A mantra that I have lived by throughout my coaching career is that you are what you train to be. If you train to be slow then you will be slow, if you train to be fast you will be fast. This seems obvious doesn’t it? Then why do we persist in looking for secret and magic training methods that are essentially one way dead end streets. When you get to the dead end now where do you go? There is no return. What struck me as I was listening to military presenters at the Combat Athlete Symposium is that they were training for the tests, the traditional PT (Physical Training) tests; this has driven their training down a one way street that they realize is not preparing for the realities of modern combat. We do the same in sports, with combine type testing and emphasizing fitness tests for the athletes that demand they be fit for the test, not fit for the game.
The demands of the game should determine the training and the testing. The older I get and the more I coach the more I realize that even with the game analysis tools we have available to us today that that we are preparing for a game we think they are playing rather than the game they are actually playing. Remember you are what you train to be! Should you test? Absolutely, but the tests should give useful information that relates to the game and the players position in the game. It cannot be effective if it is some arbitrary standard that some coaching legend dreamed up 50 or 60 years when there was nothing (The 40 in Football and the 60 in Baseball). This is 2009 and we have data and detailed sport science information to help determine more exact training and testing let use it.