Last week in our Return to Play from COVID19 blog post, we introduced our 6 Key Ways Weight Room Monitoring Can Hep Return Athletes to Play. For the next six weeks we will be providing more details on each of these ways to help coaches help athletes get back on track quickly and safely, starting with profiling and assessing athletes.
1. PROFILING AND ASSESSING ATHLETES UPON THEIR RETURN TO CAMPUS
Using a measurement device, such as Perch, coaches can profile their athletes to determine their Force-Velocity or Load-Velocity curve (how explosive an athlete is at various loads). They can use this profile to immediately determine where an athlete is deficient and focus on training these traits. Thereby maximizing a limited training window.
We’ve been able to build FV profiles per positional group and per guy to know what it looks like zoomed out. When they return, we’ll be able to evaluate them. And then we can push the envelope forward or dial back accordingly. But ultimately, these tools allow us as coaches to dial in exactly where we should be or could be and go from there, whenever that time comes.
Aaron Getz, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Duke Football
When a load or force-velocity data points are graphed, the resulting slope can inform both efficiencies and deficiencies of that athlete in addition to 1RM predictions, and what qualities the athlete should focus on to enhance their performance.
Building these profiles is simple and can be done in a few minutes either on a day designated for testing, or the data can be continually collected through training and graphed retroactively to understand the athletes’ capabilities. The profile can be referred to as the athlete progresses to understand how they are adapting to the stimulus. It can also help a coach understand when an athlete is having a good or bad day depending on how they perform at specific loads.
To get started profiling and assessing athletes, use the protocol below. This will paint a picture and essentially provide a road map that will help you fully understand the day to day capabilities of your athletes. If we can measure something, we can manage it. With expedited windows for pre-season and returning to play after months of sub-optimal training, continual assessment will help deliver these athletes to playing shape safely and quickly.