Total Performance Screening Process

One of the variables of program design is current athlete ability. How well do they move? Are there any asymmetries between the two sides of the body? How high do they jump… how fast do they run… these are some of the questions we attempt to answer before putting an athlete through any workout regimen. We have created a systemized screening tool that is in no way nationally accredited or certified. But, for our situation, we feel it is the best and most accurate method (at this time) to determine current athletic ability with new clients. 

General Questionnaire: 

This is the first portion of our screening process. This is our chance to get to know the athlete in more ways than one. After the basic screening questions like health history, injury history, current height and weight, and past training history, we like to establish the “why” behind their training. “What brings you to TP today?” Not only does this show the athlete we care, but we use it is a reference point for those who stick around for the long haul. We often lose sight of goals through the mundane routine that can be life. Referencing goals set from the beginning gives the athlete and coach a chance to refocus. 

Functional Movement Screening (FMS)

The FMS is a screening tool used to determine musculoskeletal dysfunction for someone who currently isn’t showing symptoms of dysfunction. The FMS claims to be a predictor of injury, however studies have had mixed results showing the test’s ability to do just that. We use 6 of the current 7 screening methods as a way to test for asymmetries, motor control, and mobility. We do not use the FMS to predict injury. It is a systematized way to set a benchmark of movement ability that we can refer back to, and see if our programming cleaned up the movements. Also, inability to complete certain movements without asymmetry between limbs or pain will determine what exercises go into their program. For example, an athlete that scores poorly on the “Straight Leg Raise” will not be allowed to complete loaded hinge patterns like the RDL. We will prescribe corrective exercises to help the movement, and as they progress through the correctives, they will then be exposed to the RDL. 

Basic Human Movement Ability

Beyond the FMS, we like to get our athletes moving in space. How well do they before basic human movements like the: squat, hip hinge, horizontally press/ pull, vertically press/pull, rotate, laterally bend, and trunk strength. These movements require multiple joints to work in unison to complete the movement. If there is a lack of motor pattern ability, muscular “tightness,” or force leaks, we will be able to more accurately prescribe exercises that target these areas of dysfunction.

Performance Testing

This is the last portion of the screening process. The previous activities acted as a minor warm up for these upcoming tests. Due to the nature of performance testing, we also require our athletes to complete a modified dynamic warm up for athlete safety. Tests include: counter movement jump, static squat jump, broad jump, 10 yard sprint, and the 5-10-5 drill. The size of our facility limits our ability to measure speed outside of acceleration ability. Gaining mass while jumping higher and longer, and running faster  often times tells us that we are doing our job with our athletes. 

In the Future

After collecting data from these screens, and testing the results of our programs we will be able to make these tests more appropriate to our population of athletes. Including things like body composition, 40 yard dash times, possibly a force plate :) will allow us to increase the individualization of athlete programs. This in turn will produce greater results in the gym that will transfer to their sport. 

Thanks for your time!

Coach Nate Garcia 


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Do physical sport tests (I.e., 60 time) actually indicate sports performance?


Each sport has its own set of tools for evaluating athletes.  This can range from just a simple measurement of anthropometry, or strength movements like the 225 bench test or a speed test like the 60 yard sprint.  The unfortunate reality is that these tests are indicators for the coaches to see if the athlete has qualities that would lead them to being proficient at playing the sport. However, most, if not all, of these tests for field and court sports have little or nothing to do with the skill of the athlete inside the sporting event. Unfortunately, we have to “play the game” of being great at these tests because they help us get noticed. Baseball players rarely, if ever, have to run 60 yards in a single play, and if they do ever have to run 60 yards in a single play, it definitely wont be in a straight line. Therefore, how could it be an indicator of potential baseball performance? The 225 bench test in football is by definition, a strength endurance test. However, the sport is really based on horizontal power which has little to do with upper body endurance.  Do you see where I’m going here?

Regardless of the reality, you still have to do the test. So now what?

To be better at your sport you need to practice your sport to improve the skill of it, just like anything else.  In the weight room, the more reactive the training the more carry over to the sport (just one example).  Now the tricky part is to become better at certain tests you have to practice the test if you want to improve. This is where we come in… Improving your 60 time is not as simple as just running a 60 yard sprint every day. Rather, as strength coaches we work on force production, single leg strength, running mechanics, acceleration drills, your first 10 yards of the sprint, and so on, breaking the test down into parts that will improve relevant sport related qualities of the athlete, while also providing significant improvement in the actual “test”.

Take Home

We all have to show that we have put in the work for the up and coming season, so performing well at these tests will help you, but if you don’t have a great 60 time or weak numbers for other tests, don’t get discouraged. Nowadays every coach is obsessed with providing some metric or score to quantify the athletes or prospects ability, so all you can do is do your best and if you truly want to be noticed, make sure you put your best foot forward on film or during the actual sport related drill (like fielding, hitting and throwing).  If you hit 10 home runs in batting practice during a showcase but your exit velo was not off the charts, you will still get noticed.