As the season winds down, the focus of youth sports organizations shifts from games and practices to wrapping up the year and preparing for next season.
A large part of that process is conducting evaluations for both coaches and players.
Evaluations are a way to recap the current season, noting strengths and weaknesses for both players and coaches. They also serve as a tool to prepare for next season. What does the player or coach need to improve on? What do future coaches need to know about the player for next year’s tryouts? What should the club director know about the coach before preparations for next season get underway?
Take a look at tips below for setting youth sports evaluation criteria for both players and coaches.
When determining player evaluation criteria, organizations should decide what information the club needs to know when looking at the player next season. Potential criteria could fall into the Attitude and Abilities categories.
Organizations want to know the personality and behaviors of the athlete. This will help future coaches and directors when determining the best way to coach that individual player. This is also the place to note if there were any behavioral issues with the athlete during the season that should be addressed before the postseason.
- How do they get along with teammates and coaches? Clubs want to know if the player is easy to be around and if they are a good teammate. Noting how well they got along with others is a good way to determine if the athlete is a team player and someone others will want to be around.
- How do they take instruction? Coaches and directors want to know how coachable a player is. If the athlete was resistant to the instructions from coaches, take note.
- How well do they represent the organization on and off of the field? Clubs want players who they know will show respect and honor the team’s mission and values both on and off the field. It’s important to note how the player handled themselves throughout the season. If there were issues, then the player needs to know what the team’s expectations are before next season.
The main part of player evaluations is typically dedicated to performance. Coaches should note what the player excelled at, what they struggled with, and what should be improved upon before next season.
- What are their best skills? Coaches should note the players’ strengths. This will help build confidence and make future coaches aware of the areas the athlete excels in.
- What should they work on before next season? Coaches should note how players performed at key skills throughout the season. This will help players know what to focus on during the offseason. It will also let coaches and evaluators know where to look for improvement during tryouts, and what areas the athlete might need extra coaching on during the season.
- Anything else their future coaches should know about this player? Evaluation forms should include an open spot for coaches to add in anything about the player that wasn’t asked directly in the form. This will ensure all athletes are receiving a complete evaluation pertinent to club needs.
When creating end-of-season coach evaluations, teams should determine what information they want to know about the coach that they might not already have. Clubs know the coach’s record. Now they need to know how they were with the players as a leader and a mentor. To get a complete view, organizations should have both players and parents complete evaluation forms.
Players’ Evaluation Forms
Players’ evaluation forms should focus on development and behavior. Clubs should determine how well the coach instructed players and developed their skills, how they treated the players, and if the kids enjoyed playing for the coach.
- What did you learn from the coach? From the child’s perspective, determine what skills the coach helped them improve. This will help determine the coach’s instructional strengths and weaknesses.
- Did the coach treat all players fairly? Teams need to ensure all players are being treated equally by coaches. Youth sports is for development, and players should feel like they have an equal opportunity to improve.
- Was the coach encouraging and positive during games and practices? Organizations should determine if the coach was positive and encouraging to players or if they created a stressful environment with pressure to perform. Athletes need an environment where they can improve and develop skills without the risk of being punished by a coach.
- Were they respectful to all players, parents, officials, and opponents? Coaches need to set an example for players on how to treat teammates, parents, officials, and opponents. Clubs need to ensure the athletes feel the coach is respectful and that he or she is representing the club well.
- Did you enjoy playing for the coach? Overall, clubs need to know if athletes enjoyed playing for the coach. Even if kids performed well and improved their skills, they are less likely to want to play the sport again if they didn’t have fun and enjoy themselves while playing.
- What could the coach do to improve? Organizations should gather a list of what players think the coach needs to improve. The players are with the coach consistently and can provide more insight than others on what they do well and what athletes would like to see improve before they potentially play for that coach again.
Parents’ Evaluation Forms
Parents’ forms should be focused on how well the coach instructed the kids, how they treated the players, parents, officials, and opponents, and if the kids had fun while playing for this coach.
- How did they instruct the players? It’s important to determine if the kids were able to improve their skills under this coach. Youth sports are meant to help develop players. Coaches should be able to enhance players’ abilities and overall knowledge of the game.
- How well did they know the skills and tactics of the sport? Not all coaches are past players. It’s important to determine if the coach knows the sport well enough to instruct the athletes and develop a coaching strategy.
- Did they follow the rules and regulations? Organizations need to ensure all coaches who represent their club are following the rules of the league and the organization.
- How was their attitude towards the players, parents, and opponents? Youth coaches need to be patient with young players to improve their skills. The focus should be on development and less on winning.
- Did they represent the organization well on and off the field? Teams need to determine if coaches followed the mission and values of the organization. They are role models to the athletes and need to behave as such.
- Did your child enjoy playing for the coach? Kids need to have fun to want to keep playing a sport. Even if kids improved and found success during the season, clubs need to know if athletes enjoyed playing for the coach.
- What could they do to improve? Even good coaches have room for improvement. Ask the parents what improvements they’d like the coach to make before the next season.