Why I Wish I Had SkillShark During Tryouts
Growing up, sports were a central part of my life. Both of my parents were sports enthusiasts and I grew up at the slow-pitch diamonds while my parents played in tournaments. I have experience in many different sports, but one constant throughout them all is going through tryouts before each year begins. At all tryouts I have attended, everything was done the same way. There were clipboards, paper, pens, scribbled notes, and coaches that looked like they hadn’t slept in a week. Looking back on it, I now understand that this method more than likely brought with it many mistakes, misread notes, and possibly even some bias from evaluators.
I have seen the athlete’s perspective of evaluations from little league to collegiate level ball. I fully understand what athlete evaluation software can bring to so many levels of the sport. Here are the main reasons why I wish SkillShark existed when I was playing competitive baseball.
I wish SkillShark had existed when I was younger because I have seen how it prevents confusion and disorganization among the evaluators and coaches running the tryout. The software has many features that allow evaluators to effortlessly move through athletes with no fumbling around to get there. Without SkillShark, it is easy to lose track of which skills certain athletes have or have not yet tried out for, meaning an athlete could lose out on being part of a team only because of evaluator confusion. Also, evaluators scribbling notes on pen and paper could lead to misreading scores, resulting in athletes being ranked incorrectly. Overall, it is easier for the evaluators to stay organized while using SkillShark, and this leads to more time spent watching the athletes compete.
Tryouts were one of the most exciting parts of sports growing up; getting to showcase my skills and trying to play for a more competitive team was always my goal. Being from a small town, I found myself wanting to try out for higher-level teams in the big cities, where the competition was higher. However, I felt as though I had less chance to be picked because the athletes from the big city tend to be given more opportunities. This is a big reason I wish SkillShark existed when I was trying out. Bias, often even unknown, exists in youth sports. By using the SkillShark product, there is more transparency for coaches, parents, and athletes. Not only does this give all kids an equal chance, but it also allows athletes to learn and grow from each evaluation that takes place.
The third reason I wish I had access to programs like SkillShark for evaluations when I was younger, has to do with results. I never would know the results of the tryouts using the old method. Instead, I would only get to hear from the coaches or evaluators if I made the team, and even then, I would get little or no feedback from them to use to better myself as an athlete. Using SkillShark and the reports feature, young athletes can see what they need to focus on in training to improve themselves and get better at their sport. This can also give parents of athlete’s an explanation of the results of the tryouts to avoid confusion about why the athlete was accepted to or cut from the team. This eliminates bias, and gives the parents a focus as well as the athlete on what needs to be worked on. Even if a coach decides not to distribute the results, they are able to reference them if a parent has questions, or if an athlete inquires about areas of development.
SkillShark has many uses and many benefits that can help the athletes, coaches, parents, and evaluators in any tryout. Using this program will help athletes gain better opportunities in their sport as well as advance farther and faster than they could without the software.