Couple of suggestions (Do’s and Don’ts)

by | Jan 25, 2021

We received some excellent questions in the position modules and wanted to pass along a few notes:

How much film to watch:

You are not mandated to only watch 5 games from 2019. We would never discourage watching more. If you finish 5 games and do not have enough evidence to feel convicted about a grade on a trait, definitely watch more.

Final grading:

We specifically have not asked you guys to create 1 final grade. The 10 individual trait grades are all that are required.

Go Slow:

Every semester we get a few reports by the end of the day on Monday. I assume the thought is that this shows good evaluation skills.

However, it ends up being the opposite. The early reports lack content, context, and formatting as you rarely have enough time to break down 5 games properly, generate notes, convert to our Summary report format and finally submit.

So…..go slow

This process requires more than speed. We are not impressed by the first report in the system. Accurate reports ALWAYS win.

Don’t be afraid to write more:

The goal of your early reports should be to effectively address the 10 traits we are highlighting.

I understand there is a desire to write perfect, condensed reports off the top, but at this point “more is more”. Make sure you have enough content and context with each trait to cover what we are asking for. We can always show you ways to say the same thing in 10 words that you wrote in 40, but if you don’t have all those points in the report, it becomes harder to give teaching points.

When you do make it with a team, they will want reports that are 350 words or less, but right now, while you are learning, don’t stress over word count. We can help you streamline your thoughts after you submit them.

Spelling in your Summary Reports:

Too many of your reports are coming in with multiple spelling errors. I know it is not a requirement, but I HIGHLY recommend that you write your Summary paragraph in a program like Word. This is for 2 reasons:

  1. It allows you to save your own work for reference later on.
  2. It allows you to run a basic spell check on your work.

I fully understand this is not an NFL front office, but I would like you guys to operate as if you were sending this work to a GM. This is not to inflate my ego, but to build muscle memory. You ALWAYS want to submit the best possible version of your work to anyone that will read it. These small details will bite you as GMs lock in on them and assume that if you cannot take the time to spell correctly (or at least spell check). So their thought process will be: if you gloss over spelling words correctly, how many other aspects of the process to you gloss over.

Again, there is not a race. The first guy to grade a player or complete a module is not the winner. QUALITY trumps quantity here and everywhere.

Give every aspect of this process your best and it will reward you.

Completing All Sections of a Report:

After grading reports here over the last few years, I have been surprised by the large number of reports hitting my desk that have blank areas in them. I understand not every section has a * next to it when entering data, but if your goal is to prepare yourself for life in the NFL, let me pass along some advice. Never send anything in that is not 110% complete. Yes, 110%. If you want to separate yourself from the pack, you need to complete every section to the best of your ability and then find other ways of enhancing your work such that it grabs attention.

If you don’t know where to find ‘Games Won’, then use the forums, that is what they are here for. Many other students have been able to find all the information needed and I’m sure they can assist in pointing you in the right direction.

I really need to push all of you to write each report like you are writing to the GM of your favorite team as we may just be able to send your work to him.

Writing Styles:

For many, your exposure to scouting reports is through the draft-nik community as they do a great job of circulating their thoughts and reports. Obviously, our goal is to get you guys more familiar with how to write for teams. With reports that are media generated and consumed by a wide audience, it can help to editorialize your reports and write in a form that is easily digestible to those from all types of football backgrounds. There is nothing wrong with that in their setting, but for our purposes, I want to shift your perspective a bit.

I tend to think of this type of writing like someone in the legal community. Write facts as much as possible, defend arguments with the film, and wrap the whole thing up with your opinion. There is certainly a space for your opinions, but I believe it should come after you lay out the full position of what they CAN and CANNOT do. (with context of course). These reports are your proof of your football acumen and evaluation abilities and as such, you should want them to stand on their own merits.