Why We Test Our Athletes

January 22, 2018

 

Superior Athletic Advantage is based in the foundation of strength and conditioning, sports performance and fitness. Those are very broad concepts that that elicit many different ideas of training. Our motto is “Training athletes for the next level.” That means taking an athlete from where he or she is and developing them to succeed at higher levels of play.  A good strength and conditioning/ sports performance coach must be able to...

 

  1. Know the sport(s) the athlete is playing

    1. When the sport is played during the year

    2. How often the sport is played

    3. Know the key performance factors in that sport

    4. Know how to effectively design a program and train the individual and those performance factors for that sport. (Training specificity)

  2. Know the individual! Know how to implement the training, identify problems, mechanics, fix the problems, motivate, teach, push and guide athletes through the training process.

 

To start, new athletes to our gym are pre-tested the first day they walk in the door. We do this for a number of reasons.

 

  • Establishing a baseline of where the athlete is in his or her performance at that time to be compared with later.

  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses, limitations, previous injuries and areas of concern.

  • Beginning the individualized training program design.

 

 

 

All athletes go through a number of tests every 6 weeks. The tests are designed to show different performance measures including,

 

  • flexibility

  • coordination

  • agility

  • strength

  • power

  • endurance

 

All this information allows the coach to begin to design a program. The individual is then put through the training program for 6 weeks and again tested on the same measures as before. At this time, pre-testing numbers can be compared to post-testing numbers. This allows the athlete to see first hand areas of major, minor, or no improvement in their performance. Once the athlete and coach have these numbers to compare, a clearer picture of how the next training cycle (6 weeks) should go emerges.

 

 

Here is an example:

 

 

New Athlete

Name: John Smith

Age: 14

Sport: Football

Date: December 1, 2017

 

 

Pre-Test (Day 1)

Sprint Speed: 11.4 MPH

10yd. Sprint: 2.42 sec.

Pro- Agility: 5.3 sec.

Broad Jump: 7’6”

Vertical Jump: 23in.

500m Row 2:30

 

 

Notes: Noisy feet when he runs. Has tight hamstrings, hip flexors and limited shoulder mobility.

His Goals: Run faster, become more agile, hit and tackle with more power. Get stronger overall.

 

 

6 week program is developed and implemented by the coach to the athlete.

 

 

 

 

The athlete has come to 12 sessions (2 sessions/week)  since his initial pre-test. Now it is time to test again.

 

 

Post Test

Date: January 12, 2018

Sprint Speed: 11.8 MPH  (.4 MPH faster)

10yd. Sprint: 2.12 sec (.3 seconds faster)

Pro- Agility: 5.0 sec. (.3 seconds faster)

Broad Jump: 8” (increase of 6in)

Vertical Jump: 25in (increase of 2in)

500m Row: 2:45 (slower by 15 seconds)

 

 

Notes: Feet are still noisy, but has greater range of motion in hip flexors and stride length has improved. Continue to develop posterior chain strength/flexibility (hamstrings/back).
 

 

As we can see in this post test example, there was improvement from his pre-test to his post-test in nearly all of the performance measures tests, but one. I would then discuss this with the athlete and explain why I believe there was improvement in these areas and not in the other. In this example, all the improvements were in tests that involve strength and power and are relatively quick short tests. We can also see that there is a decrease in performance in the longer endurance test. To me as a coach, this would be a good testing day for this football player.  Taking into consideration that this is a new young football player, in his off-season, developing greater strength and power during the off-season is exactly what he needs to do. He does not necessarily need to be focusing on his endurance at this point in his training. He has showed improvement in key areas of his sport (training specificity). Since this football player is in his off-season, endurance improvement is not a critical component of this training cycle. However, I would begin to incorporate more endurance training as he gets closer to his sport and as we test again.  I would then take this new information from his post-test and begin developing his next 6 weeks of training, and then we will test again to monitor improvement.

 

 

Testing allows measurable components in training.  This is just one of the was Superior Athletic Advantage helps athletes reach the “next level.”

 

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