My Thoughts Monday #3: What and Why We Picked Them…

mtm-logoIn #1 I told you why I’m doing this, and in #2 I told you how we got here, now let’s talk about why we are going to evaluate what we are going to evaluate. The sport coach split the primary objectives into two categories: more fit and athletic. We then defined them with the evaluations that were selected. Let’s go through them one by one:

Push Ups and Pull Ups: Honestly I don’t know if there is any scientific backing to this at all, but I know that back in the day of “West Side For Skinny Bastards” we all used to say that faster people could do more pull ups. Is there any true correlation to this? I don’t know, but I know that these kids should be able to do a couple legitimate pull ups and be able to bang out a good handful of push ups. Even more so, the head coach really likes these tests. If you have to fight 10 battles, and you pick one of them to be whether or not you count how many pull ups or push ups the kids can do, then I’d be very interested to see what other issues you have to fight over.

Standing Long Jump: I pushed for this one over the vertical because it’s an easier test to run (just me and 25ish women on the team), and there is way less of a learning curve than any vertical jump test. I know, I know, there is some learning curve and there will be improvement from just doing the test, but not as much as from the vertical on a mat or using a vertec. On top of that, I’m not going to tell them the “tricks” so it shouldn’t be about “learning” it should be about improving. (Disclamer-we actually ended out taking this evaluation out due to time constraints for the week. If we add it back in later I will put that in a post, but for now, it’s no longer in the battery of tests)

The Mile: I can hear it now “you dumbass, the mile is garbage!” Ok, hear me out. We are using it simply because it’s easy, it’s a starting point, and it’s very simple to train off of. Add in the fact that the team in question has the WORST “test anxiety” and loathes the beep test and there you go. So most of our initial training will be based on this because, it’s the only “fitness test” we are running when we get back from holiday break. Another reason is simply this, if you can cover the distance in less time that means you can run faster longer, right? Seems like a good starting point for our evaluations.

Repeat 40’s: I took this test directly from former director Brandon Hourigan, who is now running the show at Wake Forrest. I love this test. I mean, I absolutely love this test. Brandon is an absolute rock star in this game and this test was just another proof of it to me. We will take a best time for a 40 before the test (not that day but at some point) and then the team has to run 10 40’s all at 90% or better of their best time. We’ll have them go every 45 seconds or on the minute (feel free to chime in because that’s not yet determined). So now we are looking at both improving speed (40 will be evaluated when they return and they are expected to set a best time) and being able to hold faster speeds with limited rest intervals, you know that who RSA thing that we get all excited about.

The Beep Test: We all know it. It’s a great indicator of aerobic capacity. The coach love it, and it ties into what we are trying to do in the long run really well. This one is a no brainer to me.

The Turf Spider: This test was stolen from another school. It’s a conglomeration of 200’s, 100’s, and 50’s with limited active recovery. This test is the kryptonite of everyone of the athlete’s on this team. I think there is a HUGE mental block here because I’ve passed it and I’m in no way shape or form ready to play any DI sport. Because of this, this will be the last test ran by the student athletes.

Ok, so let’s tie these all together. We have the body weight tests that show we have improved relative strength, and the long jump to show we have improved explosive power. We will take a 40 to see if we have gotten faster, so with those we have the “athletic” part covered, I think. Then we look at being “more fit” like this: if their mile improves they can run faster for a longer time, and if they improve their 40 and pass the test that means that they can run faster and repeat that effort, and if they improve their beep test their aerobic capacity has increased. Add that all together and these kids SHOULD now KNOW they can beat their arch nemesis, the Turf Spider. At least that’s the plan. Let me know what you think.

Next week we will go over the initial training we are going to utilize, why we are doing what we are doing, and any sorts of extra workouts we will provide the kids. This may turn into more than one if it’s too long.

EDITThe Turf Spider Protocol were asked for, they are right here.  The write up shows the distances ran (a 200 is down and back on the field), and the times between finishing the run before and starting the next run is a jog back to the starting line. Turf Spider Timing  I hope this helps clear that up.

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