Friday, May 17, 2013

Evaluating Your Athletes

We utilize an evaluation procedure with sports teams in the Innovative Fitness Sports Training program. We evaluate athletes to assess their individual abilities and skills. Our goal is to provide a measurement and objectivity to the athlete and their sport.

Why is it important to do evaluations?

  1. It provides feedback on the progress of the training plan (Are the athletes developing under the plan and are they making gains)
  2. It gives us a starting block when initially developing programs from which to work (A base line for the groundwork of the program-The building block)
  3. It provides information on specific exercises related to the athlete's abilities and skills (Many athletes may be stronger in certain areas and weaker in others. Speed vs strength)
  4. It also identifies areas of weakness or areas of limitations (We must always address weaknesses or imbalances in athletes first and foremost)
The previous are the physical reasons of why to evaluate. There are many other factors that fall under the Mental aspect of sport and evaluation:

  1. Evaluations provide Competition for athletes. Every athlete will want to know who has the top score or what time to beat when they perform. For others it could be to challenge themselves and beat their previous score on the tested exercise
  2. It provides Accountability. To the team, to the athletes, the coaches, and in some cases the parents. When the evaluation procedure is finalized, the coach can use the information to challenge the team to get better, and thus hold them accountable for their actions. That could mandatory weight room sessions, or homework given to them they do at home so parents can monitor.
  3. It creates a platform for teams/players/coaches to set goals and objectives for the team and each of its players

When to Evaluate:

This varies with each sport and each athlete. Generally we would look at:

  1. Pre-Season or Pre-Program 
  2. In-Season or In-Program
  3. After Season and Off-Season (Generally not done as much as most athletes are fatigued after season in finished and spend time recovering and preparing for next phase)
Key Points to Remember When Doing Evaluations of Any Sort:

  1. Evaluate Appropriately: Don't do lactate testing with billiards players. No need.
  2. Select Exercises that are directly related to improving in the sport: Ladder drills for linebackers in football.
  3. Evaluate with Performance Focused Goals: Adding additional reps on your bench press adds strength but does it relate to strength on the field??
  4. Record and Share: Write down all the results and share with team. Its up to the coaches discretion on how to share, be it with entire team or individually.
  5. Educate the Athletes on the Importance of Evaluation Procedures: Then they can take more interest and initiative in the teams progress and their own progress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great summary here Casey - you covered the topic clearly and concisely.