Dear Team BC participants and parents;
Since the release of our cut-down rosters for the U-13, U-14 and U-15 provincial teams, we have been fielding many questions regarding Football BC’s high performance programs and, in particular, with our evaluation process.
First off, I would like to acknowledge the obvious passion of all the players and their parents for wanting to strive to be the best and for wanting to be a part of Team BC.
As there are those who are still confused about how our programs and evaluation process works, I thought it would be prudent to send out this clarification to hopefully answer many of your questions.
While we are breaking new ground with our U-13, U-14 and U-15 provincial teams this year, the evaluation and tryout process is essentially identical to the process that we have used for our Senior Bowl selection for the past 10+ years, as well as our U-18 Team BC selections the last four years and for our U-16 Team BC selections for this past July’s Red River Cup tournament. In addition, for the past 4 years, we have put young players (ages 12-15 years old) through our “Prep to be the Best” program.
During the sessions, players are evaluated in standard tests to measure speed, agility and explosiveness. Once the tests are completed, players are split into position groups where they are put through drills that measure their skill level at that specific position.
Finally, players are put into a competitive situation versus an offensive or defensive counterpart, respectively.
During this process, coaches are evaluating the athleticism of each player, as well as their work ethic and attitude. At the same time while this is occurring, some players are recommended for another position based on their abilities and athleticism. This is done to enhance the opportunity for that player to make the next cut.
For instance, quarterbacks and running backs are often considered the best players and athletes on their respective club teams. However, when they come to an all-star or provincial team situation, they may not necessarily be the best quarterback or running back among the group. However, because their high athletic ability, they often have a great opportunity to play receiver, defensive back or linebacker.
As far as our coaches selection criteria, all of the coaches who are part of our provincial programs are selected based on their previous help with our provincial identification, their experience with all-star selection, as well as their NCCP training and experience.
Coaches are asked to make the evaluation process a positive one for each player. I was at every evaluation that took place for our U-13, U-14 and U-15 provincial teams selections and felt we were able to achieve this goal.
Coaches, however, also have the very difficult task of making selections. They are asked to evaluate and select the best players and athletes. These players are selected based on their ability at the current time and should not be seen as a reflection of who the coaches think will be better players in the future. In many cases, coaches will identify players with great potential but might pass up on that player at the current time in favour of someone they feel can be a better asset for the team at the current time.
Football is very unique in that it is a sport where athletes can begin playing at different stages in their lives and still excel as long as they have the right athletic ability. For example, many players in Canada and the United States started playing football when they were in their mid-to-late teens and are able to excel at the College level. There are also many examples of NFL & CFL players who only started playing football in university but have gone on to have incredible professional careers. This is certainly different than most sports but should be encouragement to all players to keep pursuing their football dreams!
At no time during the selection process are coaches asked to provide written feedback for players. Instead, they are asked to select the best and to rank on the group. While the evaluation forms come in handy during the selection process, it is just one of the methods by which our coaches use to evaluate players.
Coaches are always on the lookout for great players and word of mouth tends to travel fast. If a player participated in a tryout/evaluation and was not selected to the next round at the time but then ends up having a very good season with his club team, he can still be invited to join the roster at a later time.
It should be noted, that all players who are vying for a spot on Team BC have been evaluated by the coaches who have gone above and beyond to ensure their selections are validated by speaking with other coaches, watching games and reviewing results. Our selection process may not be perfect but we are certainly comfortable with how it has worked so far.
Athleticism at every position is the most crucial element, along with speed and change of direction, proper coordination and body mechanics. Players that did not make cut did not demonstrate these skills or the compete level that the coaches were looking for.
In every case, these young players will benefit from the experience and use it as a point to trigger even more positive development. We hope to see the players who did not make the cut-down roster this time around to continue to work hard and hone their skills and challenge for a spot on a provincial team next time.
Football BC Technical Director