The things Page was noticing about his players’ conditioning were passed along to the front office and manager Terry Francona, he explained. Page said part of his job entailed sending a weekly report on players’ fitness routines. -ESPN
The Red Sox are still haunted from last year’s collapse and the question is what was on the Dave Page’s weekly report? Many times people ask me what are the key monitoring metrics as many gurus will talk about proprietary algorithms and secret formulas. My response is that simple is very deceptive and a lot can be learned from a good high school coach. I was on the phone the other day and people asked me who I looked up to an my answer surprises everyone. The coach that has made a huge impact with me was my own HS coach who ran a program, not just coached a team. Learning from years of seeing a winning percentage over 90% and over 10 state titles and 40 All-Americans, the most important metrics seem the most elementary. Here are some of the most basic metrics I believe in.
Metric 1: Attendance- Did the athlete show up when they were suppose to? Were they late or on time? What dates did they agree to train on? Sounds simple but I worked with one athlete who showed up 75% of the time and was able to get a personal best. He was slightly disappointed about the performance but I told him that he gave me a C and I gave him an A+. It’s amazing what pattens are found with just gross attendance. Obviously the next step is to see what they did when they got there but simple attendance is a great start.
Metric 2: Body Composition- How much muscle and how much fat? Next to attendance body weight is the simplest and most fundamental metric in sports. Clearly body composition is more valid and important, and clearly using a weight scale doesn’t require much effort and with the withings body scale all of this data can be fed into an athlete management system. Dehydration and other factors can be reviewed as well. Each month one can see the obvious changes.
Metric 3: Global Power– Submaximal bench press and vertical jumps can be tested based on the functional weight of the athlete. Very little risk and very quick and simple to do. Add in other systems such as Optojump and now we are seeing elastic measures and right and left leg differences with hop tests. Expressing the power in wattage creates context, especially if it’s in a relationship between weight and power. Isn’t power to weight ratio (lean and total) a fundamental question?
Metric 4: Conditioning- Conditioning should be based on raw speed and what velocities they are able to sustain. Conditioning without speed information is blindness. Heart Rate and Activity data is great but how fast are they? Repeat sprint ability is useless when you don’t know how fast they are able to sprint! Conditioning is not about V02 max and HR only, it’s about how well they can sustain power over time.
What teams use for record keeping intrigues me and I feel that the new strength coach will have the knowledge on what to do on paper, but it’s about what the upper management and coaches do to support the new performance coach.