Mid-Season Player Evaluations & Interviews
By Tyler Hinds (@THinds3)
We are a little over halfway through the season and playoffs are right around the corner. Now is a great time to conduct brief 1-on-1 player/coach meetings to deliver and acquire some feedback from your players on the season to date. Here is a good template for your conversation.
1. Are you Having Fun?
Ask each player what they love the most about this hockey season and why. Ask for suggestions on what would make it even more fun. After all, having fun is the number one goal.
2. Strengths & Weaknesses
Let the player know specifically what they are doing well on the ice (scoring, defending, passing, play making, checking, energy, etc.). Conversely, let the player know exactly what they need to work on (team systems, listening, skating, consistency, etc.). This is not a time to sugar coat things, be very clear and direct with the player so they have a clear understanding of what it is they need to focus on improving and offer suggestions on how they can accomplish this.
3. Team Goals
Players must understand that no one is bigger than the team. Detail to each player that if we want to have success in the playoffs, we need every player to play their role. Outline each player’s role and sell the team concept hard. This means buying in to the team philosophy, accepting their role, and not deviating from that task.
4. Player’s Expectations
Based on the benchmark conversation at the beginning of the year, ask the player if their expectations are being met this season. If not, what can I, the coach, do to help them achieve their goal. It is very important to know what they want and if it is a realistic goal. If the goal of a AA player is to play AAA next season, that is attainable. If the goal of a house league player is to play AAA next season, that is unrealistic. A more realistic goal for this player is to make the jump to rep hockey.
5. Coach’s Expectations
Based on the benchmark conversation at the beginning of the year, let the player know if the are meeting, exceeding, or falling short of your expectations. Has their development improved, stayed the same, or regressed? This includes any disciplinary, motivational, or ice-time issues.
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