior level, the first-team squad, and the second type of scouting is for the youth department.
There’s a difference between scouting for the senior level and for the youth department. But both have one common goal and that is to win games. Scouting for the senior level just means that the scouted player must to be ready to contribute to winning games immediately or in the near future. While scouting for the youth department is investing in the potential of the player so that the club can win games in the future.
But let’s talk shortly about other organizations that use scouting, federations use scouting to select the best possible players for their national teams. Bringing together the best players of a nation can benefit the players a lot. They will get different views from players from different clubs and they get to play on an even higher level than at their clubs.
Scouting the best players of a nation often happens in cooperation with the coaching staff. They will attend league games of players and select the best possible players for the squad.
The goal with scouting for federations is that they will ultimately win Tournaments.
An agency uses scouting because there’s huge economical value in finding the new top talent that will make several transfers and thus bring in a lot of money for the agency. Usually, an agent will attend youth matches to see which player he thinks he can manage.
The agent will then contact the player and/or parents and pitch his plan to manage the career of the player in the best possible way. On the senior level, agents scout more for other clubs. A club has a request for a position and the agent then tries to find the best player for this club. Preferably a player that’s within the agency of the agent. But it also happens that agents work together on deals.
The main benefit of good scouting for an agency is that they will earn more money.
4. Commercial organizations? Nike etc.
Even commercial organizations are using scouting, brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma are all looking at the youngest talents and trying to sign them up for long contracts in the hope that they will become the next superstar and thus a big brand ambassador.
Michael Jordan is one of the best examples of this. Recently a film came out about this sponsor deal and how Nike ‘scouted’ Michael Jordan to be their front figure.
So these are the four organizations that use scouting. All have their own separate interests, but these organizations also have similar interests. All organizations want the best player who performs the best. This will ultimately benefit any organization. But for a club and federation, the main goal is winning games, while for agents and commercial organizations, the main goal is financial.
In the rest of the blog series, we will focus on scouting players for performance on the pitch, not for financial value.