Director of the Scouting Academy and ITP contributor Dan Hatman has written ten short pieces using Matt Miller’s tweet list as inspiration, hoping to illuminate readers on aspects of the scouting and player evaluation business that are misunderstood, glossed over, or ignored. This is Part 10, We All Make Mistakes.
Paul Warfield’s famous saying ‒ “it was right there, on film” ‒ was made after coach Blanton Collier pointed out a mistake the Hall of Fame receiver made running the wrong route. Great players learn from mistakes, and so do great talent evaluators. As discussed in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9 of this series, there are so many factors to consider when scouting players that it is imperative to constantly refine the your process.
Matt Miller’s ’10 Scouting Rules’ tweet captures the process-based approach scouts can mimic to find success. Miller is a transparent evaluator who has laid out the details of his process before, and shines light on many of the philosophies commonly used by the pros. This series aims to provide a starting point for delving into evaluation, showcasing the processes aspiring scouts can use to make reports and opinions as thorough and professional as possible.
When you’re wrong, and you will be, admit it and learn from it. Self-study is crucial.
You are going to be wrong about your evaluation of many players. Say it to yourself. Say it again. Your pursuit is perfection, and as Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
Your focus should be on developing an evaluation process that is in a constant state of refinement; looking to uncover one more piece of context, one more source of quality data, one more way of understanding how the human being you are watching play this game will execute in the future.
Since part of a scout’s role is projection, you need to take time each year for self-study. An objective look at your misses, working to uncover exactly what went wrong and instituting new practices that will prevent it from happening in the future. If you attack this process with that attitude, you will develop into a successful evaluator, one capable of projecting NFL success.
Follow Dan on Twitter @Dan_Hatman