Improving transfer through better testing

Most strength and conditioning courses cover basic training principles, and testing is a recurring theme. Our job is to ensure transfer; that is to train athletes in a way that they get better at their sport. As a coach it is important to hold yourself accountable to an objective outcome, and data can help assess the effect of an intervention. Whilst coaches shouldn’t act on data alone, it allows them to make well-informed decisions. Read more

It starts and ends with testing

The goal of training is to get better; to choose methods that will transfer to results in your sport. In working with US Ski & Snowboard our staff was responsible for working with 10 different disciplines that had incredibly different physiological demands. Although each one might appear similar as they all take place on snow, when you dig deeper, the needs of each sport have unique differences that must be taken into account in training. Figuring out where those differences are and tailoring the training appropriately can be the difference between being on the podium or not. Read more

January 2018 in review: performance testing

For the fourth month in a row we’ve taken a deep dive into one topic and brought together different approaches and thoughts on the topic to help coaches reflect on it. In January, the topic was performance testing. Personally I learned a lot from different coaches, different sports, and different levels. We’ve looked in depth at specific testing programs, as well as taken a step back to learn testing philosophies. Links to all of the new resources are below, as well as links additional resources from our archives. When I reviewed everything again, three main points emerged. Read more

A guide to assessing trainability

As we discuss all the time, athletic development does not follow a fixed linear path. It is a journey where two athletes of the same age can start at completely different points even though they might end up in the same place. For coaches, this creates some problems: how do you know where to start with an athlete you inherit and how do you track their progress? Read more

Getting the most out of data collection and usage

In the era of big data, testing and diagnostics has become a central part of testing. But often coaches are more focused on the data than the process. To start with, there are four questions four key questions that coaches must ask when it comes down to testing in training: Read more

GAINcast Episode 101: Test practices

Testing is a crucial part of training, even more so in the era of big data. On this episode of the GAINcast Vern walks through his approach to testing and shares his best practices. In the end testing is about getting an accurate picture of the athlete so you can determine the way forward. That’s easier said than done, and Vern has learned a few lessons throughout his career about how to making testing more specific, integrated, and motivational. Read more

A new paradigm for talent

Think over all the talent identification processes you’ve either witnessed or been involved in over the years. Typically, they tend to be comprised of some sort of test; usually physical, but they can be augmented with psychological and anthropometric measures. For example, when I was 14 I was invited to a Talent Identification day where I was put through a number of different tasks; standing long jump, 30m sprint, endurance run, seated medicine ball throw. I didn’t score particularly well in any of those tests, apart from the 30m sprint, where I was in the top 1% of all scores ever recorded. It was recommended that I take up sprinting. Read more

Looking beyond the height: a guide to vertical jump testing

The vertical jump. The king of the combines that can make or break athletes contracts. Everyone is in awe of the height of the vertical jump. I remember as a kid, we would compete to see who could touch the highest up on the basketball net and then eventually the backboard. We jump so much that our bodies have figured out how to get the highest jump for ourselves. We want to be the king of the playground, or in my case, not the worst on the playground, so we developed this strategy about how to jump the highest. Read more

Testing = training and training = testing

Testing and training go hand and glove. Evaluation through testing is an ongoing process that will determine the direction and content of training. Therefore it is important to build testing into the training plan. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 137: Training is the test (with Arno Galmarini)

Arno Galmarini works with some of the top winter sport athletes in the world, but rather than being based in the mountains his gym is in the city. That requires him to be creative in defining sport-specific training solutions and even more creative in testing athlete progress towards to unique demands created by ice and snow. On this episode of the podcast Galmarini explains testing philosophy and how he integrates sports-specific testing into training. Read more