What Do Football Scouts Look For?

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What do scouts look for?

Gala season has started and many junior football teams across the country will spend some of the summer weekends competing in tournaments.

Gala’s are great and it’s normally a very good footballing experience for the players, as well as a generally fun day all round.

With such a high volume of youth players all in once place, gala’s attract a lot of professional football academy scouts. Below we’ve listed a few things that parents can read if you’re interested in knowing what your player can do to stand out.

1. First, and possibly the most important thing, don’t make a big deal of it
Tournaments are meant to be fun and they give the players the chance to experience some competitive action. They’ve got enough on their plate without having the added pressure of worrying about getting scouted. Our advice would be to not even mention it. Word soon gets round when a scout is spotted so the players will be fully aware – if you’re relaxed about it, they won’t think it’s too much of big deal which should hopefully mean they play with less on their mind.

2. What am I doing when I don’t have the ball?
One area you can help with is encouraging good habits during the games. One big thing is what they are doing when they don’t have the ball. Encourage them to track back when the other team has the ball and find space when their team mates have it. Scouts look for intelligence out of possession – its not all about what they do with the ball.

3. Keep the ball moving
An old saying in football that still rings true today. When they receive the ball encourage your player to take a touch in a direction as opposed to stopping it dead and holding up play. It’s looked on very favorably.

4. Pass, dribble or shoot?
Decision-making is becoming more and more prevalent in coaching and scouts look out for what decisions a player makes when they have the ball. Many believe that the player who takes on the most players or scores the most goals will be scouted but that isn’t the case. Promote team play with your player but encourage them to take people on if they need to. If they see a chance for a shot then take it. But if it doesn’t work out – see point 1.

5. Confidence
As a parent you want to encourage your player to express themselves and be comfortable with the ball. Scouts look for players who want the ball and don’t shy away from having it at their feet.

6. Good discipline
Players who deliberately foul, are rude to parents/referees/other players are unlikely to be picked no matter how good they are. It comes down to the scout looking at how coachable a child will be. There’s no point wasting time with someone with a bad attitude. Smile, play fairly and enjoy it.

We hope that has given you a few ideas. As a parent you can help your child in so many ways when it comes to these situations and we feel the biggest thing is simply letting them play with no worries. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. Note how many times the word ‘encourage’ is wrote above.

Enjoy your galas and let us know how your team does.

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World Book Day – A Good One for Parents

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Parents, don’t let your children have all the fun on World Book Day…get involved.

This one is an oldie but a goodie – Mindset by Carol Dweck.

Such an interesting book on, amongst other things, how our words can influence a child’s mindset towards areas such as sport and school subjects.

Your child may not reach their full potential in something because they have a ‘fixed mindset’, in other words they believe you are born with talent and no amount of effort will change their ability.

That is where they’re wrong and the book explains this with some great, real-life examples of how we as parents, coaches and teachers can help children switch to a ‘growth mindset’ simply by changing how we speak to them.

Something as simple as praising effort over the end result can have such a positive impact. This is something that we are big on at Foot-Tech.

We say it all the time, continuous hard-work and effort towards something will bring results. When a child recognises that, and is happy with the challenges that come with developing a skill/learning a new subject etc, they will have so much more chance of reaching their potential.

This book should be mandatory reading for all those, shall we say, more ‘vocal’ Sunday morning football Mum’s and Dad’s!

You can order the book online by clicking here

Enjoy.