Development planning for your athletes is a key part of the coach’s role.
Thinking about objective measures, what are your go-to tests for ability, skill, and fitness at the start of a new season?
Share your tips and best practices!
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Coach Briana Rodrigues – Athletics/Running – Toronto – 4
“It’s so important to set and reset fitness measures throughout a training cycle to ensure you are getting what you need from your training program. Testing is a key component to training for any sport, because it tells you what is working and tells you when something needs tweaking. For marathon training, one of my go-to tests to predict finish time (as well as test aerobic fitness) is the Yasso 800 test. Basically you run 800 meters 10 times, and the time in minutes/seconds you can run it is roughly equivalent to the time in hours/minutes you can run the marathon. It is surprisingly accurate for predicting race finish times, and is great in practice every month – 6 weeks to gauge progress.”
Coach Steven McLean – Sailing – 8 Years
“When I first started coaching I relied mostly on subjective measures (performance compared to the others, approximations on time and speed, and a general ‘how things looked’). I was relying on a strong background in the sport to quantify these guesses and estimations. This worked at first, but as the team improved over the years we ran into problems. It was no longer clear what skills we needed to work on. Eventually we did move to objective measures (drills with stopwatch timing, tracking competition results by individual segments, etc.). We discovered weaknesses in areas we thought the team was strong, and vise versa. The mind can certainly play ticks on you. Getting to the numbers can really clear things up.”
Coach Augustino (Gus) Badali – Ten pin bowling – 35 Years
“Preparation is a large part of the athlete’s commitment prior to the beginning of an event. Since we are unable to meet on a consistent bases it is very important to map out a training schedule. The information and the plan entail the physical and mental development which is required to aid the athlete to train. Video is an important part – not just for the coaches but for the athlete. Many young bowlers between the ages of 8 and 20 years have been natured to deal with softer patterns. Nowadays we train our athlete’s to train on a much tougher lane condition; The patterns are part of the World Governing Body and are specifically selected in most major events both Nationally and Provincially. Our success at the National Competitions is the ability to build team chemistry in an environment that is considered a singular sport.”
Coach Leo Probo Soccer – rep/select – Hamilton – 8 Years
“Understanding the development side of the game is the most important aspect in preparation of all my practices. Through experience, I have grown to understand in how to implement an effective practice session based on the key technical aspects of the program being delivered. In doing so, I have seen consistency within my players development and as well, an appreciation from the boys to learn every aspect of the session. Structured practices will definitely benefit the long run to players development.“
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