Assessment is the means by which we determine an athlete's physical capability relative to the demands of Hockey.
It is a vital aspect of the training process, as it allows us to gather information about what an athlete can do (capability), when compared with where they want to be (goals).
In this series of videos, I am going to provide you with an overview of how to assess and screen hockey players across three three areas:
- Mobility and proprioception (range of motion and balance)
- Tissue capacity (local muscular endurance of at risk tissues)
- Running assessment (speed, repeat sprint ability and aerobic capacity)
But first of all, let's dive into a more philosophical overview of what assessment is trying to achieve, and ultimately why we use it with the clients that we work with.
Philosophy of Assessment
Our philosophy is that assessments provide us with an understanding of an athlete's capabilities in relation to the demands of hockey.
What this then enables us to do is to provide our clients with really specific training programmes that are designed to get them closer to their goals.
A key question to ask is 'what is the physical limitation to this athlete's performance?'. The answer to this question helps inform specific training interventions that help to overcome injury risk, and build a better, more robust athlete.
Mobility, Proprioception and Tissue Capacity
Next up, it's time to look at a couple of really key areas - mobility, proprioception and tissue capacity.
Mobility training is one of the most commonly neglected areas of physical training, but is a really important one. Hockey players need to get into some pretty extreme positions on the field, and having the ability to achieve large ranges of motion without putting your body at risk is really important.
Proprioception is the ability of joints and the central nervous system to understand their positions in space. If you can effectively get into effective positions, then you'll be less likely to get into compromised shapes!
Tissue capacity training helps athletes to achieve greater robustness, and also reduces injury risk. This is low intensity, high volume training that is highly effective at increasing training durability and tournament fitness.
Finally, let's take a look at how to assess a hockey player's running abilities. The running demands of hockey are fairly high, with players often being asked to run considerable distances.
The key running qualities that need to be addressed include maximal speed, repeat sprint ability, and aerobic capacity.
Once these key areas have been established, you will have a much clearer ideas of what your physical capabilities are. This then allows us to put a programme together for you in a highly specific manner. This is one of the reasons why athletes on our Hockey Performance Programme complete a comprehensive assessment process when they join the programme.
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You’re welcome Katharine! Glad it was useful for you. Integrate Sports
Incredibly useful article