Long Term Athletic Development

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Monitoring, Assessment, and LTAD

Ryan Muñoz, B.S., M.S., C.S.C.S.

Coach Ryan Muñoz setting up Fusion Sport Testing equipment for a combine back in his hometown in The Central Valley, Tracy/Stockton, CA.

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.

Kevin Porter Jr. of USC performs the Reaction Agility Shuttle Run at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. MAD Head Coach Eric Bringas is at the helm running the station.

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.

Luguentz Dort of ASU going up for his max vertical jump at the NBA Draft Combine.

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.

MAD Director John Murray, MAD Coach Ryan Munoz, and MAD Coach Eric Bringas at the 2019 N.B.A. Draft Combine in Chicago.

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.

MAD coaches with some of the middle school, N.B.A. hopefuls at the N.B.A. Jr. Combine in Chicago. The N.B.A. gives top regional middle school hoopers the opportunity to participate in a full combine just like the N.B.A. Draft Combine.

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!!!

At the beginning of June, BAM Director Brett Brungardt and MAD Coach Ryan Munoz administered a two day combine at the Trinity Football Elite Camp in San Antonio, TX. At the camp, athletes completed a full NFL Combine.

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.

An athlete at the Trinity Football Elite Camp runs the L Shuttle

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.

A Trinity Football Elite Camp participant executes the Pro Agility Shuttle.

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!