How A Software Designed For Coaches Benefits Parents

Youth Sports •

Think about the last time your child went through an athlete evaluation. In a best-case scenario, they made the team they were hoping for and started the season without a second thought. In a more likely event, parents and players were left with questions as to why decisions were made, or how an event was scored. In almost all situations players are left wondering what skills they performed well, and which ones need improvement to make the team next year.

In a mission that is being proven across North America, SkillShark aims to help coaches run evaluations that are easier than ever before. By streamlining administrative processes and increasing engagement, SkillShark is improving the youth sports experience for all… parents included.

The beauty is in the print. One of my kids was recently at a fastball showcase ID camp where SkillShark was used for the evaluations. A few days after the camp I received an email from the camp that detailed her performance. Clean and specific. High, low and average fastball and off- speed velocity and her ranking to the group of 60 plus players. A dozen more metrics all clean and listed in black and white. I printed the report off, sat down with my aspiring ball player and used the report as simple motivation and focus. Plenty of high fives. We set goals and again had the always occurring conversation effort and attitude matter. A parent’s dream.

Danny Demchanko- Fastball Parent

How can software that was designed to help coaches benefit everyone involved? Read on to find more:

  1. SkillShark Software Removes Unintended Bias

SkillShark removes unintended bias in many different ways, with the first and foremost being the accuracy of data. Because players are scored directly from the app, it takes away any accidental data entry errors that may happen. This instills confidence that data is being recorded as exactly seen from an evaluator’s point of view.

Secondly, SkillShark’s features within the app help to remove any unintended bias that may exist. Due to the direct input of scores, there are no unorganized pen and paper notes floating around that may skew scores one way or another. SkillShark offers features such as hiding a player’s name or preferred position which allows scores to be imputed without any previously known information about a certain athlete. Additionally, SkillShark also allows evaluators to have a headshot beside the name which decreases the likelihood of a score being entered in the wrong place. Video recordings ensure that athletes are being scored fairly and the quality of data that comes in is sure to be greater than that taken by pen and paper. 

Finally, SkillShark offers administrators intuitive capabilities that stop any bias in its tracks. By allowing administrators to individually view data from each evaluator, any evaluator specific issues can be addressed and easily dealt with if necessary. SkillShark allows security of data for coaches, and peace of mind for parents that biases are being removed throughout the entire process.

  1. Increased Transparency and Confidence In Results

Very few parents know exactly what their child was evaluated on at their last athletic event. SkillShark increases transparency by allowing parents to ask questions and if a coach chooses, share their process of evaluations. This may be sharing a ranking of an athlete when questions come up, or understanding what drills and scores were collected. This benefits both coaches and parents, as coaches can divulge this information as they see fit. 

Due to the video and note-recording features, parents can feel confident in the results that are collected. If a coach indicates to a parent that a player ranked 31/50 athletes in a specific metric it will indicate to parents why a decision was made. The increased transparency benefits all parties and allows transparent results in all scored events.  

  1. Increase Development Opportunities For Athletes

It is no secret that feedback leads to development opportunities. By using SkillShark and the reporting features it has, coaches are able to communicate with parents and athletes about areas that need improvement but also areas of strength. Professional reports can be generated By providing critical feedback in both of these areas, coaches are able to provide augmented feedback that will allow athletes to progress towards their goals. SkillShark reports can offer the following feedback for athletes:

  1. Rankings
  2. Comparisons to group averages
  3. Bar graphs, line graphs or even spider graphs showing player results
  4. Table view of metrics and scores
  5. Evaluator written comments
  6. Video recordings 
  7. Player profiles/headshot

This data can be sent to athletes immediately after an event and provides the basis for development for the coming season. This data can be shared with skill or private coaches and act as a roadmap for what athletes need to improve on.

Alternatively, having access to a report like this allows you to celebrate a child’s success. If there is an improvement over time, athletes will feel proud, or there might be a certain skill where extra work has gone in to improve and the tangible data can be cause for high fives on the way to the car.

Elanne Krainyk

Elanne is SkillShark’s marketing aficionado who is equal parts passionate about sports, marketing and sports marketing. She can usually be found with a golf ball or three in her purse, and her favorite way to spend downtime is out on the course with friends and family.