Now that the school year’s coming to an end and summer training is about to start, it’s a good idea to choose some measureable lifts that you’ll focus on over the next few months. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been doing lately, as it’s always a good thing to evaluate your teams training before heading into another cycle. It’s meaningful to test things, but there are pros and cons about having a “combine” or football testing day at your school.
Anytime you test something it puts emphasis on the result or the number. It can be a slippery slope when training turns into a numbers game. Players will do whatever they can to improve upon their previous results and it can become dangerous when they’re lifting weights.
Have a safe and efficient testing protocol when it comes to testing a players MAX on a lift. They should know how much weight to begin with and how much to increase each set. They should know what a good rep is and when to not go for the next. You need to know when to tell a player that the rep didn’t count and hold them accountable.
Testing can be meaningful and have a purpose. It can create a goal-oriented atmosphere, validate the training, and act as an accountability mechanism. It all comes down to safety and purpose and make sure that what you’re measuring is reliable.
Here’s some lifts/tests that you may want to measure before your players get out of school.
Those are probably some or all of the “meat and potato” lifts of your strength-training program. Those four lifts are comprehensive when put together and relatively safe. Since they’re a significant part of the program, it makes sense to measure them. All of the repetitions should be good and consistent with their training. Record their results and hopefully those MAX numbers will have something to do with the weights they choose for their training.
- 300-Yard Shuttle
- Broad Jump or Vertical Jump
The 300-yard shuttle can be tested by setting up two cones 25-yards apart. The player runs down and back 6 times for a total of 300 yards. It’s a conditioning test that includes acceleration, deceleration and changes of direction. From a practical and logical standpoint, it makes sense to include. Not every school has the means of accurately measuring vertical jump, but using a cheap tape measure to quantify the broad jump should be doable for anyone.
Whatever you choose to test, make sure it’s safe and purposeful.