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Day 16: Scouting your opponents

By on September 16, 2010 in Resources

"binoculars" by dunkr, via flickr

This article is part of the series “30 days to being a better basketball player“.

When you take to the court to face another team, its useful to know a bit about them first.

Scouting your opponents is the way to do this, and its something you’ve probably already done quite a bit of without even realising it.

Getting out and scouting is not just the coach’s responsibility, but everyone on the team, so here are some tips on getting to know your opponents:

  1. Gather general information about the team being scouted before the game (from local newspapers, internet sites, other coaches, etc…)
  2. Arrive early to the game.
  3. Grab a program or, if none is available, get the players’ numbers from the scorers table prior to tip-off.
  4. Sit high enough on the stands to see the floor well. Midcourt is better than on the baseline too.
  5. If possible, sit alone to avoid all distractions.
  6. Watch and observe the pregame warmups.
  7. Watch the game, and once you’ve got a feel for the players, take decent notes on their strengths and weaknesses individually and as a team – then make a point of reviewing the notes later.

This is a summary from HoopsU. If you’re looking for more detailed guidelines, see HoopsU’s excellent in-depth article  – “Basketball Scouting Guidelines”

If you’re looking for a scouting template/form to help take notes,  here’s one from that should help you.

At the end of the day, you’ll have an advantage if you know something about your opponent. Or you can always just walk into the game unprepared and take your chances. It’s your choice.

"A Basketball Game" by jurvetson, via flickr

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