The best way to get better is practice. I’m going to break this up into three sections, based on what you said.
Practice developing game strategies, and then see how the game actually played out. Pick a previous game you didn’t know much about. Watch the game animation and read the rules, then develop your strategy. Do your best to figure out what types of robots you could expect on your alliance at each level of competition. Once you have all that, go and watch some match video. Watch quals and playoffs from a regional your team traditionally attends. Watch some matches from champs. How does your strategy stack up? How do your predictions of robot designs match up? What did you miss? Repeat this for a different game each week this fall and you’ll be well prepared to develop a strategy when kickoff happens.
Develop a comprehensive scouting system. Something where you put data in and it gives you what you need to know. Excel spreadsheets can work well, especially if you use complex formulas or macro’s. And then work with the rest of your team leadership to create a proper event schedule. Everyone on the team should be scheduled for the entire event. They should know when they need to be in the stands scouting, when they need to be in the pit helping to work on the robot or presenting to judges and spectators, and when they have time to wander around and look at other teams. And then once you have that schedule, hold them to it! Communication at the event is key, having everyone’s cell numbers (and charged cell phones!) is a must.
Also, make sure everyone understands why you’re scouting. What is the benefit? Does the data only get used for alliance selection? Can you integrate the data into your drive team to help inform match performance during quals? Make everyone feel that scouting is not just meaningful, but critical to the success of the team.
Talking with other teams
There’s a fine line to walk between being a pushover and being rude. Read some books on leadership, get some practice giving presentations and talking in front of a group. Learn what subconscious body language means (Seriously… this will tell you so much about how others are feeling about a conversation and help you interact with them better).
When talking with other teams before a match, all of this comes into play - you need to present your strategy, you need to convince the others to follow your lead, you need to be able to respond to them in a way that lets them know you heard them and are trying to work their opinions in. No FRC alliance is a dictatorship, yet when you get to the playoffs you do have an alliance captain that should be providing leadership. Leaders listen, respond, and make decisions, and it’s important not to forget any of those steps. You need to try to make everyone feel like they’ve been heard, even if they chosen strategy isn’t what they want. This is especially difficult during quals, as there is no alliance captain. Everyone shares the goal of winning the match and earning ranking points… but they all differ in wanting to show themselves off as best they can, win or lose. And that difference can be hard to overcome.