AthleteFIT Testing (Level 1)

August 28, 2014

AthleteFIT Testing (Level 1)

Athletic Standing Vertical Test:

There are several ways you can assess your vertical jump. The most common way (as seen in the NFL combine) is to use a Vertec device (pictured here – a vertical pole, with 48 plastic slats that extend horizontally from the pole). This test is performed in such a way where the athlete stands beneath the plastic slats and jumps as high as possible, touching the highest possible slat. Your vertical is measured by subtracting your reach (the highest point you can touch while standing flat footed) from your touch (the highest point you can touch while jumping).

Other ways to test you vertical include 1) jump mat devices, 2) Myotest accelerometers or simply marking your reach on the wall and performing a jump to touch on the wall with chalk on your fingers to mark your tough height (vertical is assessed by subtracting the reach from your touch height).

Athletic Vertical Screen:

When we look at factors that affect the height of your vertical jump, we have to first look at the way you jump and land. There are several ways of looking at this, and most coaches with a well trained eye can pick up on the simple mechanics that can both positively and/or negatively affect your jump height. Below is a short video showing how we score the vertical movement screen using the SmartJump System from FusionSport.

First, get someone to use a video camera (you can also use most smart phones) and video you performing a set of 5 jumps (hops) on one leg for maximum height. Video this from both the front and side views on each leg (20 total jumps – 5 right leg front view, 5 right leg side view, 5 left leg front view, 5 left leg side view).

We look at 5 categories when scoring your jumping and landing technique: 1) Torso/Shin Position (Front View), 2) Torso/Shin Position (Side View), 3) Landing Footprint, 4) Arm Action and 5) Rhythm. You will score 1 point for perfect form on all 5 reps for each category (5 categories x 2 legs = total of 10 points possible). If your form is less than perfect you will receive 0 points for that leg / category. A perfect score is 10 (5 points for each leg).

1) Frontal Plane (Side View) – Torso/Shin Position:

As you jump and land in the side view video look at the landing position. What we are looking for is equal bend at the knee and hip. In the picture shown here, you see the athlete lands in a balanced position with near parallel torso and shin angles (equal bend at the hip and knee). If you see this good, balanced position on each of the 5 jumps your score will be a “1″. If any of the landings show excessive knee bend with a vertical torso, or excessive forward lean of the torso with very little knee bend, your score will be a “0″.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Side View Torso/Shin Position

2) Sagital Plane (Front View) – Torso/Shin Position

You can see the obvious medial knee tracking (knees moving towards the mid-line, instead of staying in line with the ankles and the hips). Landing form like this would score “0″ points. Any torso sway (laterally) would also result in a score of “0″ points. A controlled landing where the knees stay positioned over the toes and under the hips would score a “1″ in this portion of the screen.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Front View Torso/Shin Position

3) Landing Footprint

In this portion of the screen we may use ladders or tape on the ground so that you can assess the athlete’s ability to land in the same spot on each jump. In the picture on the left, you see that the athlete is in the center of the ladder square. We want to make sure that in each of the 5 jumps, the athlete is landing in the same spot. This would score them a “1″ in this portion of the screen. Failure to land in the same spot would score them a “0″.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Landing Footprint.

4) Arm Action

In this portion we are looking to see if the athlete can effectively use the arms to assist in the vertical jump. We are looking for them to reach back with the arms as they land, and then throw the arms up as they jump. An athlete would score the athlete a “1″ if they were able to use the arms while jumping and landing, while an uncoordinated use of the arms would score the athlete a “0″ in this portion of the screen.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Full Extension.

5) Rhythmic Jumps

While it is hard to show rhythm in a photograph, we can imagine an athlete that does not pause during the landing to stabilize, but instead lands in a position that allows them to repeat the 5 jumps consecutively with no pause or loss of rhythm. This will appear very fluid and confident, not awkward or forced. The athlete should glide through the movements effortlessly as they hit maximum height. This would score them a “1″ on this portion of the screen.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Rhythmic Movement.

Once you have videoed the 5 jumps on the right leg and 5 jumps on the left leg from the front and from the side, watch the video and score your movement by giving yourself a “1″ in each of the 5 categories above for 5 perfect jumps, or a “0″ in each of the 5 categories for any imperfect jump. There are 5 total categories and you will be grading the right and left leg for each giving you a potential for 10 possible points. Enter your total points in the box at the top of this page labeled “Vertical Movement Screen”.

Standing Long Jump:

In this test the athlete will start with their toes on the start of a tap measure. They will jump forward, from a standing position, and land in an athletic position (not off balance or falling forward or back). We will measure the distance from the starting point (where their toes were before they jumped) to the ending point (where their heals were when landing). The athlete will be given 3 to 5 attempts to better their score. The best result (in inches) is taken and divided by the athlete’s height (in inches). For example if a 5 foot 6 inch (65 inch) athlete were to jump 4 foot 10 inches (58 inches) their score would be .892. This number (.892) would be recorded and entered as the athlete’s standing long jump score.

Athletic Agility Screen:

First, get someone to use a video camera (you can also use most smart phones) and video you performing an agility set. If you filmed the Athletic Speed/Agility test, you can use the video to breakdown their movement. If not, you can set up 2 cones, 5 yds apart and have the athlete start at one cone and sprint to the other, change directions and sprint back. Repeat this pattern 5 times without stopping.

We look at 5 categories when scoring your athletic agility technique: 1) Torso/Shin Position (Front View), 2) Torso/Shin Position (Side View), 3) Foot Placement, 4) Inside Leg as the Primary Decelerator and 5) Rhythm. You will score 1 point for perfect form on all 5 reps for each category (5 categories x 2 legs = total of 10 points possible). If your form is less than perfect you will receive 0 points for that leg / category. A perfect score is 10 (5 points for each leg). In the video below you will see a good change of direction followed by a poor change of direction…

1) Frontal Plane (Side View) – Torso/Shin Position:

As you change direction in the side view video look at the position of the lower leg (shin angle) in relation to the torso. What we are looking for is a parallel relationship between the shin and torso. In the picture shown here, you see the athlete changes direction in a parallel position in regards to torso and shin angles . If you see this good, balanced position on each of the 5 directional changes your score will be a “1″. If any of the changes of direction show torso sway beyond the mid-line of the body, your score will be a “0″.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Side View Torso/Shin Position

2) Sagital Plane (Front View) – Torso/Shin Position

As you change direction in the side view video look at the position of the lower leg (shin angle) in relation to the torso. What we are looking for is a parallel relationship between the shin and torso. In the picture shown here, you see the athlete changes direction in a parallel position in regards to torso and shin angles . If you see this good, balanced position on each of the 5 directional changes your score will be a “1″. If any of the changes of direction show torso sway beyond the mid-line of the body, your score will be a “0″.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Front View Torso/Shin Position

3) Foot Placement

In this portion of the screen we look at the athletes ability to make 1/2 the turn as they begin their deceleration. If they are turning 180 degrees (running to the right and cutting back to the left – 180 degree turn, we are looking for them to turn 90 degrees as they initiate stop. In the picture on the left, you see that the athlete’s foot has made the 90 degree turn and is facing straight ahead. This would score them a “1″ in this portion of the screen. Failure to land in the same spot would score them a “0″.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for foot placement.

4) Inside Leg as Primary Decelerator

In this portion we are looking to see if the athlete can effectively use the inside leg (resisting the momentum that would carry them over to the outside leg, thus causing torso drift and a loss of rhythm). This is a primary focus of our program as many athletes reach with the outside leg when changing directions, leaving them in positions that increase the risk of injury to the ankle or knee. An athlete would score the athlete a “1″ if they were able to do this, while an athlete that reached with the outside leg (girl pictured in red) would score the athlete a “0″ in this portion of the screen.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for use of the inside leg.

5) Rhythmic Transition

While it is hard to show rhythm in a photograph, we can imagine an athlete that does not pause during the change of direction, but instead rhythmically re-positions the feet which allows them to athletically change direction with no pause or loss of rhythm. This will appear very fluid and confident, not awkward or forced. The athlete should glide through the movements effortlessly as they hit maximum height. This would score them a “1″ on this portion of the screen.

Total points possible = 1 – right side, 1 – left side = 2 points possible for Rhythmic Movement.

Once you have videoed the change of direction drill, watch the video and score your movement by giving yourself a “1″ in each of the 5 categories above for perfect cuts, or a “0″ in each of the 5 categories for any imperfect cuts. There are 5 total categories and you will be grading the right and left side for each giving you a potential for 10 possible points. Enter your total points in the box at the top of this page labeled “Athletic Agility Screen”.

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