As humans we are evaluated for everything we do. Whether it be in school, at work, or in athletics, we are always being tested and compared to others. Evaluating someone’s abilities can shed light on what a person’s strengths and weaknesses are. It allows us to see where they are at and what needs to be done to get them to the next level. We all want to know we are getting better, but we can’t get evaluated every single day. This will only show us small progress if any from day to day, rather than seeing what we have accomplished in a month. It is important to understand why we get evaluated and when we should get evaluated to show true benefits of all the work we have done.
In athletics we strive to be the best player on the court or the field. You can generally see skill levels of athletes at practice or in games, but that does not tell us where the athlete truly excels. This just shows us how they can combine these skills and apply them to the sport or drill they are doing at that time. Through evaluations we can look at athletes individually and assess them in specific areas. Now we can break down their skills into different areas such as strength, speed, agility, or jumping ability. This will show us exactly what the athlete may need to improve on to carry over into their sport to make them better. Some athletes possess great speed but lack the strength to go up strong under the basket. While others have a hard time of reacting and getting out to cover a defender as soon as they get the ball. All of these areas can be assessed in an evaluation. Putting athletes through specific drills that will highlight these skills can allow us to design and implement programs that will improve these weaknesses and still build upon their strengths. At the end of the day evaluations are just tests that are used to see where someone is this very moment in time.
Getting evaluated should not become an everyday thing. An evaluation is just an initial assessment that will help highlight the areas that we need to work on that will help increase our performance in the future. For any sport, athletes should get evaluated any time they are starting something new. This could include a new performance training class or trying out for a new winter team. Getting an evaluation done could also be beneficial after a long demanding sport season where you might have had some injuries. This will show how your body adapted over the season to support the demands you were placing on it or the lack there of. In the case of an injury we tend to lose range of motion due to it being uncomfortable and stop utilizing the area to its full capability. An evaluation would show us where we need to start the offseason program so we can get back to full health and a proper range of motion to play our sport. An evaluation is not an end all be all, it just gives us awareness of where the athlete is coming in at.
Evaluations are important for us to complete with anyone that is new to our program or starting something new within our program. It gives us a clear understanding of the athlete’s abilities and where they need to be placed to further their development. We do not want to get in a pattern of evaluating our players ever week or every month. They may have gotten better but chances are it may not be significantly. We want to be able to look back and say a few months ago that wasn’t possible but after following and trusting the process we are now capable of not only performing the task but can now consistently perform the task. Trust the process and in the time your athlete will grow and develop into a well rounded athlete we are now they can be.