Everyone wants their players to improve, but without feedback it’s hard for them to know where they truly stand. When I was coaching we used to provide evaluations at the beginning and end of each season with individual player meetings throughout the year. It really helps cut through confusion and develop relationships with your players. If you’re a player and your coach doesn’t provide you with an evaluation, ask him or her for one. And, if you’re a coach who doesn’t do them I highly suggest it. It might seem like a waste of time, but I promise it’s an investment in your players’ development.
When I played one thing I always looked forward to was being evaluated at the end of the season or at a camp. I think the reason why can be summed up in two sentences I picked up from a book, Winning, by Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE:
“Maybe some information is hard to swallow at first and yes, “bad” news often hurts, but soon enough, like all knowledge-it’s power-in fact, it’s liberating. When you know where you stand you can control your own destiny, and what is more fair than that?”
Often times, when providing feedback or an evaluation it is tied to developing or defining a role. Every player (and parent) wants to be a star on the team. To score the ball and get their name in the paper. But, one of the most important things you can do as a coach is to get your players to be a “star” in their role. The role that is the piece of the puzzle that is tied to team success. When someone understands that the screens they set are just important as the ball going through the hoop you’ve done a lot of your work as a coach.
“Not everyone can be an all-star. But, everyone can be an all-star in their role”
How do you do this? You praise and reward the behavior that the team needs to reach their potential. Obviously scoring the basketball is crucial, but everyone knows that. It’s been ingrained in them since they started playing the game. But, you have to reframe their mindset about doing the little things and being an all-star in different roles.
Where does it start?
To help you get started I’ve included a link to an evaluation that we use. You’ll have other things that might be important to you, but it should be a good starting point.
Be sure that your players know what you are basing their evaluation on. We used a scale of 1-5. “1” being a low skill level and “5” being close to, or at the level of, the best in country for their age level. You have to always be competing against yourself, trying to improve, but depending on your aspirations you need to know what the highest level looks like.
Dream Big. Reach High. Thrive3.