How To Run A Football Scout Team (Part 2)

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jul 28, 2023
Coach Driven

This is a continuation of a three part series on how to run a football scout team. Yesterday we looked at the upfront football practice preparation that needs to go into running a good look team. Today we will look at the process after you get to the field.

Before we do that though, I want to point out that there are certainly different levels of time and resources that can be devoted to practice prep. If you are at a Power 5 program you may actually have meetings with your scout team before you go to practice.

You read that right. Some schools will have a film session so the scout team can look at the team they will be emulating. A graduate assistant will walk the look team through the cards they will be running at football practice that day.

Odds are you don’t have these resources. It’s another good reason to use FirstDown PlayBook. It will allow you to get your practice cards ready in less time. This permits a high school coach to actually spend time with their players instead of over a practice card.

Have a Plan For Your Practice Vests, Jerseys or Skull Caps Before You Need Them

The first thing you must do when you get to the field is locate and organize your practice vests, jerseys or skull caps. If you do not do this you are already fighting an uphill battle. You will spend half of the actual team period looking for and putting the practice vests or skull caps on. This never makes a head coach or coordinator happy. It’s always a good idea to recruit a manager or student assistant to help you out with this. If you do not have a manager, injured players can also be utilized.

This way the ball can be spotted and the practice vests can be laid out on the ground prior to the team period. Whatever the case, the football scout team needs to understand to get those vests on quickly. It has to be coached just like anything else in football. You want to get that first scout team card up in front of them as quickly as possible.

Football Practice Scout Team

Once you get that card up in front of your scout team you are in full blown coach mode. You don’t have time to coach everyone but you pick out a key part of the card to emphasize. You should have notes on each card to remind you. All of this has to happen quickly. You are going to give them a snap count (preferably your opponent’s if you know it) and break the huddle.

Your Football Scout Team Has To Get In & Out Of The Huddle Quickly

The look team should hustle to the line of scrimmage and get set. Once again, everything is done with a sense of urgency. As the play is run, you are already getting to the next card. When the whistle blows, ending that practice play, you immediately should be getting your players back to the huddle. You cannot waste valuable football practice time walking back to the huddle.

The same is true if you are running a defensive scout team. Your card should show the scout team the play that will be run against them. That card should also show the linebackers and defensive backs how you want them to react. Once again, you are running a look team. You don’t want your football scout team defense stationary when the ball is snapped because your opponent certainly won’t be on Friday. All of this can and should happen at full speed.

Your Football Scout Team Period Will Look Like A Well Oiled Fire Drill

Regardless of if you are running an offense, defense or special teams look team you have to be ready for the inevitable do over. It might be something your scout team did but it can also be something the coordinator wants to correct with the starters. Having said this you should be able to get through a 10 play script in 15-20 minutes at the very least. At the college level, it should be 10-15 minutes.

As you can imagine, when done correctly, this will look like a well oiled fire drill. Coaches and players all in constant motion. A lot of teaching and coaching on the move. What can’t be taught or corrected at that moment will be coached up off of video.

Jump back over here tomorrow as we finish this series up with some common mistakes that we hope you will avoid when you are running your scout team this season.

Harlod Goodwin