Whether it’s your first or third time through assessments, we understand that player assessments can be a stressful time for players and parents. We hope an explanation of the process will help alleviate some of that stress and let you and your player enjoy the soccer experience. Placement of every player on the correct team within the correct level will lead to a better overall experience for the players.
Fair, objective and thorough
The goal of the assessments is to maintain a fair, objective and thorough process for assessing each player’s abilities and skills in order to place each player onto a team that will best challenge their current level of play.
SFFC uses a four part process to place players on the appropriate team. Information from each part of the process is used to help form the teams. While no one process is perfect, SFFC believes this multi part process provides a fair and unbiased evaluation of each player’s current abilities and skills and provides the right information for proper placement within their age group.
• Written and Verbal evaluations from a player’s current coach are invaluable in this process as they watch their players during every practice and every game that takes place during the entire season.
• SFFC Technical Directors watch players during regularly scheduled games thru the season to add more information to the process.
• SFFC Technical Directors throughout the season host as many of the age groups as possible thru training sessions not only to work on skill development but also to watch player development.
Formal Assessments Sessions:
• Players are then evaluated during two or three assessments sessions after the conclusion of the season. These are conducted by the Technical Committee. No parent, coach, or relative participates in the assessment process where their child or relative is involved. The process is designed to provide an unbiased view and opinion of the player’s capabilities relative to their peers.
1. Players must be registered for the upcoming season before attending the formal assessment sessions. Players are expected to try and attend as many of the assessments as possible. Players who do not attend at least one of the formal assessments will not be considered for a Tier 3 (Gold) level team, unless special circumstances (illness, injury, prior important family commitments, etc.) are communicated in writing via email to the TD. When possible, this should be done prior to the first day of formal assessments.
2. Those players who are only interested in playing at the Silver level should only attend the Silver assessments.
3. The first round of assessments dates and times are typically posted in mid March with an additional round scheduled in mid to late August.
4. Players must wear shin guards, soccer boots and bring water to assessment sessions.
A team of evaluators assess the players’ skills relative to their peers and record a rating for each player. Evaluators are made up of our SFFC Technical Committee (SFFC Technical Director, SFFC board members and SFFC Coaches). Evaluators agree to keep their evaluations results confidential.
- On assessment day, players are checked in and given a numbered pinnie. That number is the player’s identification for that day’s assessment. All observations are recorded by pinnie number only on a standardized form. Players are not identified by name or current team. This entire process is repeated for all other days of assessments.
- Players go through a group warm-up and are then randomly divided into team groups. These groups then participate in scrimmage games so the evaluators can see them in game real situations. These games will be held in an age appropriate structure (Super 8 or Full Field).
- At the conclusion of the Assessment sessions, the evaluation forms are collected from each evaluator by the technical directors and the assessment data is compiled.
The SFFC Technical Committee reviews all the compiled assessment data and coach evaluations. This information forms the foundation of player placement. Team rosters are completed and then presented to the SFFC Board for final approval. The final placement recommendation is based on the skills and abilities of the players assessed through all parts of the process. With the exception of the initial Coach’s evaluation form, no coach, parent or relative with a child in the age group is allowed to participate in any part of that age group’s assessment process including team formation.
What do we look for?
Below is a sample of things we are looking for during the assessment process:
- Dribbling – ball control, inside/outside foot control, pace of dribbling, feinting, inside/outside cutting skills, acceleration and deceleration with ball, head up while dribbling.
- Passing –technique with both feet (inside/outside of foot), crisp/accurate passing to feet and to space, pace of pass, movement after passing.
- First Touch/Ball Control – trapping and receiving ball in front of body, positioning to field when receiving, head up and field awareness after controlling ball.
- Shooting/Finishing –technique of driving shot with laces/inside of foot, body position on shot, follow-through, decision on when/if to shoot, following shot for rebound
- Defending – marking player, pressuring player without over committing, body position when defending, stopping forward progress, tackling/gaining control of ball, knowing when to clear ball vs. dribble/pass
- Shielding – body position when under pressure, “showing the ball” or shielding from defender, back to defender or side to defender.
- Heading – attacking/striking ball with forehead, heading for control, passing or clearing.
- Speed – quickness off/to ball, acceleration to ball/space, change of direction and deceleration
- Strength – standing ground and/or winning position
- Aggressiveness – attacking and going to the ball on defense, attacking and dribbling around/through defenders on offense, attacking and finishing shots
- Coachability – a player’s ability to take direction and implement what is asked
- Communication – calling for the ball, directing players to space
- Field/Game Awareness – heads up view of the entire field/game, awareness of other players, knowing when to pass vs. dribble or shoot, seeing plays materialize and moving to position
- Attitude – are they having fun? Positive to other players/referees, not giving up on plays, sportsmanship, overall potential.
- Goal Keeping – proper positioning, movement within the goal, understanding pace of play control, proper ball distribution, ability to play with their feet, communication with their team.