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Football Scouting Methods Paperback – December 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Pub (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578987067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578987061
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

This book caused quite a stir back in 2004 or 2005 when it was mentioned in the media. The author is Steve Belichick the father of Bill Belichick the head coach of the New England Patriots. Steve was a noted scout and coach in his own right back several decades ago. This book was one of the first that I know of that attempted to codify some of the thinking and thought processes that go into scouting football.

Originally teams were allowed a certain number of visits in order to scout the opposition. Steve Belichick was a master at this skill and always found small ways to give his teams an advantage. His skills were passed onto his son Bill who developed an even keener eye for scouting opponents tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.

Today teams of course exchange game film, input data into a computer database and study that content instead of exchanging visits. The basic things they watch for however are still the same although the exact formations and play types change every decade of course. None the less the original questions and points of study that are outlined in this book were influential in their hey day and still of relevance today in concept.

Since the media mentioned this book it has become a hard to find commodity and has become something of a collectors item. I have an old copy that I keep in my football library. The schemes and diagrams are somewhat outdated (e.g. defense examples include a wide tackle six, split six, stacked 6-2, 5-3, and an eagle 5-4 type of alignment. Offense examples include T formations and Winged T alignments) but the basic thought process is still relevant even today.
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I was extremely excited to jump into this book being this was the man who taught Bill Belichick about football. However, as you read the book you realize that a lot of the information is outdated and not applicable to today's game. He mentioned that few teams pass more than they run, and makes numerous reverences to games that took place in the 50's and 60's. Also, the terminology used has its differences as he will reference a nose as a defensive guard among others. Don't get me wrong there are still many valuable tips and important things to learn from this book; just know that there are quite a few pages that won't be useful in today's spread it out, high flying, pass first offenses.
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Great for any coach who wants to learn the more technical side of scouting football teams. It is not hard to read, but you need to spend the time to study this book.

If you really want to take away information and become a better scout, this is the book for you. But as I said you need to study it. Take notes, underline, and reread passages as you need to.
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If you are, hope to be, or want to learn about football scouting, you are doing yourself & the job itself a complete disservice if you do not own a copy & have read (multiple times) this quintessential book on the subject of football scouting. I am straight up not overselling this book AT ALL & any scout that has read this book will almost surely tell you the same thing. Written decades before anyone (outside of maybe college football coaches/scouts) ever knew of or cared about anyone named Belichick, this book was known in scouting circles as THE book on the topic. Well written, concise, easy to follow & incredibly pragmatic in it's methods. Just like the Belichick men themselves.
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Potentially one of the best scouting books ever written. Even though some aspects of it are out of date (when's the last time you referred to the flanker and the split end?) it covers football from A to Z. Really enjoyed it and refer to it a few times each season.
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This book, even though some might say a little outdated, is awesome. We now have many electronic aids that assist us in what Coach Belichick was doing by hand. His insight and thoroughness are exceptional. I indorse his wisdom and detailed approach. I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to "walk the talk" as a coach!
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The book is dated (1960s) so far as the tools used to scout an opponent, but the methods are still solid. Found some practices that will help me with my duties of scouting at the high school level. Belichick definiately knows his stuff.
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Mark Twain famously defined a classic as "a book which people praise and don't read," and I think Steve Belichick's "Football Scouting Methods" fits that definition perfectly. It is one of the greatest books in the football lexicon on how to think about football - players, formations, plays, tendencies, etc. - that has become so ingrained in the world of professional and collegiate football than most coaches do not realize they are adhering to it. I think the reason people avoid reading it is that many of the plays and formations discussed in this book are outdated and the author's dry prose leaves much to be desired. But if you want to understand modern football thinking, including its history and development, then the older Belichick's magnum opus is a must read.
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