How BUSC/Cal North ODP Technical Director Kevin Crow Eliminated Inconsistent Player Evaluations

The Challenge

Ballistic United Soccer Club (BUSC) had a common problem – player evaluations were inconsistent, and it was causing frustration for families.

“It’s an emotional time for parents,” said Kevin Crow, the Technical Director at BUSC & Cal North ODP. “There’s very little margin for error you can have when you’re evaluating kids.”

The Pleasanton, Calif., soccer club’s existing process presented challenges. Using paper forms, coaches were given a roster and a piece of paper to make notes on how each player performed. This created issues in trying to decipher some coaches’ handwriting. It also created inconsistencies. Crow said there was no way to really know if coaches were scoring players consistently, and if athletes were getting missed in the process — or not even being evaluated at all.

The Solution

To improve their evaluation process, BUSC surveyed parents to ask what their biggest frustrations were with tryouts. The most common answers included “I don’t even know if my kid was evaluated,” “Was he/she seen?” and “Did they pay attention to him/her?”

Some parents also noted inconsistencies in the post-tryouts feedback they received. If they had more than one child participating, one son might have received thorough and thoughtful feedback, while another child might have gotten just a few words from the coach.

To eliminate these inconsistencies, Crow turned to TeamGenius’ solution. He got the board and his coaches excited about the change from paper forms to the player evaluation app by explaining how they could standardize evaluations, make scoring consistent, and keep a history of each player’s previous evaluations and coaches’ feedback. The solution also lets coaches quickly and easily provide mid-season player evaluations.

“Once (the coaches) saw it and realized it wasn’t going to be a time-consuming thing for them to learn how to do, they went, ‘I’m in, let’s get this done,’” Crow said.

The Result

Using the TeamGenius app made BUSC’s evaluations more consistent and personal. In addition to streamlining the scoring process, it also lets coaches provide more timely and personalized feedback. Coaches utilized the app’s video features to record messages to players to accompany their mid-season evaluations. It let the coach personally tell the athlete what he or she is doing well, and how much they enjoy having them on the team.

TeamGenius also provided benefits Crow didn’t even think about when making the decision to implement the app.

It made the registration process easier as the administrators could easily place players into groups, assign fields and bib numbers, and take their photos when they checked in. This made tryouts more personalized as coaches could match a player’s bib number with their photo.

Kevin experienced so much success with the platform that he and the Cal North Olympic Development Program staff started to use TeamGenius to complete evaluations at the state level.

“At the end of the day, we have 1000 kids trying out on three different days to make a select group of teams at each age. One of the things they were doing was it {evaluations} was all paper,” said Kevin. “We have to standardize because every parent whose player does not make ODP, they are supposed to be sent the player evaluation of why.”

The system also made the club’s post-tryouts work easier – and more professional. They were able to send out invitations to the players who made the team, as well as send a letter and evaluation results to those who didn’t make the roster – all through the app.

With all of these capabilities, TeamGenius surpassed Crow’s expectations.

“It’s cost-effective, it’s user-friendly, it was everything it claimed to be – and more,” Crow said. “I love that the organization is continually adding enhancements and improving the platform. It’s continually just one of the best decisions I’ve made at the club level.”