Whilst it can be easy to become obsessed with jump heights or sprint times with athletes, when it comes to working with pre-adolescent athletes, using more qualitative movement assessments is perhaps a better way to go.
Something I have started to place more emphasis on with my youth athletes this academic year is getting them to grade their own and their team mates movement quality 10 point scale (e.g. 1 I am not comfortable or competent performing this movement, 10 being way too easy) and then progressively challenging this movement with aspects like speed, cognitive fatigue, and complexity.
In Part 2 (coming next week!), I will share my 3 point scale for assessing variations of squatting, lunging, hinging, bracing, jumping and landing, and how actually limiting the technical points may help athlete’s in the learning process, can help dial down on what’s important, as well as providing progression/regression examples within each category.
About the author
Todd Davidson is a UKSCA accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach currently working at Downe House school, in charge of the scholarship athletes' strength and conditioning program whilst introducing athletic development into the P.E curriculum.Todd's current interest on youth athletes was sparked by gaining experience with University, Paralympic and Olympic athletes as part of his internship roles with Duham University, Middlesex County Cricket Club and the English Institute for Sport, with GB Boxing and Paralympic Table Tennis, and speaking to other practitioners as to how this journey can be scaled more effectively to reduce injury risk, enhance performance and improve athletic development in youth athletes.
Todd can be found via:
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