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Advances In Providing Athlete Feedback Through Tech

Advances In Providing Athlete Feedback Through Tech

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There are some scary statistics regarding athletes dropping out of youth sports. Every coach knows the long list of reasons why athletes need to keep playing sports, but do we really understand the reasons that athletes stop?

Through research, I discovered that 70% of kids drop out of youth sports by age 13.

Included in the top 4 reasons why athletes drop out is that they have a lack of confidence in their ability to play the sport. It all comes down to retention of feedback. Think of the last meeting you were a part of. Really, stop to think about what exactly was said.

If you were handed a blank sheet of paper, how much could you write down with specifics? If you are like most people, the paper would be pretty empty. Now add adolescence, peer pressure, bullying, and social media to the mix. These factors make it pretty difficult for athletes to remember and apply the verbal feedback they were given after practice or before a big game.

Until recently, there was not much a sports organization could do to help this.

Now with tech solutions such as SkillShark, sports organizations can evaluate athletes using their mobile device or tablet instead of using pen and paper. By making this one simple change to the evaluation process, sports organizations can now quickly and easily provide a player report card to each individual athlete after an evaluation.

What does a player report card include?

  • Athletes score on each skill evaluated.
  • Average team score on each skill evaluated (optional)
  • Athletes overall rank (optional)
  • Comments to provide additional feedback on specific skills
  • Video footage provided to show players their execution of a skill.
Evaluation baseball

Interested in learning more about SkillShark?

The SkillShark product demo is the best way to learn. This includes white-glove setup of your evaluation, tour of SkillShark, and free 25 player trial.

FAQ — Providing Athlete Feedback

Whether an athlete has a goal to be coined MVP, wants to move up a level in their division, or play a different position on their team, athlete feedback is critical.

In order for athletes to meet the goals they have set for themselves, they must be provided with feedback along the way specifying areas they are excelling at (i.e., skills, technique, character) and what they need to work on.

Through athlete feedback, players can gain a deeper understanding of how they are progressing throughout the season. This acts as a catalyst for personal growth, where athletes now have the knowledge they need to refine their existing skills and develop new ones.

As a general rule of thumb, athlete feedback should be provided after any tryout, assessment (i.e., mid-season evaluations or year-end evaluations), camp, or showcase.

The more feedback is provided to athletes throughout the sports season, the better athletes can understand their progression.

An athlete feedback report should consist of the following:

Individual Scores This can be entered as a subjective score (ranking on a scale of 0-5 or 0-10), a single score, multi score on any skill assessed.
Team average This allows for the player to see how they fare against the team average on each skill that was assessed.
Comments Where applicable, comments should be added under specific skills to provide more direction to the athlete.
Developmental Resources If an athlete scores below a certain score on a skill (which will be set by the coach), include a library of developmental resources at the bottom of the report. Developmental resources will link out to coaching videos or documents created by you (or a third-party resource) to guide athletes towards further improvement.

To find out more about how you can incorporate all of the above into your next athlete feedback report, check out SkillShark

When using a form to provide athlete feedback, scores still have to be manually entered by the coach. Once scores are entered, coaches must handwrite comments on each athlete’s report. Not to mention if coaches want to add any bar graphs or spider charts to illustrate an athlete’s score, they would have to create and design this in Excel.

When using an app to provide athlete feedback, like SkillShark Athlete Evaluation Software, individual reports are automatically created once scores are inputted in the app (using any iOS device or Android). Therefore, all that’s left for coaches to do is directly send each of their athletes a copy of the report via email.

Just as athletes want a granular level of feedback, so do their parents! As joining competitive sports comes at a premium price, parents want to be aware of how their child is progressing and the criteria being used to evaluate them.

Neil Anderson

As an engineer from the UofS, I’ve spent 30 years focused on optimizing industrial processes like mines or manufacturing facilities… combine that with my love of playing or coaching competitive softball the majority of my life, that’s where I saw the need for SkillShark. I took over the U18 Softball program in 2016 and saw the evaluation process was archaic and the way gathered data that was being used to decide team placement could be vastly improved.