Athlete Mindset - A Scouts Prospective

January 8, 2021

Fredericton, NB / Ottawa, ON (January 8, 2021) – From Texas University to the NBA G League to the National Basketball League of Canada, Nelson Terroba has established himself as a high-level professional basketball coach. As recently appointed Head Coach and GM of Player Operations for the NBLC’s Moncton Magic, he hopes to spark success in the New Brunswick city. Let’s take a look at a few highlights from my interview with Nelson surrounding the topic of scouting.

Scouting Process

Serving as both head coach and general manager of any sports team is no easy task. In addition to his coaching duties with Moncton, Terroba is responsible for the evaluation, recruitment, and signing of players. Explaining the basics of his scouting process, he states, “You’re going to watch the person on tape, do a video study, and do a statistical study. You’ll then do an in-person evaluation and you marry that also to intel. Intel is a big part of what we’ve always wanted to do because we always want to know the kind of person that we’re getting.”

Player Evaluation

Tools and tactics for player evaluation vary from organization to organization. Terroba explains the importance of evaluating off-court dependability in addition to on-court ability, “For us, it’s critical. Those things make a big difference because they create either energy users or energy givers in terms of how the players end up presenting themselves within an organization. If you have too many people who are taking, whether it’s energy, resources, or attention and they’re wasting it on things that are not aligned with the mission, then you’re going to end up underperforming.” He went on to talk about his method of giving players self-evaluations in order to see if they are capable of seeing their own weaknesses and secure enough to be honest about them.

Nelson talks a lot about each player doing their job and doing it well. The best teams are not built solely on physique and talent, but on a model of teamwork. Terroba explains, “A lot of people fall in love with the physical traits, the effervescence of stature and presence. A lot of people think that basketball or sports is just like roll out the ball and get the best players together and then let them hoop. That’s not anywhere near what it is if you’re trying to build something that’s of a championship caliber.”

Great Mindset Individuals

Players who possess great mindset are the engines behind successful team cultures. Terroba describes great mindset individuals, “They don’t skip steps. They say hello, they say thank you, they say please. Those who don’t skip steps and always think about the respectful, professional, right thing to do, constantly in everything that they’re doing, those are usually who people call high character people.”

Finally, he talks about Gregg Popovich’s approach of finding players who “have gotten over themselves.” He states, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, you take yourself too seriously, and you think you’re the center of the universe, then you’re not going to work. If you’ve been humbled, if you’ve been able to see that you’re not the center of the universe, you honor the people around you, and you have a sense of humor about things, then you have gotten over yourself. So those are some key indicators for us in terms of trying to determine if a person has the right cultural fit for us.”

Concluding Thoughts

Nelson Terroba’s approach to coaching and scouting has translated into a number of impressive achievements over the course of his coaching career. It is clearly apparent that by valuing a level of athlete mindset and integrity, he has boosted his respective teams’ cultures and performance in both the NBA G League and the NBLC.

Avrij Analytics strongly supports many of the same concepts that Nelson spoke about in this interview. Mindset evaluation is a critical element of scouting in any sport and must not be overlooked. With the end goal of on-field success, Avrij partners with organizations to help make such evaluations both simple and effective.

To learn more about Avrij Analytics, contact us at or visit

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