Why is this important?
If you are not assessing you are guessing. I am a parent of two beautiful children and when it comes to them I don't guess, I think most parents are like that to some degree. When they were infants we researched the baby formula they were given to ensure it was as nutritionally close to breast milk as it could be. We help them with there school work, we talk with their teachers to make sure they are doing everything they can to achieve the best education they can. So why when it comes to their fitness should we just toss them into the newest bootcamp beatdown? The answer is we shouldn't, because the goal of those type of sessions is not specific in anyway to the goals in which need to be achieved in order to become more athletic and improve their performance in sports. Just because "Basketball is hard" and the "workouts are hard" doesn't mean the the workouts will make you better at basketball. Hard doesn't mean better... better means better.
So how are we doing things better? We start our assessment with the Functional Movement Screen. This is a baseline movement assessment that looks at the foundational movements that all human movement is built upon. There is no good or bad when it comes to this testing as it all gives us information that aids in the development of each athletes program. If certain movement patterns need an upgrade this is added into there routine to ensure that we "MOVE WELL before we MOVE OFTEN" We then move to the Fundamental Capacity Screen (FCS) which looks at 3 main qualities needed in athletics 1) their power production capabilities 2) ability to effectively store energy in repeated power outputs and 3) ability to hold their body alignment with integrity, under load.
Obviously power production (1) and the ability to store and reproduce that power (2) are fairly logical to the improvement of sports but the ability to maintain postural integrity under fatigue (3) is paramount when it comes towards the reduction of injury, which is a primary goal that we highlight during this initial process that most are not aware of coming into this assessment.
We then have a few optional test, if directed by the initial FMS, that we do to dig a little deeper at joints that can effect the bigger movement patterns. These "breakout tests" again will help tailor the program to get athletes to their goals more efficiently.
On the other side of the assessment coin is the "Over-Assessment". This is a process where trainers and sports performance specialist throw every test available at you. Most likely this is done to get you to believe that the more tests that they do, the better the program will be. The question to ask as a parent or an athlete is "how does this test change what my program will look like?". If the answer is it doesn't then it is just data for the sake of data; aka a waste of time for the already busy athlete and parent. As stated in posts in the past we have an insatiable thirst for knowledge when it comes to sports performance, but we have a similar screening when it comes to assessment... will this change what we do on Monday?
This is a very strict filter that every new piece of information goes through. So strict in fact that even things that we do like the Fundamental Capacity Screen I mentioned earlier are not done in its entirely. We have only incorporated 3 of the 4 components of it as the Y Balance Test (YBT) component does not add any value to our programming process so it is therefore omitted.
Everything we do has a reason, and that reason is never "it will make you tired". It all starts with the assessment and it is the first step for us to#ChangeTheWaySportsPerformanceIsDone!