Windsor entrepreneur hopes to improve the process for coach evaluation
May 30, 2017
Milan Larson of Windsor remembers feeling aggravated when a coach spoke aggressively to his daughter and her teammates.
"I had to do everything I could to not come uncorked," Larson said.
That experience, he said, sparked his new company, Dare2Coach, which provides a specialized survey to sports teams for coach evaluation.
Larson talked to hundreds of coaches and teams, who said they needed a way to get insights from players, parents, administrators and peers to improve their coaching techniques.
About two years ago, Larson said, he was talking to a coach who had heard about a 360-degree evaluation that Larson has experience with as a Human Resources consultant.
"The coach says, 'I've never heard of that, and I would love to see if I couldn't do that because I think there's something I could get as far as insights that I'm not currently getting from my players,' " he said.
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So Larson started looking for any similar process for sports teams, and when he couldn't find anything he began developing a process for coach evaluation by talking to 300 coaches and administrators in 2016.
"What is a great coach?" he asked them.
The answers often aligned, Larson said, and he began to develop a measurement of what makes someone a good coach.
Some of the ways people measured coaches when he talked to them, Larson said, was the kind of person they are, how they run practices, how well they build relationships, and how they act and react during a came.
"The sports industry needs a standard measure, something to measure against," he said.
Larson hopes he has provided that standard, giving coaches who view the survey a way to see themselves next to an average.
Because coaches rarely receive feedback, Larson said, he hopes to start a dialogue that allows them to improve, and start a conversation about building student players up.
"There's too much tearing down from a mental aspect," he said.
When reviewing research, Larson said he discovered 50 percent of students have had a negative experience with a coach, which lead to around 80 percent dropping out of sports by age 15.
Larson wants to change that.
"The students are the priority," he said.
His passion and excitement about his new business, Larson said, helped him reach his goal of launching the company this year.
"When it's in your heart, it carries itself," he said.