Recreation agencies nationwide giving NYSCA coach rating system rave reviews

2/4/2009

Recreation departments around the country can now obtain comprehensive feedback on the quality of the coaching in their programs, thanks to the new coach rating system unveiled by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS).
 
“I love the coach rating system,” said Dottie Phillips, recreation superintendent for the City of Wentzville (Mo.). “We actually do a manual evaluation of our coaches and it is sent to every single one of the 800 kids in our program, and then they all have to be tallied. This will be a huge cost savings to us in both time and postage.”
The system allows league administrators who are affiliated with NAYS to provide a digital link for parents to evaluate coaches anonymously. The link can either be placed within an email or posted directly on a league or organization’s website. The questions hit all the key coaching areas, such as safety, sportsmanship and how well they teach skills, among others.
“I think it is very user friendly to both the coach and the parent completing the evaluation,” Phillips said. “I like that it is made very clear that individual comments will not be known by the coach.”
Coaches can log on and see how parents rated them. While the parents’ answers are confidential, coaches can see their average scores in each category.
“I logged in as a clinician and it is pretty awesome,” said Bonnie Bentley, sports director for Hickam Air Force Base Youth Sports in Hawaii, a two-time Excellence in Youth Sports award winner. “The coaches rating system will be good and I will be sure to get it up and running here at Hickam with our spring and summer baseball seasons approaching.”
 
The system will also be particularly helpful for volunteers who often could go through an entire season without knowing what impact they were having on the kids. For example, through the new system coaches may find that they received high marks in every category except one, so armed with that information they can focus on improving their skills in that particular area. Or, receiving high marks in each category provides that valuable positive reinforcement that how they are handling their responsibilities is right on track.
"I think the site looks great," said Mark Lowry, director of the Orchard Recreation Center in Kansas. "It's a good idea to have parents have the ability to rate their child's coaches, as well as have the ability for the coaches to log on and see their ratings."
 
Coaches also have access to other innovative sections on the new NAYS Web site, including a Skills and Drills section that features hundreds of animated drills, as well as those that can be printed out and taken to practice to use as a handy reference while working with players; and the Coaching Forum, where volunteers can tap into the expertise of more than 100,000 coaches to gain insight on a variety of issues that are typically encountered while coaching children.

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