Now you know what to be done, it is a matter of scheduling them and most importantly doing all the tests.
- Call your coach and ask him to do your technical and tactical review
- Organise for a fitness tests to be completed
- Arrange an appointment with a sports psychologist
- Make an appointment with your doctor for a medical review
- Call your physiotherapist and arrange for a musculoskeletal screening
- Book a nutritional assessment
- Conduct an environment review
- Talk to your parents and others around you
- Set your own personal goals
I have completed my tests so what is next?
Talk to a specialist to interpret the results
Having completed your assessment, the most important thing is to now integrate all this information and this is where a sports scientist or performance director comes into play. It is great to have all the testing done and now the real value comes in interpretation of the results and what it means to you, and most importantly the implementation of the results into your daily training program.
I have so many parents and coaches show me reports from testing they have completed and it all sounds great and the reports looks very impressive with coloured graphs, bar charts etc but they do not have a clue what it means, much less what to do about it or how to make the necessary improvements to correct any areas of weakness. Moreover, it must be integrated and compliment their fitness and training programs. It is also important the coach, the trainer and all concerned completely understand it so as to be able to apply the corrections needed.
If you do not have access to someone that understands all the results, be absolutely sure you understand all your results and also what to do. Knowledge is power. Ask questions of the person who did the testing on you and make sure you fully understand the results and what that means and most importantly what to do to improve that result. For example, if you have poor shoulder stability, then you would need to know what specific exercises you can do to improve it.
Also you will need some guidance on how to do it correctly, how many repetitions and sets to do at what weights, etc. Knowing an exercise is just a part of it. It is how many you do and how you do them that is also important. I have seen a lot of athletes so keen to improve quickly and then finish up with an overuse injury! Don’t let be you. Simply ask for guidance.
Prevention is better than cure
Some people feel it is no use correcting what is not a problem. That might have been the case twenty years ago but then we did not have the knowledge, expertise and wisdom we have today. Now, it is all about prevention and prevention is much better than spending weeks and months on the sidelines, and rehabilitating from injuries that could have been prevented.
Professional athletes repeat the same movements millions of times over and over and over. Think of the swimmer, or the rower, or the long distance runner – always repeating the same movement patterns with their every move. In time, the surrounding muscles, joints, tendons and tissues may break down if there are any weaknesses or imbalances. More than ever before, athletes are demanding more from their bodies.
Many sports are played at a faster pace, and with the improvement in technology and equipment, the strength, the power, speed and the endurance needed by athletes is now even greater than their fellow competitors in years gone by. Added to that, the increased injures, the pressures of the media, sponsors, coaches and other demands an athlete faces means that no stone can be left unturned.
Prevention is most definitely better than the cure! I cannot emphasise this point enough to coaches and players as I have seen too many athletes over the years not putting in the little extra work needed to prevent injuries. It may only be a few exercises but those little exercises are worth their weight in gold.
Having gathered all the necessary information in detail, you will realize you have heaps of things to work on. And that is the really exciting part.