Coach Brad · Coaching · Development · Education · Leadership · Success · Youth Sports

The Growth of a Coach -Evaluation Sets the Stage for Success

Does the youth sports club you are affiliated with as a coach or parent provide feedback and organized evaluations for the coaches working within the organization? Improving the ability of a coach to provide education and create positive relationships during training and games directly effects the growth and passion of the participants. Providing the coach with tools to become a better educator will give them an increased opportunity for success within the organization. It is a win/win for the organization to provide feedback and scheduled evaluations for the coaches.

Ensuring everybody within the organization is on the same page when delivering the curriculum and using the approved methodology is a complex task. Creating a seasonal formal evaluation schedule assists in creating increased awareness for using the prescribed instructional methodologies employed for success at the organization. Without this feedback, the coaches are using the teaching styles and activities they think work the best while not being offered any suggestions on becoming better coaches. A seasonal formal evaluation is necessary to provide structure and consistency throughout a youth sports organization.

Blake Seale

Last week during a training session, I was able to observe a young coach at Storm Soccer Academy named Blake Seale. Blake is in the midst of transforming from a high level player to a respected coach. Blake knew I was going to observe him. Initially I looked at his lesson plan and assisted him with any design issues. During the actual session I used my iPhone to take videos of him teaching and the notes app to remember important aspects of the session I wanted to chat with Blake about. Below is the email I sent Blake in order to provide an opportunity for him to grow through evaluation. We also discussed these observations and he is currently working on a written reflection to provide even more impact on his growth as a coach.


Great working with you last night at the Winter Training Session. I believe the kids received good repetition, positive feedback, constructive criticism, and overall had a good experience participating in your session. With that being said, I believe you can still improve on your ability to coach and most importantly, you want to improve your abilities as a coach.  

Some feedback along with video url is below on this email. I would love for you to watch the videos and write down your positives as well as needs improvements. By writing them down, that allows you to watch future video and compare and contrast as to how you are growing as a coach. Writing the important information down also drills into your head what you want to fix next time you coach. We may never have a perfect lesson, but always working towards designing and implementing the perfect lesson should be a goal we continue to work towards.

Chicken Dribbling – Push to the Right –

  • I would love to see you layer information during stoppages.
    • First stoppage would include focusing on diagonal touch.
    • Final stoppage would include playing ball long to get to line and doing it as fast as you could.
  • Transition to beginning – Are their any ways we could make this go faster?

Chicken Dribbling – Shoulder Drop –

  • Layer information
    • Fix biggest problem at first stoppage (usually technical placement of ball or not dropping shoulder effectively).
    • Change of pace to get to end is usually second stoppage.
  • Player effort to complete activity needs to be addressed.

Chicken Dribbling – Side Sole Role – 

  • Good demonstration
  • We talked about layering ideas on the kids as the session goes prior to this activity so that aspect was better.

1v1+1 Set Up and Organization – 

  • Took 4 minutes and 13 seconds to get first ball rolling. Entirely too long for a game that most of the kids have played before. If one of the younger players do not understand I would have them in the back of the line so they could watch and go from their. Another option would be for the older player to explain the activity to their group. This would add in an element of leadership development.

1v1+1 Round 1 of Activity –

  • You were in manager mode during this entire activity.
    • Last night when we chatted about this you reasoning was you would prefer to see where the major mistakes occurred and then make adjustments. At some point in your coaching career, you will have enough experience to know where the errors will happen before you even do the activity.
    • As I talked to you about last night, I prefer to make coaching points in first activity and then coach in the game over the activity during the second portion of the activity.
    • With your method of coaching, I would want to play 3 games because after coaching the kids during the second game, I would want to see what adjustments they made during the third game.
  • You had 3 other coaches at the session.  Use them during your activity to manage the activity. You get in and do the coaching. Tons of people can manage an activity but it takes a special person to know when to get into the session to make the coaching points and what coaching point should be made. This is how you can tell if somebody is a good coach…not because they can set the activity up.  

Blake Round 1 Coaching in the Flow –

  • You make good points and have great ideas. Good job coaching in the flow and offering advice to the players as they were playing. I like how you mixed in activity management and coaching during the clip.

Round 2 of 1v1+1 Instruction –

  • I love the ideas you are making and they are very relative to the session as you previously saw numerous mistakes and then are looking to make the adjustments. Thought for you: How could you use less verbiage (talk less) and get the same point across. Be efficient with your words and they will have more power.

Round 2 of 1v1+1 Instruction –

  • Great information again, can we make the point in a more efficient manner…get in and get out in 1 minute max – your point was over 1 minute and 30 seconds.

5v5 Organization –

  • How could we organize this quicker?
  • Players only received 15 minutes of play time during the game. If we become more efficient with our word choices and time management (how long coaching points are being made) we may have more time to play at the end. I like when you make your choices to stop activity and when to coach in the flow. Lets now focus on getting in and getting out quick but still making the same effective coaching point.

Thanks for letting me continue to observe you Blake. I have seen growth over the course of the season and look forward to providing another video series for you in January featuring more growth as a coach.

Thank you Blake for allowing us all to grow by observation and I look forward to chatting soon.

Growth through feedback…The next blog post will feature Blake’s reflection on the lesson, the videos he watched and the observations I made. The youth sports organization you are affiliated with must have an evaluation plan in place for coaching and organizational success and growth…anything short of this is not holding up their end of the bargain.

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Coach Brad

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