How PA Minor Hockey Effectively Communicates With Parents
Prince Albert Minor Hockey is an association running initiation to midget teams. PA Minor hockey has upwards of 1000 kids consistently each year.
Technical Director James Mays had been doing evaluations with PA Minor Hockey for a number of years when he came across the SkillShark platform. Eager for a change that would eliminate data entry from his endless to-do list, he decided to give the software a go.
Now entering their third season using SkillShark, James was able to offer some insight as to how the system has changed his evaluation procedures and how it has allowed him to communicate more effectively with parents along the way.
“We run every year consistently with close to 1000 kids, with 87 ice sessions so it’s 100 hours of ice to get all our kids in within the various age groups,” James says. “It used to be a cumbersome project! For example, we would have 15 evaluators putting in 5 scores… that’s 75 scores, and there might be 200 kids in that group so that’s 1500 scores and that all had to be imputed for just one age group.”
Reflecting on the last year of evaluations, James continued. “You know what? I couldn’t even begin to calculate the number of hours I saved using SkillShark. We used to have to hire a part-time person just to input data this time of the year. SkillShark solves that.”
James has an experienced group of evaluators, and we were able to catch up with Cory Trann who has been evaluating with PA Minor Hockey over the course of the last number of seasons.
“Pen and paper evaluations in the past can get quite messy over the course of an evaluation,” says Trann. “SkillShark is very easy to use for more players, easy to go by number, and quickly select the player you are evaluating!”
When recounting how SkillShark has evolved his process, James is sure to touch on the communication aspect.
“I now have hard copy data. If a parent comes to me and says ‘my kid didn’t make this tier, why?’ I can just go to the name and say ‘Here, look. The evaluators, as a group, scored them low in this category and it is right there! In black and white.”
Asked if he would recommend another group to use SkillShark, James didn’t have to think twice.
“I would definitely recommend SkillShark. It’s worked great for us. Our coaches are happy, and the evaluators find it very easy to use. The program is designed to fit our needs.”
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