Every winter for one month, the combines for the National Football League and Major League Soccer draw a huge amount of attention in the media for what is simply a day of performance testing. Yet, after the combines players seem never to get tested again making me wonder if the numbers are so valuable shouldn’t teams test again to see if they are getting better, staying the same, or getting worse. This article will review two points that everyone should know: that testing is important, and you must be able to understand the relationships and limits of jumping and sprinting.
Two years ago Hakan Andersson sent me a research study on a Springbok, a deer in Africa that can run fast and run far. That made me think about the limits of the combination of speed and endurance for team sports. What I have done over the last few years is test cutting-edge programs no matter how demanding, and found out what works and what doesn’t work. Everyone wants to be fast in team sports, but the compromise of being deadly in the final minutes of regulation is the Holy Grail in sports.
In the fantastic book The Science of Running, Steve Magness outlines a wonderful primer for endurance running, but it should just be seen as a manifesto on training in general. I have read the book six times already as every chapter is well written and practical. No one has found a way to take the science and make it applied in the endurance world more than Steve, and if I was on an island and had only a backpack of books this would be in it. What are the lessons? I picked five because of the Olympic rings, but one can get a hundred or more different nuggets of wisdom from his book.
Plyometrics can do more than just increase elastic energy utilization; they can also help with teaching skills and reducing injuries. I chose the routines because I have used them for years or used concepts from the workouts and found them to work at each level of athlete development.
Jump testing is commonly used to observe leg power. The goal for jump testing is to see how the training is affecting the jumping ability and see how training may influence running velocity at different parts of the acceleration curve. Speed predicts speed, and using jump tests to have confidence in what one is going to see on the clock is not the right thinking. A better option is to look at jump tests and see if the general power and elastic training is augmenting the scores, and how the scores might provide benefit to the running splits.
The number one problem of sports is that coaches are afraid to do the basics over and again as it looks like they are not evolving. My solution is simple; instead of blaming everything and everyone for injuries or poor performance, follow a checklist of ten essential components to properly get ready for quality power work.
Convert 10 yard splits times to meters per second.
It’s hard to narrow down the top weight room tests, but after plenty of requests here are my current favorites, including the origins and influences of them. Some of them are well known, some are exotic, and some require a little equipment outside the weights used, but all of them are scientifically valid and team friendly. It can be difficult to choose the tests for many reasons, but the most difficult decision was to choose tests that a wide audience would find useful. With an appreciation for data and technology, some of the tests will require a little help from measurement tools and coaches should think about what is important to them.
Recently the biggest buzz in the weight room is what system one is using to measure training, specifically the barbell speed and metrics that are coming from those calculations. Coaches fueled on the notion that data is the new oil, are flocking to companies looking for the best hardware and available software. This article compares the top ten systems available for measuring power in the weight room.
Most athletes care about momentum or their speed relative to size in their sport. Nearly every successful program wants to improve speed and repeated speed, so weight training is only a part of that formula. Since Velocity Based Training is a sub-component of weight training, it’s more important to evaluate the speed of the body versus the speed of the bar.