Your pretty good on the field. Your ball handling skills are worth a comment or two, your location is decent as is your velocity. On the field, when called upon to take a second position, you can hold your own without question. At bat, pretty good numbers and your form isn’t all that bad either.
There are many levels of scouting - not all are of the pro-scout image that you might have in your head. Amateurs as well as those that get paid to do this job, graze the ball diamonds during the season(s) and pass on comments to those that need such information.
So, besides the ball handling skills that are customary and expected, there are other characteristics that you should have on the shelf.
Why? Read on…
Let’s say you’re a scout. You’re sent to watch a youngster on any given day, and today’s the day. You check into a motel, get something to eat, unpack your bags, look at your map and directions to the park that you want to go, get into your car - or call a taxi, and off you go.
Up to this point - here’s what you’ve done.
- You’re being paid to be where you are.
- You’re being paid - reimbursed for the motel room, food, an expense voucher for gas/taxi.
- You’re opinion(s) are worth reading and you’re respected as worth in your profession.
Ok, you get to the park, settle in - and there the youngster is. This is the one to watch.
Here’s what you take note of:
- Very well qualified for what your interested in, skill wise.
- Strong, very good speed, good baseball instincts, tough kid.
- Foul mouth, takes advantage of less talented teammates with crude remarks.
- Slams helmet down after striking out, tosses bat on the ground.
- Sour grapes antics at umpires.
- Has friends meet on the side of bench during the game and laughs and jokes.
- Makes “cat calls” and off-color remarks towards the other team.
- During the lineup after the game for shaking hands, twists the hands of the other team’s players.
After the game, you’ve seen what you came to see. You arrive back at your motel, get something to eat, then settle into your room for report time.
Here’s what you must consider - based on what you saw:
- Will your organization be served by the contributions of this player?
- Will you qualify every aspect of what you saw - talent and other actions?
- Will you be supporting the person that you report to if you focus only on the playing skills?
- Was this trip worth it - time and money wise? **
- There was another youngster, not as talented - but, with a little time and effort could be brought along - would you include that youngster in your reporting?
I should note that this is not an unusual experience for scouts - amateur or professional. And although your not aware of the total scouting environment and what wraps around this work - use what you would reason out.
In my response to this situation, I’ll fill in some of the blanks.
DON’T FOCUS ON WHAT YOU THINK A SCOUT’S JOB IS - focus on what you might do.
** This is something that your not expected to know.