Four Steps to Player Self-Assessments

by Matt Huston, After Action Team

The best teams are hyper-communicators.  These teams have developed a feedback loop that creates accountability, and over time, develops their team culture positively.  By using player self-assessment software, a coach can automate part of what has made those teams successful. When used correctly, post-practice and post-match player self-assessments can help boost team performance as the season progresses.

Below is a step-by-step guide that coaches can follow to introduce their team to player self-assessments:

Step 1: Introduce the Team to Self-Assessments

Clearly define how the assessments will benefit the team.  This will increase player buy-in. At the next team meet up, the coach can introduce the concept of player self-assessments to their team.  Here are a few talking points.

  •         Self-Assessments are conversation starters.
  •         Feedback loops are the engine of improvement.

Instructions on when and how often assessments will be taken should be discussed, so that everyone is on the same page.  This is also your chance to take a verbal poll on questions your athletes might want included and in the self-assessment.

A soccer coach's clipboard.

Step 2: Create the Assessment

Player self-assessments focus on specific metrics defined by the coaching staff.  One element to keep in mind when creating the assessment is to not overburden the player.  The frequency of the self-assessment is key for determining how many questions it should include.  Here’s a guideline with how many recommended questions to include depending on how frequent players are completing self-assessments.

  •         Multiple Self-Assessments Per Week.  1-3 Questions.
  •         One Self-Assessment Per Week. 4-6 Questions.
  •         One Self-Assessment Per Month. 6-12 Questions.

It is easy to muddy the water with countless questions that don’t lead to more information.  Keep in mind that it is the duty of the coaching staff to analyze and read the feedback they are receiving. 

Here’s a helpful list of ideas to start off with: Communication, Enthusiasm, Preparation, and Work Rate

For specific team roles like the goalie position, a custom set of metrics may be helpful.

Step 3: Team’s First Player Self-Assessment

The team is now ready for its first player self-assessment.  After the next practice or match, deliver the self-assessment to all players.  Inform the team of the expected deadline as well as where and when athletes are to return the completed reviews to coaching staff.

Reminders are important as the team is adjusting to a new habit and habits take time to build.  If there is a team meet up anytime between the present and the deadline, this would be a good time to send a friendly reminder to all players to complete their player self-assessment.

Step 4: The Feedback Loop

Athletes have completed their first player self-assessments.  It is time for the coaching staff to read through the results.  In less than fifteen minutes feedback can be analyzed and result in a better understanding of player performance expectations.

Player self-assessments are conversation starters.  Compare player evaluations with those done by the coaching staff for even more insight.

A meeting with soccer players.

There’s an App for That

After Action is a mobile app that makes player self-assessments quick and easy.

Tip:  Already use TeamSnap?  After Action has a built-in feature to easily import your team.

After Action is available on the App Store, Google Play and your favorite internet browser.