One of the biggest differences between Power Source and from most other youth training programs is that we have a long-term tracking system in place for all our athletes through our Athlete Success Plans.
We do this for four big reasons:
- PLANNING: It tracks the growth of each athlete in specific categories, allowing them to see where their improvements are coming from and where we need to work next.
- BETTER PROGRAMMING: Having a scoring system in place holds us accountable to our members, forcing us to see where we are getting results and where we need to improve moving forward.
- MOTIVATION: From day-to-day it can be hard for kids to see their improvement, but when they see scores jumping dramatically compared to just a few months earlier it can be extremely motivational.
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Are you working hard enough to see results? Are you training regularly enough to stay on track to your goals? You can’t improve without effort and dedication…seeing where you have not improved over time is much needed for those who need a wake up call.
So how do we develop Success Plans for every single athlete in our program?
By following these steps…
PHASE 1: PERFORMANCE COMBINES
Every 3-4 months we’ll run a series of evaluations with our athletes. This is done during class time so we are not adding another commitment to the extremely busy schedules most of our kids already have.
We collect data in three key areas:
- Flexibility & Balance
- Speed & Power
Our general tests are the same for all ages except the strength tests, which are different for high school/college athletes compared to grades 8 and under.
All tests have a scoring system attached based on national norms and professional combine results. (More on this in the Data Analysis section below).
One major change to our testing now is the implementation of sport-specific options for our high school and college athletes. Here, we run some different tests based on how athletes are evaluated at NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS & MLL draft combines to ensure maximum readiness for our kids as they work towards the highest levels of their sports.
FLEXIBILITY & BALANCE
Some of our tests come from Gray Cook’s Funtional Movement Screen, a tool many pro and college programs now use.
But not all of our tests here come from the FMS. A second big influence on our unique system is Dr Kelly Starrett, developer of the MobilityWOD (Workout Of the Day) website and certification program.
We tell our athletes that they should grade out in our system at 70% or higher in this category of tests to be moving at a level where we feel they are not negatively impacted by mobility restrictions.
Testing in this category is the same for all athletes, regardless of age or sport.
We want to assess 3 main areas of strength:
- Leg strength
- Upper body pressing strength
- Upper body pulling strength
Testing for younger athletes (grades 8 and below) are body-weight focused. High school and college athletes will have a combination of weight training tests and body weight tests.
With the addition of sport-specific testing the protocols can be quite different from sport to sport. Football players testing on the NFL Combine standards will perform a maximum number of repetitions at a set weight, whereas a soccer player’s upper body pressing strength test will be a max rep pushup test. Many other subtle differences exist between sports.
- Vertical Jump test for explosive power
- Broad Jump test for acceleration potential
- 5-10-5 Shuttle Run for speed & agility
- Hurdle Jump test to evaluate elastic strength of the lower body
For the sport-specific tests, there can be some serious variation.
As one example, basketball players have a series of agility and sprint tests that no other sport uses. Baseball focuses on the 60 yd dash and uses a medicine ball throw to test rotational power. In short, the differences here can be drastic from one sport to the next.
PHASE 2: DATA ANALYSIS
FOUNDATIONS (flexibility & balance): All athletes should seek a score of 70% or higher.
STRENGTH: A percentage grade is given with the following criteria based on how ready they are to play at the next level:
0-24% – Below average readiness
25-49% – Average readiness
50-74% – Above average readiness
75-100% -Elite readiness
SPEED/POWER/CONDITIONING: Again a percentage grade is given with the same criteria used in the strength category.
Athletes will also receive points in each test, with a maximum of 100 points that can be accumulated over the 13 total tests. Top earners are posted in our facility with Point Clubs (as shown above).
This total score is extremely beneficial for athletes who train over long periods of time with us, as they can see how much their scores increase from one season to the next.
PHASE 3: ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS
Once the tests are completed and analyzed, it is time to sit down with each athlete and work together to create their personal Success Plan.
At this time we’ll discuss their scores, break down grades for them, and also coordinate on two other big pieces of their future success – nutrition and goal planning.
NUTRITION & RECOVERY
During our meeting we want to have a conversation about what goes on outside the training environment, specifically nutrition habits.
Nutrition plays such a big role in maximizing your results from training, so we want to check in and see where each of our kids are in regards to:
- Drinking Water
- Getting Enough Sleep
- Eating Fresh Fruit
- Eating Vegetables
- Eating Enough Protein
- Eating Whole Grains
- Having Breakfast regularly
- Avoiding Soda, Juices, & other beverages that are not optimal for health
- Avoiding Junk Food
From here we’ll highlight what is going well, and set goals if necessary for developing better habits over the next couple months.
Here is where we put everything together. We want to know what each athlete’s long-term goal is, the reason why they train with us.
From there, it becomes much easier to develop a short-term action plan for reaching that long-term goal.
Maybe we need to focus on some specific things in training.
Perhaps they need to dedicate themselves more to the things necessary to reach their goals.
In some cases, kids will need to take extra time on their own to practice specific sports skills that are limiting them from greater success.
Whatever those action steps are, they entirely come from the athlete and form their personal Athletic Success Plan for the next few months….until we start the whole process over again.