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How To Evaluate Youth Soccer Players

How To Evaluate Youth Soccer Players

Youth Sports •

How do you evaluate youth soccer players while ensuring your soccer evaluation process is efficient? In this article, we are going to talk about how to evaluate players more efficiently, some of the biggest challenges coaches often face, and what coaches and sports organizations can do to streamline and improve their evaluation process today.

Evaluating youth soccer players is often not as easy as it looks. Ensuring evaluations are fair and accurate is a crucial part of your player development.

We’ve listed some tips below that should help!

Evaluation tips

  • The more game-like situations, the better the evaluation.
  • Ensure data is collected at the evaluation itself, not through memory later on.
  • Use a mobile soccer evaluation app as opposed to pen and paper. This ensures easy and accurate evaluations of athletes. Search “apps soccer” for more options.
  • Creating a soccer team evaluation app. The SkillShark app can play the role of a soccer team management app, soccer tournament app, soccer team manager app, coaching app and parent app! Check it out now.
  • Ensure skills being assessed are clear to evaluators. For example “agility” could mean different things to different people.
  • Have a solid check-in process. Using the right team management software and evaluation software together can help ensure things are smooth and organized for evaluators, players, and volunteers.
    SkillShark’s Evaluation Software and App has a check-in feature built-in
    , meaning you can use an iOS or Android device to check in players both online or offline.
  • Make sure you understand how many stations will be required.
  • Know how much time each evaluator will need to measure each metric.
  • Use evaluation software to help eliminate the evaluator bias. Evaluator bias can often have a negative effect on players. Having software like “SkillShark” will help eliminate evaluator bias by using normalized data.
  • Architect an evaluation that will test the right skills while finding a way to provide feedback to your athletes.
  • Utilize the player data that you collect. The data from your evaluations will provide invaluable insights, that can be used to strategize at every practice and game.

Dealing With Sports Evaluation Issues

Evaluations can be complex, and come with many hurdles. At SkillShark, we have discovered a large amount of these complexities can be solved simply by eliminating the use of paper and spreadsheets during evaluations. Not only do pen-and-paper evaluations waste hours of time, but at the end of it all, very little is done with data, and very little feedback is provided to athletes.

For the past 15 years, we’ve developed evaluation software to help take away the pains that many coaches experience during evaluations. It’s amazing to think that coaches can now provide a player report card instantly after each evaluation. That’s immediate feedback to your athletes with just the click of a button. It’s the best app for coaches to communicate with players.

Having the right system in place is important when it comes to measuring players accurately. There are a number of variables that need to be considered when conducting an evaluation.

Why Are Athlete Evaluations Important?

Athlete evaluations help coaches draft teams with assurance and accuracy. In the absence of evaluations, coaches would not know how players rank across key metrics critical to team success.

Additionally, athlete evaluations can be a foundation to help players focus on their development through individual report cards. When this is done in a sports evaluation app, it leaves a digital footprint for players, coaches and even parents to come back and refer to when needed.

How Can You Evaluate Soccer Players at a Tryout?

Evaluate soccer players across several criteria including physicality, technical skill, awareness, knowledge, adaptability, and teamwork. Evaluations can include providing the following scores: single, subjective, choice, or comments. Your ability to rank competencies and provide ranking information will help you better place players onto teams.

Below, you will see two report cards, the one on the left has been evaluated using “comment only,” metrics. This is generally a great way to evaluate younger kids. The report card to the right shows both subjective scores and metric rankings. This is a great way to evaluate when kids become a bit more competitive. Reports like these will not only provide your players valuable feedback, they will help your players with their overall development, and provide parents confidence in your organization.

Player Report Cards

Using applications like SkillShark help you gain a deeper understanding of your players while providing the feedback they need to move forward.

Subjective reports

Athletes can view their scores across a range of metrics and see how they fare to team average.

Comment reports

Instead of providing subjective scores, athletes are given comment-based feedback to understand strengths and opportunities.

When using SkillShark software, you now have access to in-depth performance information. The strengths vs weaknesses chart below, is an excellent way to compare athletes when drafting or picking top players.

Problems With the Player Evaluation Process

  1. Athletes almost never receive any formal feedback on their performance after an evaluation.
  2. Coaches spend countless hours doing data entry into spreadsheets to try and make sense of the data.
  3. Parents are often unsatisfied with the justification for the placement decision of their kids and very seldom receive information to help understand what their child needs to work on and develop.

It all comes down to information. A coach’s time is already spread thinly that they rarely have the time to reformat information in a spreadsheet, let alone share a format consumable for each athlete. As a result, the athlete and his/her parents never understand WHY they didn’t make the top team.

Today we can solve common headaches with evaluations and provide players better feedback than ever before. Having the evaluators gather information through the SkillShark app or website simplifies everything so the young athlete can now receive a report card on their performance before they even have their cleats off. A coach can spend time analyzing information instead of doing days of data entry. Lastly, parents can clearly indicate what their child needs to work on to be considered for the top team next year.

Creating Effective Sports Evaluations

Ensure skills being evaluated are clear to athletes and parents

Transparent communication is a good practice for any coach. If you don’t communicate to players properly, you risk them putting extra effort into the wrong skills, or simply not understanding the drills they’re being assessed on.

For example, when you have drills that are focused on agility and speed when moving the ball. In this case, you will need to explain quick ball control instead of showing off fancy footwork.

Also, parents generally like to know what their children are being evaluated on. It is a good idea to have an orientation meeting with all players and parents before the tryout. In this meeting, let parents know the criteria, how it works, and why you are using that system. Being proactive will help against any parental problems that may have come up otherwise. Setting clear evaluation guidelines that are fair and equal, along with providing player report cards after the evaluation, is sure to keep parents happy.

Establish the right evaluation criteria

Breaking out an evaluation with the right skills, metrics, and categories is very important. Also, knowing “how” you’re going evaluate these athletes. For example, there is a Rating/Points System in which you will rate each player on a scale of 0 – 10 for each of the criteria you establish. We call this a subjective rating.

The other method, called a Thirds System, involves giving each player a grade of 1, 2, or 3. For example, “1” means the player is rated in the top third, a “2” equals the middle third, and a “3” equals the bottom third. The main drawback to this system is that it lacks granularity. Using a 0-10 scale (like the one above) allows for more distinction between players, making it more accurate for team placement.

When building your “criteria”, SkillShark Software already has built-in templates that you can easily edit, add or take away skills and metrics according to your recipe. The template you design will then appear in the app. This means you can evaluate players right from your mobile device or tablet on any criteria you choose.

It’s important to note that personality and character are weighed equally with physical fitness and skill.

Have a solid process for selecting teams

Selecting teams is generally a challenging process for coaches, as they often have a huge amount of bias, politics, and favouritism that may cause headaches. When using SkillShark Evaluation Software, coaches can work around the “bias” more effectively. Player data is readily available, making it much easier to build teams and draft top selections.

This chart shows how easy it is to view evaluation results and sort players on to teams

Be sure to give yourself ample time to build and execute your evaluation process. Make sure players, parents, and evaluators are crystal clear on how your process works. Also, ensure you find the right balance when it comes to constructive criticism and motivating your players. This will keep things fun while allowing your players to grow in all the right ways.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to Evaluate Youth Soccer Players Efficiently

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Why Evaluate Youth Soccer Players?

Evaluating youth soccer players is essential to assess their performance, skill development, and potential. It aids coaches, scouts, and organizations in making informed decisions during tryouts and player assessments. Fair and accurate evaluations are crucial for player development.

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What are some Valuable Soccer Player Evaluation Tips for Soccer Coaches?

– Emphasize game-like situations for soccer evaluations.
– Collect data during evaluations, avoiding reliance on memory.
– Use a mobile soccer evaluation app for precise assessments.
– SkillShark’s app can serve as a soccer team management, tournament, coaching, and parent communication tool.
– Ensure evaluators have a clear understanding of the skills being assessed.
– Establish a smooth check-in process with team management and evaluation software.
– Utilize evaluation software to reduce evaluator bias.
– Craft evaluations that test essential soccer skills and provide valuable feedback to players.
– Leverage the collected player data for practice and game strategies.

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Why is it crucial to address common evaluation issues?

Common evaluation issues, including athletes not receiving feedback, coaches spending excessive time on data entry, and parents lacking understanding of placement decisions, can be effectively resolved by eliminating paper-based evaluations and adopting digital solutions like SkillShark’s soccer player evaluation app.

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What are the key criteria for evaluating youth soccer players?

Youth soccer players should be evaluated based on physicality, technical skill, awareness, knowledge, adaptability, and teamwork. Utilizing a soccer tryout evaluation app simplifies the ranking process and allows easy sharing of feedback with players and parents.

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How can SkillShark Software improve the evaluation process?

– SkillShark offers instant player report cards after each evaluation.
– The software provides in-depth performance insights, including strengths and weaknesses.
– SkillShark simplifies data collection, analysis, and sharing, benefiting athletes, coaches, and parents. It’s a comprehensive soccer player evaluation app.

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What are the common problems in the youth soccer player evaluation process?

The three major issues are athletes not receiving feedback, coaches spending excessive time on data entry, and parents lacking insight into placement decisions. SkillShark’s soccer evaluation app solves these problems by automating data collection and report generation.

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What are some tips for coaches during the evaluation process?

– Allocate ample time for building and executing evaluations.
– Ensure clarity among players, parents, and evaluators regarding the evaluation process.
– Strike the right balance between constructive criticism and motivation to make the process enjoyable and developmental.

Michelle Corry

Michelle is SkillShark’s dedicated marketing cognoscente. She is an avid athlete, dedicated professional, marketer and creative visionary. Michelle lived and breathed sports most of her life, being awarded athlete of the year back in early 2000, including a rugby scouting invitation from Team Canada. SkillShark has changed her perception entirely in terms of what she thought was possible in sports evaluation today.