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--- Topic: Player Evaluations ( 20 posts )

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atrain2 - December 16th, 2010 19:06 GMT

Our club is thinking about doing player evaluations this coming up season. It woud go over the players skill level, technique, attitude and a few other topics. Has anyone ever done evaluations and if so do you have any suggestions or tips?
mtnlady - December 16th, 2010 20:37 GMT

How old are the players? You don't want to discourage the younger players. They won't hear 'work on your first touch' or that your 'left foot needs strength and accuracy'. They will hear "I'm BAD!!!"

Maybe for the younger players doing player evals is still good but it's for the coaches internals purposes to adjust training etc. - that's how we use our monthly player/team evals, to adjust training). We share the results wtih the players but only in a very positive fashion. Older players I think you can share their evals with them but again, keep it positive and really play up the positives.
Blues99 - December 17th, 2010 03:25 GMT

If your kid is playing comp soccer and you are not getting an evaluation from your club you should ask why.    Evaluation at the end of the year are good but the ones done during the season I think are more productive.  If the main objective is to become a better player, how do you know where your stand if you don't know what you are doing right and what areas need improvements.

If you are a select or rec player and are just playing for fun than maybe an evaluation is not necessary.  If you are a select player and are looking to develop you should ask your coach for a personal evaluation every few months. 

I also think that if you are a coach and your evaluation is all positive than this is worse than not doing an evaluation at all.
mtnlady - December 17th, 2010 17:43 GMT
Edited by mtnlady on December 17th, 2010 17:46 GMT

Blues no one said about evals being 'all positive' - my point is that you have to be very careful how you tell a young 10-11-12 year old girl what their shortcomings are. As girls, especially young ones are prone to hear only that they are 'bad' and then feel like that they are no good and that they should quit. You have to be very careful how you broker your advice to them. Age and gender of the player are important to keep in mind (select v comp in this area is a lesser importance - both want to get better).
Blues99 - December 18th, 2010 08:24 GMT
Edited by Blues99 on December 18th, 2010 08:26 GMT


I agree that you have to be careful with young kids, boys or girls, but I also think that if you want to help out a kid with their development you need to let them know what areas need improvement.  There are ways to do it that won't hurt the young player's feelings, and as long as you have made it clear throughout the season with your actions that your main purpose is to make them a better player they will accept criticism.  Give them solutions on how to improve those areas as well.   

I'm just saying that as a parent is not very helpful to hear how my child is excelling or is perfect on each and every area.  If that is the case how come they are not on the national team?

As far as evaluation for kids under 12 years old they should all say the same.  Don't be afraid to be more creative, and the solution is to watch videos of  Robinho, CR7, Ronaldinho, Messi and the entire Barca squad.
mtnlady - December 18th, 2010 18:34 GMT

Sounds like we are in agreement then Blues.
atrain2 - December 20th, 2010 06:49 GMT

The age group is 14-15 yearold boys. It sounds like both of you have experience in doing evaluations. Do either of you have anytype of forms you could share? Or do you verbally give the evaluations?
Blues99 - December 20th, 2010 20:44 GMT


I'm not a coach but I will try to find some sample forms for you.

I think a written evaluation is more effective.  I have two teenagers and if you were to give them a verbal evaluation most likely they will only hear what they want and forget most of it by the time they get in the car.
ManU - December 20th, 2010 21:43 GMT

atrain - put together an evaluaion which covers 4 different parts of their game - teachnical, tactical, athleticism, psychological.

under each of those heading have specific subtopics such as dribbling, striking, passing, receiving for technical

then at each of those subtopics have an area where the coach can write in something they do well and an area they need to work on.  emphasize it is an area to work on and not that they're bad at it, beacuse honestly i can watch a professional game and pick things out they're bad at.

ask the coaches to meet with the player and parent up to age 14 and then it needs to be player and coach only in a public setting of course like before and after practice or game. Encouage the coach to discuss things directly with the player and allow the parent to ask questions afterwards. i'm trying not to be too captain obvious, but i know some coaches who don't realize not to meet with a player by themselves no matter what the age.
20sDad - December 21st, 2010 00:36 GMT

My 2 cents... find out what the kids goals are and structure the evaluation accordingly. 
mtnlady - December 21st, 2010 03:38 GMT
Edited by mtnlady on December 21st, 2010 03:43 GMT

My player (and team) evaluations are done monthly and are as follows:

Rankings (each have a specific meaning to me, grading gets harder every year as I expect more from the players):

Areas graded at the end of every month:
1. conditioning
2. Dribbling/Ball Mastery
3. Passing (this includes possession passing and off ball movement, communication etc.)
4. First Touch
5. Finishing
6. Air Skills (this includes flighted passes, chest, headers, volleys etc.)
7. Attack (movement, shape etc., more of a team grade focus here)
8. Defense (individual skill, positional group, movement, shape etc.)
9. Transition (more of a team grade focus here)
10. Tactical / Set Piece Plays (more of a team grade focus here)
11. Keepers
12. Coach (I grade myself every month as well, note what I did well and not so well)

In each category I note where every player is on the scale, and then where the team as  a whole is and why. I then note what it would take to bring up the team as a whole to the next notch up. Finally I note what my expectation as to where we will be by the end of the next month.

I use this grades however primarly for ME - i.e. to see if the training is moving ahead as expected. Obviously we are focusing primarly on one, at most two things, in training over the four week period so I do not expect advancement in all areas. My goal though is to steadily move the team, and each individual player, forward every month so that there is very clearly a LOT or progess that has been made over the course of the year. It also helps keep me focused and 'real' about the players advancement (or lack thereof).

I use this though primarly to grade myself, not the kids. Nor do I share the details of it with anyone - even though we usually do very well. Saying that I still deffinetly share with the players what I feel they each individually need to work on, focus on - however i do it very informally and keep it very positive. But yes, the girls deffinetly know I am a) watching b) expecting c) we're are very serious about our training. Every practice has a purpose, both ST, mid term and long term.

Again though, I don't share these formal evals with the players. I use it in many ways to a) help guide our practices going forward b) grade myself - if the players are not advancing I take personnel responsibility for it. Because I know from experience that over the course of the year they WILL advance a lot if they apply themselves, stay focused and I'm doing a good job of scripting and leading our practice sessions. Even the trainer(s) sessions I take responsibility for. If they are not moving the players ahead then I need to do a better job of guiding the trainers or finding a new trainer or doing more of the training myself if they are struggling. Note: about 1/3 of our practices are run by professional trainers (with HC/AC usually assisting), 2/3 of the sessions are run by the coaches. I also make heavy use of our older players who are now in college during the summer months. Regardless who is running the session though I take responsiblity for it and thus it affects part of the grade I give myself at the end of the month.
mtnlady - December 21st, 2010 03:46 GMT

I should note that our training is done in approx. 4-8 week cycles. This of course affects the focus of our sessions and the areas I am expecting to see the most improvement. Age is also a factor, for example right now I am coaching a younger team so my primary focus is first on individual skills such as dribbling, ball mastery, first touch etc. Team skills are a secondary focus to me until much later in the year.
Coachg - December 21st, 2010 23:19 GMT

I like you program you posted. I work more higher level. Even at u16 I focus on first touch being able to handle the ball without having to think.
I at the younger age I compare this to baseball. can't catch and through with the same hand so my younger ae not allowed to recievce and pass the ball with the same foot. during finishing they must touch the ball with one foot then finnish with the other. I grade them on this. Oh and first touch is not just with the foot but all parts of the body.

On defending I grade them of three three rules 
Don't get beat
Don't dive in
Force the mistake

At tryouts I look for these 
mtnlady - December 21st, 2010 23:44 GMT
Edited by mtnlady on December 21st, 2010 23:49 GMT

Coachg I find myself focusing more and more on first touch. We move there right after the kids are showing pretty good dribbling/ball mastery skills. We use a variety of drills but my favorite is a very simple one. 

I call it "Box 1st Touch" and "Box 1st Touch Away from Pressure". We run these drills almost with every practice after the first month or so. Drill #1 is we run the girls through a speed ladder or just from a cone into a cone 'square'. Coach sends the ball into the square just as the player is flying in. Player has to control the ball (trap) on their first touch and pass, dribble, dribble and shoot etc. (the variations are limitless) after their first touch. First touch needs to be controlled within the cone 'box'. We let them do choose their own first touch method at first then introduce 3 ways to trap the ball: open hip, flick and 'sweep' (opposite foot 'sweeps' ball to opposite side).

As the players get better the box gets smaller and smaller, players speed into the box increases and I want to hear them call and 'show' for the ball. No one is allowed to 'jog' into the box. It's a very fast paced, high energy drill.

As the players progress balls are passed harder and harder into the 'box', then I short hop the ball in, flighted balls in etc. After the players get that down we add pressure and begin to introduce the second drill. That being that I have two older players on either side of me. As the ball is passed in hard one of the players charge hard toward one side of the box. The player must take their 'first touch' away from pressure and out the opposite side of the box. We do this drill second because the player must have mastered their first touch enough that they can now play with their head up and take their first touch away from pressure.

Other variations of the drill involve "Y" turns where the players trap the ball and then pass to a coach / older player who is behind them at an angle. We also use the same box to work on the various turns so the player receive the ball in the box, turns the ball in the box and passes to coach behind them.

Simple drill but very effective to teach a quality first touch. First touch to me is critical before you can get even half way serious into passing skills. We also play keep away and virtually every passing drill we have also emphasizes first touch but the 'box' drills really zero down on it and get fast results. We do these drills all season long as dribbling/ball mastery and first touch are critical for me to develop in the girls at the younger ages (u10-u11 and up).
mtnlady - December 22nd, 2010 00:01 GMT

As for defense I could write a book on that, way too much for here. I find at tryouts though virtually no players have much in the way of defensive training so I resort to looking for their speed/quickness and most important -- their pyshological make up. Aggressive, determined, team focused, physical (but not out of control), intelligent.

As for grading each player, positional groups (FBs, MFs, Forwards) and the team as a whole there are so many variables I don't even try to break it down. I just give each player, group and the team as a whole a grade and then explain why. Suffice to say that a positional group doesn't get a very good grade until they have learned to work well together (pressure, support, cover, reading space, communication, switches, playing facing and not chasing etc...). Individual players I'm looking for movement (playing with their feet), channeling and staying inside goal side (especially the fullbacks, mids you could be doing something different at the older ages). Playing facing and not chasing (quick drop etc..). Foot skills, air skills etc. all come into play as well because they need to stop the ball. Aggressive, jumping passes etc... the list is long so I just put one grade on them and then explain why. In my mind I know what I'm looking for for each level (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced etc.).
101-92 - January 26th, 2011 17:03 GMT

Our club is using iSoccer.org, which is part of the National Standards Project and is being supported by NSCAA and US Club Soccer. Parents can see their child's individual scores on 16 different measurements and compare themselves anonymously to other players on the team as well as against the average across all iSoccer teams that have entered data.  It also provides extensive videos for parents to help the kids work on skills at home and they can do their own assessments and enter them into the system.  You can then filter by just the coach-entered assessments.

We have found that the results are pretty indicative of overall player skill, but not necessarily of the player's impact on the field, particularly at the younger age groups where being physical and fast can take you a long way.
mtnlady - January 26th, 2011 20:33 GMT

Of course once the players (parents) know they can compare themselves against their teammates - and visa virsa - then keeping the numbers honest might become an issue....
First Touch - January 28th, 2011 13:52 GMT

Those that would choose to lie then don't really want to improve for the right reasons...those who are honest and work harder to get better will regardless...and I think a vast majority of the kids who want to use this on their own and work on skills at home outside of club experience are honestly working at improvement and not lying.
Socceroffice - April 12th, 2013 15:21 GMT

Evaluations are a wonderful tool for coaches that teach youth players.  Positive feedback can help a youngster not only in soccer but in life.  You should try Zoomreports.
11RoCks - April 15th, 2013 17:08 GMT

Do your coaches give this feedback yearly, quarterly, or each season?
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