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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

Does that test what you think it tests?

Utilizing testing to monitor training adaptations and fitness is an important part of the training cycle. Many coaches dictate workloads by prescribing a percentage of a maximum; for example, on a given strength training day, an athlete might be prescribed to lift 75% of their maximum lift. In theory, this is all well and good, but what if the tests used don’t actually test what we think they test, to the extent we think they do? Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 136: Test and Transfer (with René Sack)

The Germans have put together a sports machine that continues to produce champions in athletics. You can attribute a lot of their success comes down to what they do, but even more comes from how they do it. The processes they have put in place for coaches education, sports science, and talent development all contribute to their results. On this episode of the podcast we invite national discus coach René Sack back on two discuss two processes that are key to his group: testing processes and trying to identify transfer. Read more

GAINcast Episode 88: After the Test (with Ola Eriksrud)

Norwegian coach and researcher Ola Eriksrud is a master at creating innovative testing portfolios. What sets his testing apart is not just what he tests, but how the tests fit into the broader training process. Testing is just the first layer in the process and in order for the test to be helpful, information learned from testing has to be actionable. On this episode of the podcast Eriksrud walks us through some of his approach to testing and also discusses various aspects of coordination such as dynamic postural control, core training, and hamstrings. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – August 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of Sports Science Monthly, where we take a look at recent research in the realm of sports science. In this edition, we take a look at running coordination, the nature vs nurture debate, causes of illnesses and injuries, vitamin D supplementation, caffeine, and test familiarization. Read more

Speed Over Tonnage: Is It Worth the Sacrifice?

If you watched Christian McCaffrey at the NFL combine, you couldn’t help but be impressed. He was fast, explosive and agile. But nevertheless he had some critics as his weightlifting numbers were not impressive. Interesting. I know for a fact that Stanford University has employed velocity-based training (VBT) methods with their football athletes in the past. To what extent McCaffrey used VBT I do not know, but whatever combination of methods he used it clearly got him results on the field. Maybe lifting all the weight possible like a weightlifter is not the end-all-be-all to being a top athlete. Read more