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Upper Hand

Sports Management Blog

Why Athlete Evaluations Are Essential to Youth Sports Development

Posted by Kasey McKenney | Sep 2, 2016 8:56:05 AM

“There is no failure. Only feedback.” – Robert Allen


Sports are full of stories of successes and failures; that is how athletes progress. Their failures lead them to future successes, and this is where feedback comes into play. Feedback is essential in all aspects of life. Everyone who has been involved with sports understands the important lessons that come along with trainings, practices and games. Sports play such an integral role for young athletes because the lessons they learn in sports and the feedback they receive from coaches help them grow personally, academically and athletically. As a coach your athletes look up to you as a role model to teach them daily and provide them with the necessary feedback to be successful in not only sports, but life.

Get My Evaluation Template →

Here are just a few ways a well-executed Athlete Evaluation can help a young athlete grow:

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As an Athlete

The coach/athlete relationship is the most important relationship in the athletic arena. Clear and consistent communication is key to this relationship, which is why taking the time to give a formal athlete evaluation is critical. Coaches are in an important position where they are not only able to provide feedback, but to also create a plan for the athlete to take action based on the feedback to improve and grow. Give athletes constructive criticism to build on skills, technique and game tactics.

As a Person

It is important to look at more than just technical skills on the field or court. A good athlete evaluation should also include characteristics such as leadership, sportsmanship and determination. Coaches know it takes more than just skill to make a great athlete, so make sure you communicate that. Let players know where they can improve their attitude to enhance their game. Your athletes need and crave your feedback to develop stronger character. Each piece of feedback you provide your athletes with, whether it be positive or negative, will give them a sense of belonging and purpose. This is important for team and individual training, it helps develop your athlete into the person they will be on and off the field.

As a Student

The feedback you give your athletes in every practice and game teaches them to be receptive and push through challenges in all walks of life, especially in the classroom. Your feedback provides them with the all-important tools of understanding, dedication, discipline and hard work.

Get My Evaluation Template →


Having the ability to clearly communicate this feedback is important to create a positive environment of growth. Make sure you have a system in place to send and document feedback to your clients. For example, Upper Hand customers are able to utilize an all-in-one software system to provide feedback directly to their clients after every lesson or training. Through the Upper Hand messaging system coaches can easily sign on and send a message to their athletes with their feedback and a plan for moving forward.

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Topics: Coaching & Training Tips, Youth Athletics

Written by Kasey McKenney

Kasey is on the Customer Success team at Upper Hand, a sports software company aiming to simplify front and back-end office tasks, by providing cutting-edge marketing and registration tools, and business intelligence, that enable unsurpassed performance for sports businesses across the nation.