Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – How Scouting Works Part Two

So it is to be seen that my last report created much discussion and to receive several emails on the subject.  Perhaps some did not get the understanding of what I was saying, or perhaps some simply do not want to get the understanding.  To me it matters not that some do not want to understand but does matter that some want to understand more clearly.

So, to understand more clearly, the point of my last report was to focus on the disadvantage of the thinking that “video scouting” would amount to actual opportunity.  It is the scouting that is done in person that is actually what people at the highest levels of hockey rely on when making player decisions.

Video scouting is not what the professional uses.  The professional watches the players in person and uses video only to verify what they may have seen in person.  Video will never take the place of actual watching in person.

To be more clear, paying to be listed in some scouting report, or thinking that sending video will get the job done for you is a fools way of thinking.

When I say produce, you must produce.  Anyone who says numbers will not make a difference has no clue about how the system works.  Numbers get people attention.  Whether the numbers tell the whole player story or not is up to the person looking at the numbers.  But the numbers alone can get the scout interested enough to come and watch you in person.

If the scout does not know you, or the team does not know you, the first thing they will do is look at your numbers.  If your numbers are not good, and there is no person to contact who can explain those numbers, then those numbers can be used against you as much as they can be used to help you.

The defense player who say they are shot blocking stay at home player but is a minus 10 have a lot of explaining to do compared to the defenseman who say he is stay at home and is a plus 5.  Which player do you think the scout want to go watch first?  Does that tell whole story on the player? No of course not, but it does influence the scout.

If the player say he is play maker yet has only 20 points in 40 games, but another has 30 points in 40 games, who is the scout going to watch first?  Of course it matter if one player have better support players, but scout will not know simply from receiving the resume with the stats and the video.  So anyone who say production does not matter, does not know how scouting work.

Of course there are the good player on the bad team.  It happens all the time.  But that player still make play that people talk about in scouting circles that get him noticed.  Because he is seen, he can over come some of the “on paper” numbers.

It is the scout job to pick out the player with the upside, the growth to be predicted.  Any person can write about who they think will be good in a game based on news report or press release.  It is the hype machine.  It takes the professional, with many years of the seasoning in the game to identify the player that is special, or the player that people miss.

The elite player is the easy one to find.  He makes everyone better and will dominate on the paper and in person.  It is the second and third groups of player below him that the professional make his living finding.  Those player are what build the championship team and have the meaningful career in a specific role.

There are very few super star player.  Anyone who can read can figure that player out.  It is the majority of the player that need to be seen to create the opportunity, and for that, you must produce.  You must always be aware of your surrounding, and you must never think that email, video or resume will be enough.  Never take the shift off, you never know whos watching.

Coach

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