I get asked all the time...
When and how do we test our athletes? Lets first start with why we test our athletes. Most athletes, no matter the age or ability enjoy having some data on their performance. Testing plays a huge role in the development of the athlete, without testing there is no info/data to show the change, as well as how they reacted to a certain program. The testing results dictate changes needed within the training philosophy!
Next, is when do we test our athletes. About 75% of our Athletes train in 10-week Blocks excluding some special programs, like our Pro / Combine Crew. We give the athletes 2 weeks of introduction and the opportunity to get acclimated with our style of training. In Week 3 we test our athletes, I will explain what we do in the “How” section. This gives us the opportunity to train hard for 6 weeks towards our goals! In week 10 we re-test our athletes again. If the athlete continues to keep training, now we have real data on their ability and can look to grow from there, because in most cases the best results are seen in week 20 of training!
Lastly, the biggest question we get is “How” do we test our athletes. Most of our groups consist of about 15-40 athletes so we have multiple coaches on each session. Each coach has their own group of athletes which gives us the opportunity to train them with much more attention to detail, along with making sure it stays organized and safe! We have certain standards that must be tested, and they are Strength based, Performance based, and Anaerobic. We have a giant exercise Index that goes along with each standard, to make sure testing doesn’t get boring or stale.
Every 10 Weeks we are either getting a new wave of athletes as well as the athlete who is continuing another 10 weeks of training. Since this is the case, the tests that we choose to perform with our athletes for that block solely depend on the level of the current group. This is discovered during the first two-week introduction phase of the block. Therefore, the first 2 weeks of the block are so important because it will determine what tests will be performed. After we test in week 3 every athlete gets their own testing card with all their results and then again in Week 10 so that they can see how they improved. This is a great way to add more value to the training experience and to inform their parents/guardians as to how they did during the block.
The number one job of a Strength and Conditioning Coach is to improve the athlete physically and mentally to help them deal with the rigors of their chosen sport and this is done through testing!
Head of Strength and Conditioning
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