CHOOSING A CAREER / FEB. 25, 2015
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How to Become a Sports Scout in the US

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It takes a great deal of scouting and coaching to assemble a sports team that is capable of beating opponents and winning trophies. Sports Scouts are the professionals with an eye for talent and potential. They identify athletes and try to get them join a particular team.

What Do Sports Scouts Do?

In detail, they perform the following duties:

  • Analyzing the weaknesses of a sports team to get a general idea of the positions that need strengthening
  • Attending matches to identify talented, gifted and skilled players
  • Operating radar guns (Equipment used to measure the speed of athletes)
  • Watching videos of the players that are being scouted
  • Holding discussions with the athlete to determine whether he or she has the willpower to succeed
  • Compiling reports about the athletes and presenting it to coaches and team managers
  • Initiating contractual talks with the scouted athletes

Work Environment

Sports Scouts tend to have irregular work schedules. Although a typical workday may begin at 9am, they could find themselves attending matches that are played during the evening hours. Weekend work is quite common since many sports competitions are held on Saturdays and Sundays.

Scouts who work for professional sports teams often travel extensively, as they often scout players in foreign countries.

Salary

Sports scouts earn as follows:

Level of seniority

Annual Wage

Starting sports scouts

$17,340 -$19,330

Experienced scouts

$29,150- $46,190

Scouting managers

$66,830

Source: Sokanu

Entry Requirements

To become a sports scout, you must be passionate about a particular sport. For instance, if you want to become a football scout, then you must be a football enthusiast.

Because employers prefer individuals with some relevant training, you should pursue at least an associate’s degree in sports management, sports science, physical education or sporting or a closely-related field. Although many institutions offer these programs, it is essential to peruse through their curriculum to find one that offers coursework in athletic performance analysis.

The Scouting Academy also offers a training program designed to nurture scouts for teams that play in the National Football League

If you have previously played a sport at a profession level, you may use your sporting experience to land this job.

Important Qualities

Beyond the passion, training and experience, you need the following skills to be a competent sports scout:

  • A sharp eye for talent
  • Strong analytical skills to assess players’ abilities
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Good business skills
  • Excellent decision-making skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good concentration skills
  • Good observation skills
  • Good networking skills

Career Development

In the early days of your career, you may begin as an amateur or volunteer scout, working for local sports teams. As you gain more experience and build industry contacts, you can be hired by professional sports teams as a scouting assistant, after which you can work your way up.

Thereafter, you can join the National Collegiate Scouting Association to interact with other scouts. NCSA welcomes scouts in various sporting fields, from baseball and softball to swimming.

The employers of sports scouts include:

  • Professional sports teams
  • Schools
  • Amateur sports teams
  • Private athletic clubs

With vast scouting experience, and probably after delivering several talented players, you may advance to become the team’s scouting manager or director. Some experienced scouts pursue additional training in coaching to become team coaches.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics project a faster-than-average job growth (15 percent) for coaches and scouts through 2022. This growth stems from Americans’ increasing interest in college and professional sports.

Finally, there are several ways to get involved in your favorite sport. And being a sports scout is one of the best ways to earn a living from your passion for the sport!

Have you ever worked as a sports scout? What was your experience? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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