Sports Drills for Determining Skill Placements:
Working with athletes is one of the most gratifying parts of owning or working at a sports business. But, it’s even better when you see the final results, after months of intense training. What they've learned stays with them for the rest of their careers, even if they've only worked with you for a limited amount of time.
So what will you do on the final day when your athlete clients leave your sports camp? The best thing is to show off what they've learned so they can leave on a high note.
A good way to spend your final day is to do games and drills to prove their physical skills. There isn't any way to truly know they've assimilated what you've taught without seeing it in practice. Plus, do these same drills to start camp, and then you, your athletes, and their parents can truly see where progress was made.
Now of course you should do skill drills based in your specific sport, but these general strength, speed and agility tests apply to all athletes and are a great place to start!
Drill One: Strength Tests
How well has the client built up their strength since they started training with you? One way to find out is to do strength drills.
Do side planks with leg raises first and see if the client can do up to twelve repetitions. Then move on to clock lunges and if the client can do three per set, move to a side hip raise with twelve reps for a follow-up.
After this cycle, you may want to end with a combination using techniques like squat jacks, crossover lunges, and flutter kicks.
Drill Two: Testing Balance and Speed
Since many of your clients are likely professional athletes wanting to increase their speed and balance, take some time to see how they've progressed.
You can make this fun by doing moves like the Mountain Climber maneuver, which involves a position on one's hands and toes. It involves leg extensions, much like the body position you'd see in real mountain climbing.
Try some other fun games like agility ladders, or fitness rings where you can test speed and balance all at the same time.
Drill Three: Speed Tests
You may already know speed ability comes in three different forms: starting speed, top speed ability and repeated speed.
With starting speed, you'll want to see how well the client has improved, especially if they're training for track & field events. Be careful, though, because the athlete needs to warm up before doing speed tests like this. They could become injured during the drill if they don't.
Doing 40-meter short sprints are a good way to test starting speed. A ten-meter run can determine maximum speed, and conducting a series of sprints helps with testing repeated speed.
Drill Four: Deceleration Training for Agility Testing
Deceleration ability is often overlooked in athletic training. Testing this in your clients helps determine how quickly they can slow down while running without causing injury.
You might want to set up sprints to test deceleration, possibly recording the sprint to see how well they do. Make sure they don't decelerate through their lower body, because this prevents enough force to change direction on a track or playing field.
Drill Five: Testing Stamina
Many sports trainers use the Yo-Yo Endurance Test to determine how well their clients can keep up their stamina. A stamina test is the ultimate drill to attest to what you've accomplished as a trainer.
The Yo-Yo test comes from Danish soccer physiologist Jens Bangsbo who designed a specific drill to see real results.
It involves setting up cones about 20 meters apart. The athlete runs back and forth over a line between the cones and turns when hearing a recorded beep. Throughout the drill, the pace quickens, giving a good idea of how well the client can hold up their running skills after quick breaks.