I listened to a Podcast of the NFL Show the other day with Mike Lombardi. Lombardi has been in the NFL business over 20 years and has been described by Bill Belichick as one of the smartest people he knows. Lombardi was talking about the 4 different types of scouts in the business of evaluating players and the importance of surrounding yourself with as many P4’s as possible to ensure success in the draft. The different types of scouts were described as follows:
- P1 – the scout who has difficulty recognizing talent,
- P2 – the scout who is a picker, picks one or two bad traits of the player which taints the evaluation,
- P3 – the scout who is focused on production, stats and production form the basis of the evaluation and ranking of the player,
- P4 – the scout who sees a player’s potential given their talent, character and athleticism. The P4 scout is the preferred option in the player evaluation process because no team can afford to pass on quality athletes with strong character and the ability to play the sport and fit into a team environment.
A good example in the NFL is Julian Edelman who played QB at Kent State University. Belichick knew from the scouting evaluations the player was an excellent athlete, smart and of strong character but likely wasn’t going to play in the NFL at the QB position. The scouts got passed the position he was playing and evaluated the player as a prospect and athlete. Belichick told Edelman he would play for him in training camp but they needed to find out which position and training camp would be where this would be sorted out.
In hockey the Giroux-Byron rule in the OHL Major Junior Hockey League is a good example of scouting that focused on player size (P2) affecting the judgement of the evaluation process because neither was believed to be able to play in the OHL given they were both below average size. Both of these players had excellent major junior hockey experiences playing in the Quebec Major Junior League and subsequently in the NHL.
As a player, never let the scouts or the noise of others affect your attitude or desire to succeed and play at the next level. Have the attitude of Champions; you must be optimistic, confident and have the perseverance to believe in yourself and your process. There are a lot of doubters and many skeptics whose opinions don’t really matter. Believe in yourself and stick to your goals and plan. An athlete must be confident, optimistic and have the strength to persevere to reach his/her full potential.