1. Be Concise
2. Be the Smartest Guy in the Room
Being Concise – Succinct, yet thorough. Your guys will only be able to take in so much information. Given only 2-3 days for preparation, it is best to assume that the majority of the players are going in to the game blind to personnel & style of play of the opponent. When going over personnel articulate to the players who they are guarding in words that they can understand (varies from player’s basketball IQ) – keep in mind that language will differ from program to program based on how you interact your guys on a daily basis. An example for preparing against a big that is left-handed and strong I may say something in regards to, “Left-handed big that has tendencies to drop-step going over his right shoulder. Strong post-player that will look to establish angles to create easy buckets, push him off the block to make him work harder to getting to the rim.” Hopefully, from just those 2 lines the guy that we have matched up against the left-handed post player understands that he prefers the drop step move over his right shoulder & to focus his efforts on making him catch it further away from the basket. Throughout the game adjustments are going to be needed, but my goal is to not occupy the player’s minds with a bunch of specifics to the extent that it limits them. When working at the University of Florida basketball camp Billy Donovan came out to demonstrate a few drills that he incorporates with his guys during practice. One of the things that he mentioned during demonstration was how they prepare their guys game-to-game. He said (paraphrasing), “We like to give our guys 2-3 points of emphasis before every game, that way it is clear to the team what are our expectations & what we believe are significant to us being successful on that given night.”
Smartest Guy in the Room – When it is your scout, own it. Players, coaches, and even people within the athletics office will want the inside scoop asking you questions about the upcoming game. It is your job to confidently respond with an answer to the extent of your knowledge and in coordination with the gameplan that has been prepared. If there are things that you did not look into (there shouldn’t be), then make it a point to find out. During practice and more importantly during games, players and coaches are going to look for recommendations or reminders for what to expect. There will not be an opportunity to shuffle through handouts to find the play ran most often after timeouts. Take pride in knowing that it could be the preparation you provide in conjunction with the execution the team exhibits that will determine the outcome of the game.
Despite my post not following my own advice to being concise, nor do I expect out of all the readers to be the smartest guy in the room. If I can say anything to summarize – do your due diligence scouting & brevity with clarity when passing the information along to the team.