How to use Video scouting
In the last blog, we talked about the first step in scouting. After the data scouting, a number of players are selected that come up through the data. But as said earlier, there are a lot of things the data is not telling you, that’s why in the second step of the scouting process, there will be done video scouting.
Why do clubs video scout?
Video scouting is done to confirm or invalidate the data. Video scouts watch the player that comes out of the data scouting selection process and see if there are things that the data doesn’t show. This can be a central defender who has a high passing accuracy, but only plays the simple option or a striker that doesn’t score a lot but makes very good runs without getting the ball. The video also tells things that are not measured in the data, when the ball is not close. Just like tackles, aerial duels, shots, and many other data points are important. It’s just important to see the things that are happening without the ball. In most of a 90 minutes match, a player doesn’t have the ball, so his behavior in these situations is just as important. Video is the perfect tool for this because you can pause the video and look again and again.
How do scouts use video?
So we established that data scouting is the selection process and video scouting is more in-depth. Video scouting is often done in combination with a video platform. These are platforms that have big databases of video clips of all professional players in the world. In many of the competitions, these video clips are already coded and ready to be watched.
This means that you can select video clips of only the tackles or aerial duels of a player or only the dribbles or passes. This makes the scouting easier and faster. Scouts use this to see if the data that they deemed important within the playing style of the team is telling us the same as the video clips. For example, why is the striker not scoring enough goals from crosses? Is the striker positioned in the right way in the box, but he doesn’t get the ball or is he missing a lot of chances from good crosses? The video shows this. After this part of the video scouting, the scouts will watch several whole matches of a player, to see if there’s anything else that they notice about the player. Because most pre-selected video clips by these platforms are situations with the ball, while it’s also important to watch what a player is doing without the ball.
So video scouting is more based on opinion and what a person sees, but a good scout will see things here that don’t come back in the data. The better scouts also don’t base their opinion on a couple of matches. They will make profiles for the player and collect video clips over a longer period of time. In this way, you get a list of video clips, which shows the qualities of the player, but also show the development or stagnation of a player.
The second thing video scouting is used for is to show it to the coaching staff and decision-makers. We all know the saying an image says more than a thousand words. Well, this is true for scouting as well. You can show people all the data, but one or two video clips of a situation in a match can tell a Sports Director or Head Coach a lot more.
What videos do scouts watch?
For a scout, it’s very easy to get caught in the highlight film of a player. Seeing all the good actions a player has done, all the goals he scored, or all the saves he made. But a good scout watches all the videos with the playing style of the team in mind and without result-orientated thinking, a defender can make a great interception, but maybe it was not the right decision to step in. In the video clip, it might have looked spectacular, but in the long run, this scout knows that this will cause problems. As we talked about earlier, the playing style of the club and the type of player play a huge factor in what you scout and also in what video the scouts watch. A scout will look for situations that will happen in the playing style that their club is playing in. He will then look at the player’s behavior and if this is in line with what the club and coaching staff wants of the player in this position.
Another type of video a scout watches is of different opponents in different formations. Does the player have the ability to recognize different types of formations and playing styles and how does he deal with this? Does he change his playing style to who his opponent is?
The last thing video is used for is to see the character of a player, does he coach his players, how he responds to the referee, and what is his reaction when losing a game. All these are important things to know and look for, as they can tell a lot about a player and can determine a player’s success at a club.
As you see video scouting is an important step in the process of scouting a player. If the scout is still positive about this player after this step, then they go to the next and last step in scouting. Which is the live scouting of a player. We will talk about this in the next blog.