When youth sports clubs evaluate players at tryouts, the grades they are giving athletes can have a bigger impact than beyond creating rosters. The scores and feedback associated with player evaluations can impact the athlete and the club throughout the season.
While the players who don’t make the team will need to use their evaluation to determine how to improve for next season, the athletes on the squad will also need to utilize their feedback. The evaluations can help start the conversation of what athletes excel at, what needs improvement, and what skills and areas the entire team needs to work on.
Take a look at how player evaluations can be used all season by both coaches and athletes.
1. Create a Plan for Athlete Development
Youth sports organizations can use player evaluations to create a season-long plan for the athlete’s development. Evaluation scores can show coaches which skills athletes excelled at during tryouts and in which drills they struggled. Having this information can direct coaches to the areas athletes need to improve on over the season. Coaches and players can meet to discuss the importance of each skill set and develop a plan for how to help the athlete improve in the needed areas throughout the year.
2. Set a Baseline for Future Evaluations
Player evaluations can set a baseline that future evaluations can be compared to. When clubs conduct mid-season and postseason player evaluations, coaches and directors can use the athletes’ initial tryouts scores and feedback to assess if the athlete has made improvements, what skills still need more work and if there are new areas to focus on during the remainder of the year or off-season.
The player evaluations can also be used in future seasons. Coaches can pull up the athlete’s evaluations during the following year’s tryouts to look at previous scores and feedback to learn more about the player and identify what to watch for during evaluations to see what improvements the athlete made in the offseason. (Check out these tryout tips!)
3. Build Athlete Character
Youth sports organizations can use player evaluations to help build character in young athletes. Evaluations provide the opportunity to address the players’ strengths and weaknesses. Hearing compliments and criticism can be difficult for youth athletes to hear – just as it is still difficult for some adults to digest. Having open conversations with players about what skills need work can help athletes learn maturity as they listen to the feedback. It also allows coaches to see what the athlete does with the information. It will tell a coach a lot about a player’s personality and work ethic if the player takes the criticism to heart and works to improve, or if they sulk after hearing negative comments.
The same can go for how players handle hearing compliments. Coaches can watch to see if an athlete becomes lackadaisical after hearing they performed well at a skill and stops working to improve in that particular area, or if they continue to work hard to excel.
4. Determines Overall Skills the Team Needs to Improve
Player evaluations provide clubs with information on the team’s overall strengths and weaknesses. Coaches and directors can use the data to determine if the entire team needs to work on certain skills, or if there is an area all players excel at.
Having this information can help coaches and directors when forming lineups, when determining which seminars or clinics to attend, and when deciding which skills to focus on during practices.
5. Builds Athlete, Coach Relationships
Youth sports clubs can use player evaluations as a way to build player-coach relationships throughout the season. Providing athletes with their evaluation scores and feedback can open the lines of communication between the coach and the player. It can evolve into an honest conversation where the coach candidly tells the young athlete what he or she needs to work on. At the same time, it gives the athlete the opportunity to ask the coach questions about how they can improve and what to do to enhance their skills. Learn more here.
These relationships can be further developed by what happens throughout the season. If the coach vows to help a player improve in certain areas and follows through, that will allow the player to trust the coach. The same is true if the coach asks an athlete to work on specific skills, and it’s apparent they put in the work. This can help build a solid coach-player relationship.