Scouting - Lacrosse Coach

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Scouting is an integral part of the game- not an after-thought.
Scouting 101
 Scout Yourself First !
Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
 How would someone exploit your squad?
 Use the former head coach ( if not he has not usurped by the
parents*) or a former player.
 The Scout must know your tendencies.
Must be able to observe the opposition always with a mind toward
your squad. Information is helpful only if it is helpful.
• Example: Team A has a goalie that does not clear well. Team B
jumps the Goalie immediately after a save; Your goalie is former all
–Long Lsland & QB - must look for the exploitation outlet, not the
jump –
• Think ahead.
Scouting 101
 Different Coaches – different formats:
 : some coaches use tape recorders, some utilize software
programs. Others still use paper and pencil. How one takes
down the information is less important than the information
Do not prepare a radically different game plan – utilize your basic
sets and tweak, not cannibalize your schemes.
 Too much change will confuse your players. Rather, focus on
aspects of strategy(s) that can take advantage of your opponent.
 Be cunning – not a schemer*
Scouting 101
 Choose the venue based on schedule:
 Grass vs. Turf
 Night game vs. Saturday afternoon
 Home vs. away –
 Know the opposing coach’s philosophy a head of
Up -tempo?
Slow and methodical
Trickster ( ball tricks, quick whistle plays)
Scouting 101
 Check the local paper/on line sources
 preliminary information can be gleaned from the papers
before you personally scout;
 be judicious about the type of information that you glean. Stats
are fine, but a one game statistically basis can be misleading.
 Have a team manager or parent cut out any and all opponent
newspaper write-ups* as this will provide a more balanced
 Obtain a roster
 Nowdays – parents demand them at games and most are on
 Have your AD request one – at the beginning of season
Scouting 101
 Field Conditions: Obviously, take note of the type of
field, the cut of the grass and the size of the field
(there is quite a range by HS rule). These will assist
in determining speed of the players.
Take note as well as the background behind the goals ( it is
tough to play at the Carrier Dome as a goalie and I am told that
one end is tougher than the other) ,
Location of scoreboard
Check and note the lighting – including time of day sunset of
Scouting 101
 A lacrosse program should have a standard format for
Don’t just send an assistant out with a camera and blank sheet of
 Get there early –
Watch warm ups – intensity*
 Note injured players
 Have all the necessary items
 Writing Utensils
 Camera
 Good viewing /no distractions
Scouting 101
 . Timeouts: Not only should the scout use the time
outs to write down their thoughts, but care should be
taken to note how the time out was taken
Was it used to stop momentum?
 Was it used to set up a play? Which one?
 Was it used effectively ?
 Army ,Syracuse come to mind immediately).
Is this a hustling, hard riding opponent?
 Do they utilize a 10 Man ride? When do they employment ( on a
shot? On a ball out of bounds?)
Scouting 101
 What to film?
Depends – How much are you going to watch? Do you show your
 Suggestions
 A quarter- 2nd or 3rd – they are in thick of it
 Faceoff
 Ride
 What to notice?
 OB
 Special set plays
Scouting 101
What to include:
Shooting Chart: All teams have shooting tendencies. A solid scouting report
should include the shooting tendencies of your opponent.
•Where do most shots initiate?
•How accurate are their shooters
A simple shooting chart can be developed
Scouting 101
 Reporting to the team
Create confidence, but don’t oversell.
 Much of coaching engenders and demands loyalty from the players.
To develop loyalty one must be credible. Therefore do not try to
panic or infuse unnecessary worry in your players.
Be realistic – even about winning. Let’s face it, there are some teams
that are bigger, faster and better than yours may be – and no amount
of scouting insight is going to change that; however, in such cases a
good scouting report can help you be competitive.
Don’t Guess! D.M.S.U.
 Players are always seeking an advantage. If a player asks a question
about a team that you have not seen or know if it happen on the
field, don’t pontificate as if you did. “If you didn’t see it, don’t say
Scouting 101
Some scouting reports are too detailed and are left on the lockerroom benches due to their over-load of information**
The power of 2
 1. What do we need to do to beat this team?
a. Keys to Victory (who gets the ball?)
b. What is the focus- what can we do?
c. Possible m2m match ups and what it will
take to stop your man.
 2- What things do we need to cover in practice before we
play them?
Cover them – Don’t practice until you get things right –
practice them until you can’t get them wront
In (during) game scouting
 Use the Assistant Coach/Manager
 Give them an actual assignment
 Faceoff moves
 Identify their rides, clears, EMO
 Use your players
 Scotland vs CW Post.
Scouting 101
 Attack Oriented – solid Offensive middies
 Transition – do not slide up-field
 99 weakest link – look to double if below GLE
 Delay slide to 44
 Middie on Ride – look to utilize 10 man
 The real work comes scouting and in practice
Scouting 101
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