My name is Martin Knowles, and I’ve been an Opposition Analyst for over 20 years, working for various clubs at every level of the footballing pyramid. In 2019, I launched The Scouting Directory as a platform to help Scouts find all the information and help they may need in their Scouting roles.
Here at The Scouting Directory, we are constantly getting asked which Education Courses currently available are the most informative, the best value for money, and which courses we would recommend.
Having completed most courses, from various companies, The Scouting Directory, and myself personally fully endorse and support IPSO, and have no hesitation in recommending them to both experienced and novice Scouts. Whether you want to pursue Talent ID, Player Assessments or Opposition Reporting, IPSO will have a Workshop or Course available to help you get the right teachings.
IPSO have created a Learning Pathway, which is beautiful in it’s simplicity, but so effective at delivering the right courses to the right people, at the right time.
I have completed all eight workshops, and having worked in the game for over twenty years, naively thought I knew most of what there was to know, but the way the IPSO team present these two hour workshops left me amazed.
The first Workshop, “Investigating Bias” is an absolute MUST for any scout at any level. All Scouts will think they have no Bias when writing reports, myself included, but this was a real eye opener, and the attention to detail IPSO deliver leaves the learner a much better Scout than when they started. I personally learnt a great deal in the two hours, and it left me wanting to try the other Workshops and follow the IPSO Pathway.
Having been an Opposition Scout, I naturally assumed I could spot a talented player when I saw one, but the second workshop (Evaluating Youth Players & Team Shapes), even though only an introduction, showed me there were many many factors to take into account when being a Talent ID Scout for youth players, and again, the attention to detail IPSO go into had me amazed at all the tiny details that may seem insignificant, but can infact have a massive impact on a players ability to progress through the youth system.
This workshop is the perfect introduction to the IPSO Talent ID Course. Spread over three sessions (2 four hours or 1 eight hours), the level of information you gain is second to none. I then participated on the TID 6-23’s course. On the course I attended, there were Scouts who specialize in Talent ID, and they were blown away by the detailed information being delivered. Our tutor, delivered the course in a clear concise manner, and interspersed with relatable stories from his own extensive experience, and these really illustrated the point he was making, making learning easier and more fun. I have completed other companies Talent ID courses, and whilst these courses will teach you the basics, IPSO takes it to the next level. Every element of Talent ID is covered, and the course is structured in such a way, that more information is packed into this one course, than other companies fit into two or three courses. The value for money is unbelievable.
“Exploring Detailed Player Analysis” is the third Workshop, and again leads into the Level One First Team Scouting Course perfectly. This level 1 Course teaches you all about Scouting at a First team level. You learn every aspect, with an incredible attention to detail of what’s needed to become a first team scout. I don’t want to give anything away, but can honestly say this is the best course of its type currently available, and is levels above other courses available. Spread over three separate sessions, again, it is packed from start to finish with more detailed information than other Level 1, 2 and 3 Courses currently available. Complex scouting procedures and techniques are broken down and explained in a simplistic way. Great hints and tips are exchanged by tutors and students, and this again makes the whole learning experience enjoyable.
Workshops 5-8 are position specific, and IPSO bring in guest tutors who have played at the highest level in these positions. On the workshops I attended for example, we had a Goalkeeping Coach currently working at the highest level in the game, and a Central Defender who has played at International level. This adds credence to the whole experience, and just confirms everything you learn from IPSO is from the very top levels of the game.
All in all, I personally believe, IPSO are the best out there. Not only in terms of what you learn, but in the way you learn. All the tutors are true professionals, and having worked in the Pro game themselves, they are well equipped to answer any questions, and guide the student in the right direction. The Workshops are truly great value for money, and provide more information than some other companies Level 1 and even Level 2 Courses. There are no false promises with IPSO, no guarantee of a job upon completion of their courses, instead, you get an aftercare programme that is worth the course fee alone. All IPSO tutors are only a phone call or an email away, and will guide you with good honest advise. I personally know Scouts that have been guided after the completion of the courses and have landed first team roles. I would have no hesitation in recommending IPSO, and gladly put The Scouting Directory’s name to that effect. Whether you are an experienced scout, or just starting on your scouting career, IPSO Workshops and Courses WILL improve you and make you a better Scout.