Sports have the ability to connect us to likeminded groups and individuals, and todays SharkBites blog is a byproduct of that. Matt from Lift Your Game weighs in on the benefits of an Athlete Evaluation Software, and why your club should implement one now. 

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You probably have at least some idea of what athlete evaluation software is. You might know other coaches or teams that use it, or have even used an app at one stage yourself.

But why is it becoming so popular? What are the main reasons to use athlete evaluation software?

Here are our top five key benefits of athlete evaluation software.

1. More consistent evaluations

With an intuitive athlete evaluation solution such as SkillShark, it's incredibly easy to rate an athlete with just the tap of the touchscreen. No longer do you need to spend time bringing up your clipboard, finding the right part of the form, and making a note with a pen - a note which may not be legible when you come to read it later.

This means that not only can you eliminate data entry errors, but you can also spend more time with your head up, focusing on what you should be looking at - how athletes are performing.

The end result? Better, more consistent ratings, and less time trying to interpret scribbled-down notes when you come to read them.

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2. Easy to setup

If you're using a clipboard-based evaluation process, your setup will look a little something like this.

First, you'll need to agree on what areas you're looking to evaluate. You'll also need to figure out the formatting of the form. What works best for your team/organization? How much space do you need to allow coaches to make legible notes or input scores correctly? Do you need two or more pages?

Once you've decided on a format, or found a standardized form that works for you, you'll need to print it - and once you've done this, there's no going back. Reprinting can become very difficult if you've got 100+ athletes to evaluate at your tryout.

You also have to work through the nightmare of manually managing your player registrations and matching them to the forms.

With a good athlete evaluation software, you can set everything up in a matter of moments. It's easy to add and remove new areas of evaluation as necessary, and with a good solution, the interface will be intuitive enough that you have no need to worry about formatting or the layout of your different fields. Coaches can use sliders/buttons to rate performance, and tap the screen to evaluate performance in different areas.

For scouts, you can simply pull out your phone/tablet at a game or combine. No need to keep a clipboard prepared and stacks of paper in your car.

Plus, with SkillShark, the system integrates with player registration systems, including SportsEngine and TeamSnap. For youth teams, this means you can pull player data directly into the app, without having to manage it in Excel.

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3. Easy to interpret

Let's go back to the paper-based system again.

Once you've been through the setup process and collected all the data, how on Earth do you begin interpreting it, and using it to rate players?

With a large tryout, the process becomes incredibly time-consuming. For most youth clubs, you probably don't have a data scientist on-hand! Getting the notes into a computer can take hours, days, or sometimes weeks, meaning the whole evaluation process becomes super slow.

However, if you're using a good software solution to track your data, analysis is a piece of cake. You can instantly upload data, and rank players based on the metrics that matter to you. The results are presented beautifully without you having to lift a finger manipulating data.

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4. Better outcomes for players

This links back to benefit #1.

With a good athlete evaluation solution, you'll be able to make more consistent, more objective judgments. This results in better outcomes for players, which is especially important for youth clubs.

Putting a player in the wrong team can lead them to feel either really bored if they're too good, or really demotivated if they're not at the level of their teammates.

If you can get the right athlete in the right team more often, not only will you receive fewer complaints from parents, but your retention of players will also improve as a result.

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5. Cost Effective to Use

Imagine eliminating all of the paperwork and hassle that comes with using a clipboard system. No more printing, no more organizing forms, and no more hiring temporary workers to spend time spent manually entering data post-tryout.

Even for clubs staffed by volunteers, it's possible to see huge returns on investment in athlete evaluation software. Not only can it save money - it can make the evaluation process a lot less stressful.