It’s important to meet with each of your players at the beginning of the season to develop a personal plan for each player, based on their strengths, weaknesses and desired goals.
One way to begin this dialogue is to have your players fill out a self-evaluation form which allows each player to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses in such areas as stroke skills, mental toughness, conditioning, tactics, etc.
These self-evaluations are especially helpful when a coach is working with a new player, but can also be eye-opening for a coach who has worked with a player for sev- eral years, who may discover from a player’s self-evaluation that the coach and player have widely differing views on var- ious aspects of the player’s game.
Download the USHSTA player self-evaluation form, which you can use (or modify) and administer to your players at the start of each season.
Based on the player’s self-evaluation, the coach and player can then discuss what style of play the player will be; what strategies and tactics the player will need to play that style of game; what shots and shot combinations the player will need to successfully execute those tactics; and what strokes the player will need to work on to make those shots and shots combinations.
No matter how you choose to have players self-evaluate, it’s important, even for a command-style coach, to bring a player into the formation of a personal development plan in order to ensure a more complete understanding by the player of the goals you have set for them, leading to increased will- ingness and desire to follow a personal plan and ultimately, a higher chance for maximum success.