The most valuable learning experience is working with high end Sports Medicine professionals during the beginning of the year. I find that using a combination of approaches to evaluating or appraising the competence of the athlete is most effective path. With many coaches that have small budgets and limited staff, one way to best use existing funds is to learn to front the money early to save rehab expenses later. High quality sports medicine and coaches working collaboratively and letting communication be the bridge to roles and solutions. Simply letting sports medicine test orthopedically the athlete and coaches test the training aspects will cover the bases and get more real data. Here are 5 steps:
Set Standards- Benchmarks for me are pain free large amplitude movements and fundamental training exercises.
Evaluate- Use motor skills, tissue texture, joint flow, and performance measures. A combination of high level evaluations by sports medicine staff is a must. You can’t replace advanced sports medicine education with personal trainer DVDS and e-books. People’s bodies are too important.
Record Data- Make the qualitative information into scoring or expand the findings in more detail to be reevaluated later.
Implement program- Set goals that are lofty in order to solve problems while working around limits with creative options that still raise the general performance abilities of the athlete.
Follow up- Make sure you retest the athlete 4 times a year, even in mirco doses to track the impact of the program. Even a 5 minute test on a few problem areas is enough. Something is better than nothing so priorities usually means you choose 4-5 markers.
Many roads lead to Rome but without those 5 steps I find that the results are often more biased instead of evidence based.