USA Basketball teams utilize FastModel Sports elite coaching products to distribute video and other data to players and coaches.
by Tom Carothers
From radio to television, pay phones to cell phones, typewriters to computers, technology has made the spread of information faster and better.
The sport of basketball also has continued to innovate and advance over the years since James Naismith nailed up the first peach basket. Technology has advanced how the game is played and will continue to do so.
To this end, USA Basketball has partnered with FastModel Sports in order to refine how its teams can continue to improve. FastModel’s automated platforms, which include FastScout Pro, FastDraw, and ProspectView software, helped the U.S. win gold in this past summer’s Olympic Games, and currently are assisting the men’s and women’s teams in preparing for the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers.
“FastModel is providing a scouting tool for USA Basketball that uses technology in a digital format for us to organize scouting reports, as well as organizing and editing clips to get them to players and coaches,” said Sean Ford, USA Basketball Men’s National Team director. “Typically, a scouting report is put together, typed up and distributed. What FastScoutPro does for USA Basketball is create a digital form of that report and distribute it through an app so it can be seen on a tablet or phone. It makes it much easier for everyone to review it.”
Increasing Efficiency for USA Basketball
FastScoutPro takes the traditional paper scouting report and makes it available digitally to players and coaches through the FastModel app. Rather than physically compiling and handing out a report at a team meeting, now a wealth of information can be instantly made available to players and coaches wherever they may be to evaluate at their convenience.
In addition to simply providing scouting reports detailing the basics such as starters/reserves, strengths/weaknesses and statistics, FastScoutPro can include video clips of an upcoming competitor’s plays and players creating comprehensive game plans with video, stats, shot charts and strategies all in one place.
“I would definitely say my job is much more efficient now,” said Cole Miller, USA Basketball video coordinator for the November 2021 FIBA Americas Men’s World Cup Qualifying games. “It definitely made it much easier to disperse the video and info. I just enjoy it a lot more now. One thing that stuck out to me right away was just how fast I can get it to the coaches and players. I think they like it a lot because they can pick exactly what they want to see, and I can share exactly what they want. They don’t have to sort through a lot of video and data. They can get it tailored exactly how they want.”
In the past, scouting reports often would have to start over from the beginning as international teams feature an assortment of personnel that can rotate depending on the competition.
Through FastScoutPro, USA Basketball is able to collect a repository of a competitor’s players and staff and build reports based on who the team actually will be facing in the next game.
“We can keep these saved by country, as well as by competition,” Ford said. “For example, we played Mexico in the November window, and then also will be playing Mexico in February. We will have these scouts saved digitally in our FastScout Pro account so we can look back on Mexico’s team as well as each player. They may not have the same 12 players every time we play them, but we continue to build files on the players each time we do, so we’re not always starting from scratch. The more consistency we can create with coaches and players changing, the more it helps. Now we have that infrastructure.”
In the year that USA Basketball’s has been partnered with FastModel, not only has the team gained in the insight it has of the competition, but also in the strengths and weaknesses of its own talent.
Preparing Players At All Levels
From the national team, down to junior and developmental teams, FastModel is helping coaches teach their players how to better play the game. Building on in-person teaching, coaches are able to share video clips of players in all aspects of their time on the court.
“Our coaches can edit clips of shots, assists, turnovers, or anything that occurs during practice or in a game, and send them to players with notes on what they did right and what they can improve on,” Ford said. “Players can call up the clips on their tablet or their phone and learn visually so they can improve for next time.”
The new system has been well received by players and coaches alike. With both the men’s and women’s teams winning gold at the Tokyo Games, the results speak for themselves.
“It’s a little bit of a different dynamic, but it is very neat and efficient,” Ford said. “FastModel allows our players a lot of visual learning that they really connect with.”
Tom Carothers is a freelance contributor to USAB.com on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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