Parents, coaches, associations and players can all agree on one thing- evaluations are stressful.  Players compete in jam packed sessions of testing, training and evaluations before awaiting their fate that will dictate the rest of their season.  Some dreams come true: being placed on the varsity volleyball team as a junior, while others leave disappointed: another season playing on a lower tiered hockey team.

Although the pressures seemingly increase each year, feedback hasn't. In allowing the varsity player to see what earned her the top spot, while also highlighting areas of development, she will be able to understand herself better as an athlete.  For the young hockey player to see that his low puck handling scores were what kept him from making the top team, he will be able to set himself up better moving forward. 

Inevitably, evaluation season comes with its ups and downs.  Here are some tips for moving forward from evaluations, and setting your child up for success.

  • Ask questions

If a coach or organization is still using inefficient pen and paper mechanisms, they likely will not be able to give a concrete answer as to where the evaluation results came from.  That being said, ensure you are asking questions and gaining as much insight as you can about what factors led to your child being placed where they were.

  • Work hard to improve

Nothing sets the tone for an upcoming season like stepping onto the court, field or ice for your first practice and giving it 100% effort.  Encourage your child to come out with a positive attitude, and a hardworking demeanour. 

  • Ask for regular feedback

Have an open conversation with the coach at the beginning of the year.  Ask what skills need to be worked on, or what extra drills can be done.  Some of this may be coach directed to do during practice, potential drills or at home tasks, or maybe even looking to participate in extra programs with a third party coach. Check in with the coach throughout the season, working with your child to ask questions and find improvements. By making small changes throughout the season, it will help immensely in upcoming evaluations.

  • Request updated evaluation practices

SkillShark is the first affordable tool of its kind that allows player information to be entered by coaches from any sport onto the website. Evaluations are then completed by evaluators on their smart phones or tablets.  Once complete, the data is uploaded to the website with a touch of a button, and reports are instantly made available for coaches to use and share.  Parents and players are no longer kept in the dark, and the overall athlete experience is enhanced. 

Are you a coach? Know coach? Show them all the great things that other coaches are saying about SkillShark, and how it can work for their teams, too.

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That's all for now, folks. See you next time on Shark Bites!