Category Archives: Evaluations

The Coaches Evaluation Form…should you participate?

Do you think coaching evaluation forms are safe?  When I first started filling out this form I felt like I was being given a voice and someone was going to hear me.  If I had a valid complaint or concern I fill out the form whether hard copy or downloading it online and the organization could act on it if they chose.  If I wanted to really talk up a coach I could do that too!

Either way, it gave me the opportunity to discuss in a very confidential manner a particular coach or team issues without the coach, parents or kids knowing.  I would always try to be positive because something inside of me always said “caution.”   These forms were supposed to be helpful to the organization when it came time for selecting coaches for the following year or helping the coach determine what did work and what didn’t work that year.  They tell us the forms can be anonymous and are confidential.  That’s right, they tell us these are confidential forms only to be read by the organization’s board.

THAT’S A LIE!  DON”T BELIEVE IT!  RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!!!

Your coach will see the form at some point or will get a verbal relay of what is on the form.  Coaching forms are for chickens that are unable to voice their opinions directly to the coach.  Don’t get me wrong, I have used them myself when I could not make headway with a coach and wanted someone above them to know.  They never worked.  When there is an issue with a coach, the normal way of thinking is to get a group to voice their concern.  The more parents willing to voice their concerns on an evaluation form over a particular issue with a coach; the more likely something will be done about it.

Sounds very logical, but listen to me clearly!  Parents want other parents to do their dirty work.  I have been in that scenario one too many times!  You have a group of parents who feel like the coach is unfair with playing time, favoring other players, has unrealistic expectations of his/her players, drinks too much, swears too much, doesn’t communicate with parents and the list is a mile long.  During the final game you all agree, the “coaches evaluation form is the answer.”

The percentages are working against you.  Generally, not even 25% of those parents will do your dirty work thinking you are doing it for them.  Ya, get the picture, you get to be the complainer, the trouble maker, the one people frown upon.  Nobody wants to get caught, especially if you are on a select/premier team in which the core players are kept together from year to year.  I have known coaches to cut kids who have parents that rip them on the coaches evaluation form, you know the forms that the organization assured us no coach would ever see!  Trust me, it happened to my kid and me!  More on that story in another post.

Do yourself a favor – don’t try to accomplish what should be done in person through an evaluation form.  If you have something to say that is important enough to you and your kid, do it in person with the coach or club administrators.  It is better to confront than to hide behind an evaluation form.  There might be some ill feelings, but at least what you feel will be out on the table and you can have a much more open relationship with your coach and club.  Even if it feels uncomfortable, you and your kid will have a much stronger relationship with your coaches in the future.  Any thoughts?  Let us know if you have approached this in a different way or have some experiences to share.

The “real outcome” from Coaching Evaluations…

After a season of frustration on a girl’s premier soccer team I decided to go ahead and fill out the infamous coache’s evaluation form.  Little did I know this would be the very last one I would fill out – EVER!!!

Everyone was given a form and it was supposed to be turned into the team manager.  I always opted out of the evaluation process because I would rather just talk to the coach if I had an issue.  But this coach was a train wreck!  The league hired him because he had a name in the sports industry, or at least his family did.  This premier team was totally out of control and these girls were faced with a selfish husband and wife coaching team with their daughter being on the team.  It was wrought with favoritism, jealousy, threats, chaos, drunkenness, chaos, lying, and the list could go on.

Of course, all the parents were so afraid to speak up for fear of their kids getting cut.  Yes, as parents, we live in fear of the coaches’ power to cut our kid from the team.  It’s exhausting!  So we try and play the game the right way.  We use the form to say all the nice things we can about the coach, knowing this is the “safest” way to keep your kid from any retribution from a coach.  And should the day come when their buddy in the front office gets a hold of the confidential forms and decides to share them with your coach…well, your kid could be done if you don’t say great things!  Do you think they can’t decipher who wrote it, even though your name is not on it?  Absolutely…It happens all the time in youth sports, I am just an example of another statistic!

I thought very carefully about the form, trying to dig deep and find a couple positives for every negative, which was hard to do with this coaching duo.  I was feeling so much pressure from the parents to fill out the form, much more than in past years when we didn’t have this coach.  I chalked the pressure up to the fact that my daughter was one of four girls singled out and picked on, criticized, and abused all year long.  So, I should be the one saying something about it, after all, I am my daughter’s advocate.  I gave my form to the manager and headed home.  As soon as I got home panic set in.  What if I didn’t sugar coat it enough!  Maybe I should have gone with 3 positives for every negative.  What if he really did know it was us writing this?  I quickly called the team manager and she was kind enough to pull it out and allow me to give her another one the next day.  I quickly revised the form, reducing the list of negatives downward and the number of positives went up.  I chose not to explain the problem areas in as much detail, leaving them much more vague.  I felt better about the delivery on the form while still keeping my focus and intent on making it a better place for my daughter.  It wasn’t “candy coated,” just a softer delivery with some more general positive comments.

A week later the coach calls a mandatory team meeting with the parents.  Tryouts were the following weekend.  The coach says, “I just want everyone to know there will be very few changes in the roster, maybe just a girl or two, who may decide to switch clubs but nothing major.  I had never been in a meeting with so many parental suck-ups…it was making my stomach turn!  Knowing how conniving and dishonest the coach was, every single person felt like it may be there kid that is the one or two being forced to switch soccer clubs—the one to be cut in other words.  During the meeting the coach was not friendly, in fact, he was quite defensive the entire meeting.

Then the coach started in on his agenda.  Point one, point two, point three, and the list went on – he was addressing every single item I had talked about in my form!  Nothing was added, nothing deleted, only the topics I addressed in my evaluation form.  The coach wouldn’t even look at us.  We knew he was speaking directly to us. Every single concern we had was valid and supported by other parents, if not formally.  The other parents all knew their kids were being abused but the almighty “Fear” of having their daughter cut so they kept their tail between their legs.  I was glad to have the issues addressed and didn’t really have any fear my daughter might be one of the girls that would be cut since she was one of only 18 girls in the nation to make the “All National Team” that year.

But once again, I was wrong.  You guessed it, our daughter was one of only two cut from the team.  What good are these coaches evaluation forms if the organization uses them against us?  The “Good Ole Boys Club” they call it in Premier soccer.  I will NEVER fill out another coach’s evaluation form!  Nothing is ever anonymous or confidential when it comes to Youth Sports.  So a word to the wise…be cautious.  Understand the worst that can happen and how strongly you feel about the consequences that can happen.  Coaches have egos the size of Texas so just know you are treading on thin ice.

If anyone has gone through this and been successful giving input, please share your success with us – we can all learn and hopefully move away from being afraid if we comment.  If we’re afraid of being our kids advocate in this situation, what does our kid think of us?  Even if the worst comes to happen, at least your kid knows you were in their corner and at the end of the day, that is what I felt, and still do, was most important.  Your kid will grow out of youth sports, but they won’t grow out of knowing what you did or didn’t do for them.