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5 Tips for Running Athlete Evaluations

5 Tips for Running Athlete Evaluations

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An athlete evaluation allows for a systematic critique of players based on specific criteria. Athlete evaluations facilitate an objective decision-making process for team selection and help coaches identify top talent.

Coaches are the glue that holds athlete evaluations together. A successful evaluation requires a great deal of planning and organization from coaches. They have to decide what drills to include, make a list of equipment needed, hire evaluators, comb through administrative tasks on evaluation day, and more.

While an overwhelming amount of tasks can build up on a coach’s to-do list, we discuss some high-level planning and execution tips for athlete evaluations.

Step 1- General Planning

The first step to running a successful athlete evaluation should be to hold a general planning meeting. This meeting should be held a few months prior to the evaluation taking place and host all those who will be involved in the event.

This meeting should determine the following:

  • The number of drills to evaluate.
  • Number of evaluators needed.
  • How scores will be inputted by evaluators (rather than a pen-and-paper model, athlete evaluation software can help here!)
  • The location and length of the evaluation.

Step 2- Logistical Planning

All individuals involved in the on-field execution of the event should have a separate planning meeting. It is important to map out what the athlete evaluations will look like from a coaching perspective.

This logistical planning session should include selecting which drills to run, determining how much time will be spent at each station, and creating a list of equipment that is needed.

In step 1, you have decided how many evaluators you will need. Now is the time to decide who the evaluators will be. Tip: It is best to use unbiased evaluators (hire individuals from a third-party group or organization). This ensures that they have no relationship to an athlete and scores will not be biased in any form.

Step 3- Administration Execution

As evaluations get closer, set up online registrations to keep track of how many athletes are projected to be in attendance. If there are more registrants than projected, now is the time to hire any additional help at the check-in desk. An extra set of helping hands would be helpful to sign in players, point them to where they need to go and explain the structure of the tryouts.

After the registration deadline has passed, it is time to get the athletes loaded into the system for the evaluation process. Whether you are using team management software or an Excel spreadsheet to store player information, athlete evaluation software will allow you to import this player information and check in players (or add any walk-up athletes) on the day of tryouts.

Player check-in on athlete evaluation software

Player check-in using an athlete evaluation software

Step 4- Educate Evaluators

Most of the evaluators that you have selected will have already evaluated a sports event before. However, with every evaluation comes different rules and guidelines. Evaluators will often be told by coaches what to look for when at a specific station.

For example, suppose an evaluator is going to be at the dribbling station for a basketball evaluation. In that case, you might tell them that you are looking for players who have effective control of the ball, progress steadily toward the basket, and maintain a safe distance from the defender. If an athlete excels at each of these areas of dribbling, you can tell the evaluator to give the athlete a perfect score.

Step 5- Post-evaluation Planning

Whether your evaluation extends over several weeks, a weekend, or even just a day, there are many tasks that take place after the event is complete.

We suggest planning out these post-evaluation areas weeks in advance:

  • How quickly will team placement decisions be made?
  • How many internal meetings should be held to analyze athlete scores?
  • Will the decision be communicated through email, in-app messaging, or phone?
  • What will you do if an athlete is selected and no longer able to play the season?
  • For players who didn’t make the cut, how can you best communicate areas they need to improve on for next year? Hint: SkillShark’s athlete evaluation software comes in handy here.

Want to learn 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 — Tips for Running Athlete Evaluations

The purpose of an athlete evaluation is to provide coaches with a comprehensive assessment of players based on specific criteria. Coaches can make objective decisions when drafting teams.

Coaches should have a separate planning meeting to map out the tryout process. This includes selecting drills, creating timelines, preparing equipment, and deciding evaluator roles.

As evaluations draw closer, communicate important event details to participants, and set up athlete profiles in an athlete evaluation software to ensure smooth on-site registration on the day of the event.

Coaches should ensure that evaluators are prepared, equipment is in place, and athletes are properly warmed up.

SkillShark’s athlete evaluation software software ensures a well-structured evaluation process while reducing bias and data entry.

Coaches can check in players, score athletes on any drill (right on the app), and then use this data to confidently draft teams.

Athletes should be evaluated on skills related to technique, coordination, endurance, power, and agility.

Send an athlete a detailed report of how they scored across each skill they were evaluated on. Alongside giving them their score, provide any additional comments or resources (PDFs or videos) that you think will help them improve on this skill.


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.