Helping develop the player-coach relationship with postseason player self-evaluation

By Keith Grabowski | Posted 11/20/2018

As discussed on the Coach and Coordinator Podcast, the postseason self-evaluation tool includes various discussion topics for the player and coach to cover in the postseason interview. This document is printed and given to each player who will be returning the following season. Seniors are given an exit interview with a different evaluation tool.

On equipment turn-in day, players are given the questions and asked to schedule a meeting with their position coach and head coach. In the meeting, the coaches will take notes on the responses, which will be filed for reference when needed.

The first page of the postseason self-evaluation document allows the player to self-reflect on their actions in the game and within the program. This serves as an effective conversation starter when coaches sit down individually with the player.

Rating scale: 1-10 (10 is best). Rate yourself on the following topics and be honest:

1.     Football preparation, playbook study, film study, etc. – Do you know the specifics of playing your position and how the offense, defense and special teams work?

2.     Promoting our program – What do you do to encourage others to play, especially at the youth and junior high level?

3.     Social – Are you moderate in your behavior and habits? Do you make good decisions off the field?

4.     Attitude – Do you consistently bring a positive attitude every day?

5.     Passion – How passionate are you about football? Could you live without it in your life?

6.     Communication – Do you communicate well with your coaches and teammates?

7.     Punctuality – Are you on time for school, lifting and practice?

8.     Teammate – How do your teammates view you as a teammate?

9.     Dependability – Can your teammates and coaches count on you?

10.  Rest and sleep 

11.  Diet

12.  Toughness

13.  Leadership

It is important to have all the necessary information on the player. The second page captures any updates to contact information. 

14.  Name

15.  Address

16.  Email

17.  Parent(s) names

18.  Parent(s) work number/cell number

19.  Parent(s) email

20.  I live with ___Both parents ___Mom ___Dad

21.  Birthday

The third page gives coaches some baseline information on what the player is thinking about in terms of their role within the program for the following season. Additionally, players supply their current physical and academic information, intentions to play other sports and names of students outside the program interested in playing.

22.  Positions you would like to play in 2019 (circle those that apply)

I.      Offense: Center/Guard/Tackle/Tight End/Fullback/Tailback/Quarterback/Receiver

II.     Defense: Tackle/End/Inside LB/Outside LB/Strong Safety/Free Safety/Cornerback

III.   Specialty: Kicker/Long Snapper/Return

IV.   Special Team: Punter/Punt Return/Kickoff/Kick Return/PAT-FG

23.  As of today:

Clean___ Squat___ Bench___Deadlift___ Vertical___40yd.___Ht.___Wt.___

24.  Are you planning on going to college?

25.  Are you planning on playing football in college?

26.  Cumulative GPA

27.  Are you playing a winter sport (list sport)?

28.  Are you planning on playing a spring sport (list sport)?

29.  Do you know anyone who is thinking about playing who the coaching staff should contact? If Yes, please list their name(s) and grade(s) below.

I.      Name/Grade

The fourth page asks the player to share some basic personal information. While the player may not write a lot in the space provided, the feedback helps the coach get to know the player off the field and builds the foundation for the player-coach relationship. Understanding some basics about the direction the player would like to go with his education or career, his school preferences and family information are useful in being able to guide the player.

30.  Siblings – names/ages

31.  Why do you play football?

32.  What is your favorite subject in school and why?

33.  What is your least favorite subject and why?

34.  What are your educational or career goals?

35.  What’s your favorite hobby outside of football?

36.  Who is your favorite teacher and why?

37.  What sports did your father/mother play?

38.  Do you work? If so, where?

The fifth page is designed to help understand the dynamics of next year’s team. The graduating seniors should not be included in this list. These few questions should elicit perspective on the upcoming team. Understanding who the players like/do not like helps the staff work on team dynamics. As mentioned in the podcast, if players appear on the “do not like list” often, this should indicate a red flag that your staff will need to address.

39.  List, in order, who you think our 12 best players are.

40.  List, in order, the members of our team that you like best.

41.  List, in order, the members of our team you like least.

The final page of the questionnaire helps the coach understand the team’s view of their opponents as well as what each individual values in a team and what they aspire to be as an athlete. The opponent dislike list should be tallied and utilized by the staff to understand some of the emotion and psyche that may arise when facing each opponent.

42.  Opponent dislike list from 1 being most disliked to 10 being least disliked, rank our opponents.

43.  What sports teams do you admire most and why (pro/college)?

44.  What athletes do you admire most and why (pro/college)?

While the self-evaluation tool remains separate from the on-field aspects of technique and scheme, the questions offer plenty of opportunity for each position coach and head coach to understand the players under their guidance. The conversations that stem from this questionnaire are very helpful in developing the player-coach relationship.

Listen to the short podcast to understand how each page works and additional thoughts on using this tool: