22 Reasons Every Strength Coach Should Make Testing Part of Their Program


Monitoring is a term that is used as a tenant of management. The definition of monitoring is “Supervising activities in progress to ensure they are on-course and on-schedule in meeting the objectives and performance targets.” 

In the strength and conditioning setting monitoring is done by testing.  Once you have testing data you can measure the effectiveness of the program.  If you are managing a strength and conditioning program you should be monitoring the program to ultimately better serve the athletes. 

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There are many good and valid reasons to monitor/test/assess physical capabilities of athletes. Below I have identified twenty-two reasons to formally test and assess athletes.

  1. Quantifiable data serve as the basis of an evidence-based program and practice.
  2. Testing data can be used to compare normative data.
  3. Can be used to compare data to prior the programs history.
  4. Can be used to measure and assess the effects of acute training interventions.
  5. Can be used to measure and assess the chronic or, long-term response to training interventions.
  6. Can be used to identifying strengths and weaknesses of an athlete.
  7. Can be used to individualize the training programs.
  8. Testing data can be used for athlete and team recognition.
  9. Testing data can be used to determine overtraining.
  10. Testing data can be used to graphically (radar, bar, pie chart, etc.) plot performance profiles.
  11. Sport coaches can use testing data for team selection, prioritizing athletes and tactical decisions.
  12. Physical performance standards have been an effective tool for determining athletic potential.
  13. Testing identifies physical proficiencies or deficiencies.
  14. Testing data can help to profile specific positions within a team.
  15. Testing data can be an effective monitoring tool to assist in goal setting.
  16. Testing data can be used to identify potential for injury.
  17. The ability to properly assess athletes has given coaches a greater understanding of how to maximize athletic performance.
  18. Testing data can be used for psychological motivation for athletes to improve performance.
  19. Testing data can be very useful when athletes are recovering from injury.  Baseline abilities that have been determined for athletes taken in a healthy state will serve as the criteria to meet before returning to play.
  20. Coaches can develop an athletic performance profile that consists of physical performance abilities such as agility, balance, coordination, strength, power, speed, body composition and endurance.
  21. Coaches can identify which abilities contribute most to athletic performance.
  22. Testing data can be used to determine the effectiveness of the programming.

Testing is a valuable and effective tool to be use to improve a strength and conditioning program.  Coaches and athletes will benefit greatly from tests and performance standards that are planned, organized, communicated and monitored on a consistent basis. 

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About The Author

Michael Barnes brings over 20 years of experience to the strength and conditioning/ fitness industry. His previous experience includes working in Division I athletics at the most successful collegiate programs, several years in the National Football League with the San Francisco Forty Niners, and the Director of Education with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Michael is an author, speaker, subject matter expert, industry consultant and practitioner.