Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Monitoring, Assessment, and LTAD
Ryan Muñoz, B.S., M.S., C.S.C.S.
For this issue we will circle back and focus on pillar #8 - Practitioners should use relevant monitoring and assessment tools as part of long-term physical development strategies.
This pillar is relevant for coaches at any level, youth to professional. As coaches we want our athletes to be healthy and performing at their best! To ensure our athletes are improving and doing so in a safe manner, we must have a set of standardized assessment tools.
Furthermore, we must use these tools in a consistent fashion. This starts with some sort of evaluation prior to training. For Neophyte (6-10yrs) athletes this may be a 20 minutes process, where a high school athlete’s evaluation process may be more invasive and run 60-90 minutes. This initial evaluation, along with the athletes' health history, current season ( offseason, in season, etc) write the training program.
Following an initial evaluation, coaches must have regularly planned assessments to evaluate their training programs. This can be something as simple as a vertical/broad jump test, 10-yard sprint, etc. Or, as in depth as a full training combine with field tests specific to an athletes sport. The key is to be consistent with testing. Vertical/ Broad jumps and 10-yard sprints are quick easy tests to monitor an athlete's power that can be done bi-weekly or monthly during any training cycle.
Full combines (40-yard dash, 5-10-5 shuttle, ¾ sprint, lane agility, etc) are usually reserved for the start of the off-season training program and again at the end of the off-season prior to entering the season. The reason for regularly testing athletes is simple, it serves as an evaluation for a training program. If numbers are not improving, there’s a reason.
At that point, we need to make sure the athlete is healthy. If they’re healthy and still not improving its time to evaluate our training methods and perhaps change the program. Bottom line is these measures must be taken to ensure our athletes are healthy and performing at their best!!!
MAD has just finished a long run of testing with many different organizations. In mid-April, MAD assisted in the combine testing at the N.B.A. Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Virginia. The next month MAD assisted in the athletic testing at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. This was a week-long event including NBA G-League testing, NBA prospective draftee testing, and ending with NBA Juniors.
Though the N.B.A. events keep MAD’s team busy throughout the year, our testing is not limited to basketball alone. Coach Ryan Munoz was at the Trinity Football Elite Camp in San Antonio last weekend where they tested roughly 300 football players in 2 days. MAD also tested the entire Saint Ignatius Football, Basketball and Volleyball Programs this June to kick off their summer training.
The combine style assessments not only help measure the athletes’ progress, but they can also be used as diagnostic tools to evaluate the athletes and their individualized training programs. This helps to maximize the benefits the athletes receive from their training.
The goal is to help each athlete improve. WHAT GETS MEASURED, GETS IMPROVED!