All youth athletes expect to be evaluated at the start of a season during tryouts. It’s a necessity to help youth sports organizations form rosters. But athletes’ performances during tryouts might not be an accurate depiction of their actual abilities. With that in mind, here are some of the reasons why player evaluations should happen throughout the season, not just at tryouts.
Get a Better Picture of the Player
Initial evaluations of athletes during tryouts are typically focused on if the player is a good fit for the roster. Team officials might be looking for specific skills and factors during the pre-season evaluations and overlook some strengths and weaknesses of a player’s overall abilities. Evaluating athletes during the season allows coaches to see more sides to a player and provide a more complete evaluation of the athlete.
Athletes’ skills and abilities can change throughout a season. Some players might give a great performance at tryouts after working all offseason, but then taper off during the season. Others might start slow at tryouts and excel during the year as he or she gets more experience. Evaluating players throughout the season allows coaches to have the ability to track how athletes progress at various parts of the year.
Most players also receive feedback after tryouts on what they need to work on during the season. Evaluating players throughout the year gives clubs anopportunity to track how athletes are progressing in those key areas to see if they’ve improved. Getting this regular feedback helps athletes know if they’re making improvements, or if they need to try other training methods.
Evaluating players throughout the year gives teams an opportunity to discuss any potential concerns coaches and directors might have with specific athletes. Ongoing evaluations lets coaches address if a player isn’t practicing or performing at an expected level, if he or she isn’t giving a good effort, and if there are any behavioral issues that need to be addressed. [Click here for tips on setting your evaluation criteria]. Highlighting these issues during the year allows the coach and player to have a conversation about the concerns and create a plan for improvement. Otherwise, players might not be aware of an issue until it’s too late to make changes.
Provide Feedback for Parents, Players
Providing players with evaluations throughout the year gives coaches key information they need when answering questions from parents. When parents ask about their child’s playing time or roster position, coaches can pull up an athlete’s evaluations and show parents exactly why their child is playing in a certain position or for a select amount of time. Being able to show families what skills the player needs to improve on, and if there has been a decline in performance since tryouts or the previous evaluation, will help justify coaching decisions. Click here for more tips on how to communicate with parents.
Regular player evaluations allow teams to interact with athletes and their families on an ongoing basis. When athletes are evaluated, coaches should meet with each player and discuss his or her results. This allows coaches and families to have one-on-one conversations about individual player performances. Teams can use these opportunities to address any questions or concerns the families and players might have. It also allows coaches to learn more about each player’s goals and what he or she wants to get from the sport and the organization. These meetings and open conversations about athletes’ abilities and goals will help the club better improve how each player is coached.
Prepare for Next Season
Player evaluations can help athletes improve both during the current season and the following season. While feedback can identify immediate needs for improvement or extra training, it can also help players prepare for next year. If certain skills still need improving, ongoing evaluations will show any progress the athlete has made, and what still needs to be addressed before next year’s tryouts.
These evaluations will not only help the player the following season, but also future coaches and directors. When evaluating the athlete at the next year’s tryouts, coaches and directors can refer to past evaluations to determine what strengths the player will bring to the team, and what skills