There is no such thing as evidence-based training without the evidence. Evidence for coaches comes from feedback. And a key form of feedback are performance tests. On this week’s episode we discuss how to get the most out of testing in training.
When looking at this topic you first have to understand what you are testing and why you are testing it. Is the test measuring what you want? Do you have a plan for what you will do with the results? We discuss these important preliminary questions at the start of the episode:
'You don't test for performance; you test whether something is working.' -@bingisser Click To Tweet
You are not testing for performance; the only performance we care about is the one on the field. What you are testing is whether something is working. If it is working, you keep going. If it isn’t you change things.
You need to have a plan for what you will do with the test results; without it, it’s a waste of time. Testing is not just about a result you can have to post of Facebook.
A pet peeve of mine is when people do their testing and post how excited they are for the season based on the results. But this was several weeks ago and where are the throws? That’s the whole object: how far does the throw go? You can get strong in the weight room, but if that strength doesn’t transfer, it doesn’t matter.
After that we dive into the logistics of setting up a training plan like how to find the right test, testing frequency, psychological elements of testing, and integrating it with training.Testing should not take away from training. Try to find testing ways you can integrate into training. Click To Tweet
Testing also prepares you psychologically. First off the test should transfer, but it can also teach you to be a good competitor and build the team culture.
We provide many more practical tips in the full episode. Listen below or subscribe now on iTunes.
This episode is brought to you by our upcoming seminar in Ireland with myself and John Kiely on May 14th. I will dig deeper into this topic with a section on feedback and testing, with practical case studies from how elite coaches implement best practices in their own training. You can learn more about the seminar and sign up here.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- At the start of the episode we added a few comments on remote coaching, a topic we covered in Episode 44.
- The Max Jones Test is a fun test that measures overall explosiveness. You can learn more about the test and the scoring system here. I’ve also discussed it in a post about identifying talent and in my book the The Ball and Chain.
- Another form of testing is movement testing. We discussed this with athletic trainer Randy Ballard in Episode 32.
- Craig Pickering put together a great post on testing back in January with some great comments and questions to think about.
- Nick mentioned a Facebook conversation about peaking in lifts vs. peaking in throwing. You can read that here.