Motivation for scouting?


We tell our scouts each year about how key scouting is to our continuing success and giving them specific examples. This year, we kicked it off at Utah picking 399 based on data from the last 6 matches after they tanked the first 2, and 1410 off exchange and driveability data. We celebrated that we continually got one of our top 5 (usually higher) 2nd pick choices in every competition this year. Sharing these results with our scouts demonstrates the value of their work, which is just as important as our pit and drive teams.

Scouting data is what was the edge for our breakthrough in 2013 (as a 1717 mentor told me) and is what keeps us even with other teams that have deeper technical mentor resources.


As many others have said already, make sure the team recognizes the importance of scouting and make sure they realize that scouting isn’t just what they’re stuck doing because they’re not on the drive team or pit crew. They should know that what they’re doing is critical to the team doing well at the event.

Something that we did was not only use the data for picklists, but we also used it to determine qualification match strategy. We don’t usually play defense these days, but there were a couple of matches where it strategically made sense to do so based on our data.

While I’m here, I’m also going to +1 to the food comments. At times, that’s honestly what kept me motivated as the team’s lead scout. Providing lots of food to hungry students will go a long way.


No offense, I completely disagree with this approach. The best way to get good scouts who will pay attention to important details in play is to have them truly invested and interested in the game and robot. Trying to use food to “motivate” scouts doesn’t make them actually enjoy strategy or attempt to conduct it to the level of a top team, but rather makes it a task that simply acts as a prerequisite to food. It’s like giving candy to children for simply completing an assignment, regardless of the quality of it. Will the child make attempts to improve? Of course not. Second, if the senior members don’t enjoy it, pretending that they enjoy it will suck for them, and I doubt that it’ll make the other scouts more motivated. If the senior members don’t enjoy it/aren’t interested in it, why are they on strategy anyway?


You make a really valid point. From my experience people who actually enjoy what they do are best at it. Especially when it comes to things that most consider “boring.” If they know the importance of the scouting, I feel like that would be a much better motivator than making them do something they feel is pointless.


Thank you!

Sorry for the late reply. But yes, that’s what I started trying to do. I made alliances with 2 other teams, and so we only need 7 people in the stands collecting data- 3 from their team, 4 from ours. So far, we only put this in use at a preseason event, and just wanna thank you for this.



I see the fault in this approach. However, my team is around 50 active members currently. Usually, only 30 of them show up to competition, and we had it so that everyone had to scout- regardless of how much one actually liked it. Veteran members of our team would often avoid the stands, and it got to the point where there were 2 stand set ups at a competition, scouts and people sleeping. I was usually double scouting (horrible data reliability)

Instead, we made a scouting alliance with other teams, and that seems to be working out (as of a preseason competition)



Cool. I think the goal is to become an alliance facilitator rather than joining one. It would be cool to develop some white papers that outline best practices. I was entirely impressed with how 1810 treated us, made data available, etc. I’m drawing blank on our Wisconsin alliance lead but they were good but not as thought out.


For Skunk Works (FRC 1983), we try to make the scouting experience as smooth and easy as possible. We write our own scouting app for our tablets (but is scalable for any format). We make the interface as user-friendly but flexible as possible. Scheduling the scouting so nobody has to scout for more than an hour will reduce stress and frustration. As for motivation, that must be done prior to the competitions. Keep stressing the importance of scouting and why accurate, significant data is crucial to a successful season. It helps to explain your metrics and some of the technical aspects of the analysis to inspire interest and excitement. The more they know, the more they’ll be interested and want to contribute.


I think for atleast this year, we want to avoid electronic scouting. Personally, as the person running it, the fact that there is no wifi/sync method is discouraging. However, it’s gaining popularity, and as an off season project, my teammates are working on a bluetooth connectivity raspberry pi version. (I’m not sure, I’m not technical, and have an extensive amount of other projects. I should learn sometime though).

Last year, my team went to Worlds, and this taught many the importance of scouting. It is still frowned upon, due to scouting still just being manual labor. We have presentations that explain the absolute importance of scouting (Daly Division, 2018 Detroit, Alliance 1 v 8, and Alliance 8 won, partially due to bad scouting) However, they often don’t capture the rookie’s attention. Especially when we have technical projects going on during the side. How did you explain it to your team?