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.

The traditional approach has been to schedule specific days for testing, usually at the beginning or the end of a yearly training cycle. This testing usually consists of criteria tests that profile the athlete with respect to the biomotor capacities in a particular sport. They are usually scheduled two times during a yearly training cycle. I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this approach. Using testing only two times in a yearly cycle gave me good baseline information, but it did not give me information on the ongoing progress of training that I needed to make the day to day and week to week adjustments in the training to obtain optimum adaptive response.

There is a necessity to incorporate testing into the actual training process on a day-to-day basis. The solution is that testing equals training and training equals testing. At various points in each training session there are distinct windows of opportunity to get feedback as to the effect of training. It is imperative in those periods to look for and utilize the feedback. Build testing in the training. We must keep in mind that training is cumulative so it is important to keep the big picture in mind. Ongoing evaluation enables us to keep everything in proportion and perspective. We need to train all the qualities throughout the training year; therefore we must monitor the progress.

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