Assessment Types to Incorporate when assesing player devleopment
- Rubric's are great - Are the players meeting standards expected? Create multiple tiers of standards as a guide
- Checklists - simple, but get the job done! "Player demonstrates consistant close control?" (Yes / No)
- Exit slips - Test your players cognitive attention by handing out quick question slips after practice, it's guaranteed to show you if your players are taking in the smaller details of learning. Have them turn their answers in before the following practice! (example below)
- "Should you always look at the ball when dribbling? - Coaches know the answer to this is no, players should consistantly work on crafting their dribble while keeping their eyes up, somewhere between 3-8 yards in front of the ball at their feet. But, we must give our players the answers, the patience, and the time to practice correctly to be successful. If we attempt to accelerate development too quickly (without repetition) during practice, then player improvement will be at a sedated pace. You'll see plenty of 4-8 year olds dribbling with their eyes staring down the center of the ball, remember, it takes Time, Process, and PRACTICE to change and create habits with the ball.
- Taking the time to have Question and Answer time with youth players is hugely beneifical, sometimes its good to listen if the kids have questions. Too often as coaches we make the communication side all about ourselves.
- Self-Assessment is a fantastic tool for player personal development - It allows players to see exaclty what they're doing right, and what they're doing wrong. Give them a task sheet - "Complete 5 Juggles with your Right foot, then 5 with your Left foot, record your best score after 3 attempts with each " - This sort of assessment gives the players some responsibility, but also gives them targets to aim for. Upon completion of "5" the coach can increase the numbers to keep accelerating player motivation. The unique notion of self-assessment is that for each player it can be individualized, structured, and realistic.
- Set Homework for your players between training days. I set my u12's a target of 15 juggles between Thursday - Tuesday. I did this for multiple reasons. First and foremost, to see who did their extra practice, its a pretty basic homework, but it shows me as the coach who was paying attention, who remembered, and who is committed to continuous improvement. It also helped me log down results, and as i continue this homework over multiple weeks, I hope to see improvement across the board. Those who are highly motivated intrinsically 'should' come out with better result over the consistent time.