By Ker’Shyra Myrick
With an emphasis on fun, sportsmanship, fundamentals and teamwork, the Mason City (Iowa) Recreation Department takes pride in offering a wide range of youth sports lessons, leagues and tournaments.
Keeping it simple, and getting parents involved as volunteer coaches, has been a big factor in the department’s success since the 1970s.
“Our programs are educational and fun,” says Penny Bennett, youth sports coordinator for the Mason City Recreation Department. “We don’t travel or keep standings. We want the kids, parents and coaches to have fun!”
Contributing to that success has been their recent implementation of the National Alliance for Youth Sports’ Coach Rating System, which enables recreation staffs to evaluate the effectiveness of their coaches throughout the season.
“It’s very convenient,” says Bennett. “We send the evaluations to the parents, and if they have any questions about the coaches, we refer them to the NYSCA’s Coach Rating page.”
The Coach Rating System is an effective tool being used by recreation agencies across the country. It enables coaches to get honest and anonymous feedback from the parents of their players on how they are performing in all sorts of key areas, such as running effective practices and communicating with parents, among others.
Coaches can utilize the feedback to learn and improve in those areas in which they don’t receive a high rating. Plus, good scores in all areas provide that valuable positive reinforcement to stick with what they are doing because it’s working well.
“Most of the feedback is positive, but there are a few negative comments,” says Bennett. “Many of the coaches have used the evaluations to improve their coaching style, communication and develop better drills, making them more accountable.”
The NAYS Coach Rating System is sponsored by TeamSnap, the No. 1 online sports team management application for coaches, managers and organizers to save time organizing their teams and groups.Mason City Coach Rating Sportsmanship TeamSnap
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