Episode 13 – What Separates Players at the Next Level

Check out my episode “Episode 13- Speed of Play and Decision Making” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-13–Speed-of-Play-and-Decision-Making-e2k34f

Speed of Play and Decision Making. Learn what you can do as a player, parent or coach to develop pace it play and Decision Making.

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Identifying and Reaching Potential – An Athletes’s Guide

Check out my episode “Episode 12 – Reaching Potential – Practical Actions you can take to assess and reach your potential.” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-12—Reaching-Potential—Practical-Actions-you-can-take-to-assess-and-reach-your-potential-e2itb0

Do You Believe in Your Own Potential?

 

While we all have dreams and aspirations, few of us are fully aware of our own potential. It can be hard to see the truly good and admirable traits in ourselves, just like it is our faults. However, believing in your own potential is a crucial part of developing your self-confidence.

 

In order to achieve all, you’re capable of, you have to believe in the potential you have. It can help you to try new things, challenge yourself, and take risks that could all lead to success. We’ve come up with a few ways you can determine if you believe in your potential.

 

Spend Time in Self-Reflection

 

The first way to determine if you believe in your own potential is to spend time in self-reflection. Ask yourself what you are capable of; what are your strengths and admirable qualities. This time spent determining your potential is valuable to who you are as a person and achieving your full potential. During this time, try to focus on the following:

 

  • What is your potential?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Do you truly believe you can achieve it?
  • What can you do with this potential?

 

Focusing on these things and answering these questions will help you to identify your potential and believe in it more strongly.

 

Write Down What You See As Your Full Potential

Now that you’ve had time to reflect on what your potential is, you can list the qualities and skills that entails. This will help you affirm what your potential is and your belief in it. Study this list and keep it with you, being sure to look at it whenever you feel yourself doubting your potential. This will help you keep your potential in the forefront of your mind and help you to truly believe in your potential.

 

Prove Your Potential to Yourself

For some to truly believe in something, they need to see it. This even extends to what they believe about themselves. A great way to truly believe in your potential is to prove to yourself you have it. Act on it; challenge yourself by pushing the limits of your potential.

 

This challenge can be career-, hobby-, or relationship-oriented, so long as it challenges you and forces you to showcase your full potential. Once you’ve achieved the goal you set for yourself and fully showcased your potential, you’ll not only have a well-earned sense of accomplishment and confidence, but you’ll also fully believe in your potential without doubts.

 

Surround Yourself with People that Believe in Your Potential

We all like to think we don’t let others affect us, but the reality is that the people around us, especially those close to you, do have an effect on us and our emotions. If those close to you doubt your potential, you’re likely to do the same. You don’t need that negative influence in your life. Instead, surround yourself with people that believe in your potential and encourage you to achieve all you can. Their positive influence will provide you with encouragement and help you to see and believe in your potential.

 

We all have a river of potential inside us, but few people truly recognize and believe in that potential. Believing in your own potential is an essential part of your confidence and success. If you believe you are capable of accomplishing something, you’re far more likely to actually accomplish it.

 

However, believing in your own potential may not come as easily for you as it does for others. It’s often something we have to work on and prove to ourselves before we believe it.

Podcast Episode 10 – Life Lessons from Sports

Check out my episode “Episode 10 – Life lessons..”being the most prepared athlete on the field.”” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-10—Life-lessons–being-the-most-prepared-athlete-on-the-field-e2g3v4

Listen to the latest update about tips for taking lessons from your coaches. Advise for Coaches, Parents and Players. A simple lesson about preparation regardless of the skills or talent of your opposition, and how that has translated to sports, business, and every area of life.

Youth Soccer – Player Evaluations. Communication is key.

As a Club Director and Coach, I find myself and fellow coaches to be at the time of year where player feedback in the form of evaluations is needed.  Feedback and evaluation are an important part of the development process but often very difficult to get right. The balance between training/development and competition/results puts the process under scrutiny from the start and communication has a direct impact on the outcome.

We are now close to half way through the seasonal year having completed the fall outdoor training and playing season and just over 1/3 of the way through winter training.  Providing an assessment of where each player is at this stage of the year has a lot of benefits.  There are several points of view about the timing and frequency of evaluations.  For me, I have found that the mid-year is a good time because enough time has passed and each player has a amassed a solid body of work in training and games.  There are arguments both for and against more frequent evaluations and the point of this is not to infer that our approach is the right one and that others are not, it is merely a statement to set the background.

There are multiple tools and templates available that have been created and widely used by clubs at all levels. I have leveraged on line systems, checklists, MS Word and MS Excel based documents, etc.  Nearly all of the systems, programs or templates provide very similar evaluation criteria including: technical, tactical, physical, mental and social.  While it is certainly not Rocket Science, it is also not as simple it would seem. There is often a breakdown between intent and interpretation, regardless of the guidance provided to the evaluators as well as the explanations provided to the parents about the purpose and intent of the evaluations.  I have not seen a tool or system that remediates that risk.

Purpose vs Interpretation

Number system – What does it mean? What is the standard of measure? Is it a Stack Rank? These are common and obvious questions. The purpose of the numbering system is to evaluate players on a numerical scale. 1 to 5 is typical.  In some cases, coaches interpret 1-5 in relation to where that player compares to his or her teammates.  Some may consider that 1-5 is based on where they should be based on their age developmentally, while others may consider it based on where the players should be at their age compared to the standard at the regional events they participate in, like leagues, tournaments, ODP, etc.

Stack rank – Many of the systems calculate the numbers and create a hierarchical ranking for the players based on how they were scored on the various Attributes. Even though the intent is for Clubs and Coaches to keep that information for their own internal use and not share, my experience has been that many parents get to that question almost immediately upon receiving the review. Further, parents also want to ask where their player ranks in relation to the rest of the team or specific individual players.  As a coach, it is common knowledge to not talk about other players when talking about one child’s evaluation and it is best practice to refrain from comparing performance, attitude, attendance or otherwise. It is just a natural question that is influenced by our current society.

Games vs. Training- At younger ages, and in particular in under 12, everything you read as well as what most clubs do in terms of player development, is focus on individual player development, technical skill acquisition and training over games. One would think that if the ratio of training sessions two games is 2 or 3 to 1, that player evaluation systems would give more credence to training than games, yet almost every evaluation that I’ve seen or used has a much greater emphasis on game performance. So, if the message to the families is to emphasize training, what benefit does a performance or competition-based evaluation really provide?

This brings me to my next point in regards to age specific curriculum – age specific evaluation.  A lot of these systems evaluate things like vision, field awareness, decision making, as well as physical attributes like speed, power, Etc. In reality, while that is all very important, it should also be given different priority at different ages.  The evaluation systems should be based on the age of the players and what is developmentally appropriate.

So, you can see the dilemma that most coaches have as well as clubs when it comes to evaluating players. The idea and the intent are to provide the parents and the players with some feedback and guidance on how they are progressing, what they should be working on, and provide a general overview of where that player is at that snapshot in time. And while most parents are anxious and eager to see them, I have found at least, that there is so much room for interpretation, and it seems that there is a lot of concern or defensiveness, as well as an interest in the justification by the coaches, for the scores that they provided. It is often a much more tense and anxious process than most people anticipated when they sought to evaluate players in the first place.  I have learned directly and from other coaches and administrators, that like everything else, clear communication and expectations are the cornerstone of an effective evaluation cycle.

Guidance for Club Directors

Be sure to communicate the intent to the coaches, and set some clear guidelines to ensure the evaluations are approached from the perspective of developmental priorities based on their current age.  The evaluations should support your methodology and curriculum but should be influenced by best practice guidelines on a national and worldwide standard.

Guidance for Coaches

Be clear about the intent, take direction from the club. If you have more than one team at that age group, be consistent across all teams. If you employ a staff at the age group level or have team-based staff, be sure to coordinate and collaborate with the other staff to ensure that everyone is consistent with the scoring system etc.  If and when you review the evaluations with the players, focus on the positive, point out the area of focus.  Be sure to encourage the parents and players to maintain regular attendance which demonstrates commitment and to train on their own, outside of the team activities. Avoid discussing other players and refrain from answering questions about comparisons with other players. Focus on that player only.

Guidance For parents

Seek to understand the intent. Use the evaluation as a tool to capture feedback and validation. Recognize that this is about player development and the purpose is meant to drive positive outcomes. Avoid the urge to challenge the evaluation but do have a healthy discussion. Avoid the questions about other players and minimize the comparisons with other parents about their and instead focus on your child.

Overall, it is a very important part of player development and the relationship between player and coach, player and parent and coach and parents.  Communication is key. If communicated properly, executed consistently and discussed openly, player evaluations can be a very helpful tool for everyone involved.

Feel free to comment and share feedback, and good luck with player evaluations.