Ah, the age-old question…”where do I start with this athlete?”
Okay, maybe it isn’t that old of a question, but it’s the question we get asked in this mentorship, from our interns, and even when we’re talking shop at Parisi Coaching Certifications.
We have all this knowledge. We have all these great training tools. Hell, we even have some great athletes.
So where do we start?
One of the pillars of success in the Parisi Training System is the Parisi Evaluation. We conduct athlete evaluations for every athlete when they enter our program.
Seriously, every athlete.
From there, we train, we re-evaluate various tests through training, and at the end of 8 to 12 weeks, we rinse and repeat from the very start.
There is a secret sauce to the Parisi Evaluation, a real reason why it works, AND how it helps us answer that age-old question.
The performance tests that we use give us metrics that correlate to exactly how we train.
I’m going to say that line one more time.
The tests we use give us numbers that match the training system. This is so important.
A mistake I see Performance Coaches or Training Facilities make is testing just for the sake of testing. I often hear things like…
“____ seems like a good test.”
“I’ve always done _____ so I test it with my athletes.”
“So-and-so’s facility uses ____ as a test, must be good, we’ll do it too.”
The notion of testing validity is important. The tests you choose must actually give a measurable result that validates the performance skill required.
What makes a test valid?
- To be valid, it must be reliable. How is the test being quantified? Are you measuring with a stopwatch? Are you measuring with a laser timing system? Are you having an athlete jump against a wall to measure a vertical? What’s the calculation error on a Just Jump pad?
- To be valid, a test must be able to be repeated. Is the test SO high-skill that an athlete fatigues greatly and cannot give the effort desired? Is the testing environment so specific that to be repeated at a later date you have to move earth, wind, and water to get the space ready?
And my favorite, especially with the developing athletic population we see at Parisi Speed Schools…
- To be valid, a test must be easily understood. If you can’t explain it to the athlete so they understand the desired outcome (i.e. Jump high or jump far or run fast), it will not be an effective (or valid) test for the long-term.
So what do we do at Parisi?
**You’ve seen it a few times already, but here it is again, the Parisi Evaluation ReportParisi Mentorship- Evaluation Report
- Laser timed 10 yard sprint- The 10 yard sprint is our test of pure acceleration.
- Laser timed 20 yard sprint- The 20 yard sprint is our speed test as the athlete reaches their maximum speed.
- Laser timed 10 yard split- This is the distance between the 10 and the 20 yard marker. This split time tells us our overall acceleration. Compared to it’s pure acceleration counterpart, the split time is lower skill and can give weaker athletes a chance to
- Laser timed 40 yard sprint- Not every facility has the length to run this, but this would be another test to measure maximum speed.
- Vertical Jump- The vertical tells us a measurable expression of power. With this test, you will also be able to subjectively assess joint/pillar stability upon power production.
- 5/10/5 Pro-agility- This test helps us measure efficient change of direction. With this test, you will also subjectively be able to assess an athlete’s ability to accelerate and decelerate.
- 5-Hop broad jump- The 5-hop broad jump is another test that measures the expression of power. What makes this test special is that out of the variety of sprints and the vertical jump, the broad jump requires the lowest level of skill. This makes it a great test to use with a younger athletic population, like the kind we work with at Parisi.
- Chin up- This is a test of relative strength. Studies have shown athletes with higher levels of relative strength have higher levels of neurological control and increased force output in sprinting.
- 200-yard shuttle- The 200 gives us a measure of efficiency under fatigue, but also shows us baseline conditioning as it relates to our actual training sessions at Parisi. Unique to our training, If an athlete runs the 200 yard shuttle north of 60 seconds, we need to make a specific recommendation so the athlete can safely start in the program.
So, as this week of the mentorship kicks off, I ask you to take a look at the tests you use at your facility and ask the following questions…
- Does the test represent the metric that you want?
- Can the athlete perform the test with the effort desired?
- Can you repeat the test at will and as needed?
Even if there is a hesitation to say ‘yes’ to any of these, you may want to put that testing procedure under the microscope and see if there is a more efficient way to get it done.
Stay tuned as we dive in to result interpretation, and finding the athlete’s starting point later this week!