In the days leading up to an event, one thing that should always be done is to prep your scouting materials, which can include the following things:
- Stand scouting sheets (explained below)
- Pit scouting sheet (explained below)
- Team List (Optional)
You should at least have some pit scouting sheet that has all the info that you would like to know about a robot, and use this to find out info on other teams. I do this, but I also prefer first-hand data, which I will talk a bit about below. If possible, I also like to have a grip on the teams that will be there, like things that are nice to know if they are on your alliance and if they are against you. This means that, if you can (ie you have the time and the videos are available), watch match videos of the other teams at your event.
At the event, if possible, have people in the stands watching matches and recording data for the teams in those matches. You can do this electronically or via paper (for a team new to scouting I would reccomend paper, which we still use). The way that we like to set up our sheets is that we have one sheet for every team and enough places on the sheet to track your wanted data for 12 matches. I would reccomend that you at least get some data like this, even if you can’t have 6 students in the stands watching matches for the entirety of the event.
One note on this is that if you decide to use stand scouting, give your scouters some breaks. For example, we have our scouters on a rotation, so they only have to scout about 15 matches per rotation. It is difficult to get good data if your scouters are burnt out of scouting.
For this setup, you also need to have a person in the stands that is managing all of these papers. As in, they prep the papers for the matches so the scouters can get a paper and watch, without worrying about getting the right paper. This person is also responsible for providing data for the strategy person on your team (who might be the same person) to come up with strategies to propose to alliance partners.
A final comment on this: your scouters will probably not be able to see the direct effects of their scouting. So, when your team does well because of something that they did, make sure to point that out to them so that they feel that their contributions matter. It’s a good way to keep morale in the stands high.
As to your other question: if you want to get picked, you have to prove your worth on the field. In addition, be nice to all of your alliance partners because you never know. Another option for this is to do one thing really well, especially if that thing is in high demand. For example, if your driver is really good at playing defence, show that off, because other teams will take notice.
If you have any questions about this, feel free to respond and I can answer them.