As the collegiate coaching carousel winds up, and athletic programs nationwide make personnel changes for the betterment of their team, it presents a reminder for athletics administrators to plan to evaluate high school coaches in their staff, and more importantly, the methods by which their performance is evaluated. Not surprisingly, these two tried and true strategies are also employed by some of the world’s most successful companies like Intel and IBM.
Set expectations and present clear guidelines
Before you begin to evaluate high school coaches, it’s important to have clear guidelines by which they’ll be judged. Make sure to discuss these guidelines at the beginning of the season to ensure that your coaches are aware of and on board with the expectations. The National Federation of State High School Associations reported that it’s important to also have a plan for how often the evaluations will occur, who will administer them and what weight they will have. The organization emphasized that you should be careful not to overload your staff or restrict their freedom in the process. They should know that you support them and just want to help them develop into the best possible instructors they can be.
“It’s important to ask for input from the people who interact with your coaches in a different capacity.”
To help your coaches in this process, schedule several check-in meetings during the season during which you can discuss any complaints you’ve received or concerns you have and help create plans for improvement. Even if the formal evaluation hasn’t been completed, you can start to discuss different growth areas or perceived strengths and weaknesses.
Ask for “360-degree” input
While your own analysis is critical, it’s also important to ask for input from the people who interact with your coaches in a different capacity. The prep athletics players in particular work with your staff day in and day out and likely have valuable insight on their performance. Having the team fill out a questionnaire will give you valuable information that can help evaluate your faculty members. The Positive Coaching Alliance suggested having players score the coach in categories such as “obeys the rules,” “treats players with respect,” “helps players learn and improve” and “makes the sport fun.”
Parents can also provide valuable insight to help you evaluate high school coaches. Consider creating a separate survey or asking parents to email you feedback as it arises. Assistant coaches and others who work closely with the team are also good resources to draw on when it comes to evaluating your coaches.