Many situations arise where parents are not satisfied with an organizations decisions of whose kids made the top team... especially when it’s your child who did not make the cut. Any complaints done after the fact may just look like the parents are complaining because things didn’t go their way. Often, the best way to control strong reactions is to have a solid game plan going in.
Here is our recommended game plan, prior to the evaluations taking place:
1. Understand (and practice!) the drills before the evaluations begin.
Knowing the drills ahead of time and preparing with your child, or perhaps some of their friends, can make them feel much more comfortable during the real evaluation. A young athlete may not hear the instructions well at the start of an evaluation or may be nervous when asked to run drills that they have not done before. Doing drills in advance gives them an advantage to those who don’t prepare. If you can access these drills prior to evaluations, use this to ease your young athletes nerves while setting them up for success.
2. Understand the evaluation process- does the sports organization use unbiased evaluators to perform the evaluations?
Ask questions to ensure that unbiased third party evaluators are used. It’s very easy to have rumors arise when members of the organizations children make a top level team, or an uncle is on the evaluation panel . If unbiased evaluators are used then its far less likely that the unbiased evaluators made an incorrect evaluation of your child. This allows parents minds to be at ease before, during, and after evaluations where there might be questions asked. If the organization does not use unbiased evaluators, encourage them to do so by starting a conversation before the evaluations, or at least consider it an option for next year. Unbiased evaluators result in accurate results and a better sport experience for all involved.
3. Know what to expect- will the sports organization provide an evaluation report back to the athletes or parents?
Providing feedback to an athlete on what they did well provides confidence and enforces positive behavior in the player. In addition, providing feedback on where he/she needs to develop will help that player understand what they need to work on even before the first practice. Too often, evaluations for sports are done where no feedback gets provided back to the players- all they know is which team they got assigned to for the season. Any verbal feedback provided to players during an evaluation typically goes in one ear and out the other. A 'report card' will be something they can hold onto and use to develop themselves.
Although we cannot ensure evaluation preparation, or enforce unbiased evaluators, SkillShark can provide a 'report card' with the Individual Player Reports (as seen above). We have even gone as far as creating a whole feature called Athlete Locker Room to simplify this very process. The feature is live on the webpage, and can be found in all admin accounts. This is one way that parents can have a better understanding of the evaluation process, and we are committed to providing the feedback in a process as simple as possible.
Come join us to see what other problems we can solve for your sports organization by logging in, or setting up a free account.
Ps. Next week, SkillShark's own Software Developer, Justin, is going to pop by SharkBites and give us an in depth look at the NEW Athlete Locker Room feature. He will share hot tips and tricks about navigating and using the feature. See you then!