Evaluating Coaches: A Guide to Assessing Performance and Developing a Growth-Oriented Culture

Coaches are often evaluated on their win-loss record, the development of their athletes, and the relationships they have with players and parents. However, there are other criteria that leagues should consider when assessing their coaches. A valuable tool for achieving this is a coaching self-assessment form that can be used after training sessions. This form should be adapted to create a growth-oriented culture, rather than one designed to provide a basis for dismissal.

Communication is key for successful coach evaluations. It allows the Athletic Director (AD) to stay informed and defend the coach's actions when they can observe them in a training and game environment. When a school focuses on character, they want their coaches to become transformative people, not transactional. Simon Sinek's book Start with Why emphasizes the importance of understanding why coaches and their sports programs are evaluated in order for all stakeholders to grow and develop. When evaluating coaches, it is important to use an appropriate form that accurately assesses the direction, growth, and leadership of the coach within the respective sports program.

The review should also indicate how well the coach is meeting education-based results in training performance with students. An anonymous survey of 17 questions can be used to get feedback from the team without the coach present. The coach should also set an example in appearance, manners, language, behavior, ethical behavior, fair competition and good sportsmanship. When a coach is hired to lead a team, they are expected to develop a master plan and direction for the program. It should be clearly explained to them that this process is expected to make comments, adjustments and corrections throughout the year.

A unit that operates under the direction of a transformational coach will provide meaningful feedback for the coach. On the other hand, a team under transactional leadership can expose things to the AD and the coach that may be unpleasant to hear. Evaluating coaches is an important part of creating a successful sports program. By using an appropriate form and adapting it to create a growth-oriented culture, leagues can ensure that their coaches are meeting their objectives and mission.