Advantages of fitness testing
While designing fitness tests keep in mind the factors you would like to measure. Tests must be explicit and the results obtain must measure fitness levels of athletes. Tests must be valid, dependable and gauge what they are designed to measure, the results must be persistent.
There are important aspects that need to be kept in mind while conducting tests.
A single test must be designed to measure only one aspect; no special technical aptitude must be required from the athlete for any kind of test accept when the technique used needs to be evaluated. The athlete must be clear of the needs of the test and what is expected of him. The test must be conducted in controlled environmental conditions, by trained people and the procedures must be well established.
Test results obtained help in forecasting the performance of an athlete, helps improve weaknesses, it also indicates improvements from past performances, and trainers can gauge the impact of their training regime. Test results also enable athletes to receive better training in areas they lag behind and encourage them to perform better. Training programs can be modified based on test results to suit the needs of athletes.
There are various factors that may affect test results. The environment, humidity and noise level in which test is conducted are important. The emotional well being of the athlete, the duration of sleep before the test has been conducted and the time are all essential factors that must be kept in mind. Caffeine intake of the athlete and medication, time of the last meal are all essential factors that have an impact on test results. The measurements must be correct in terms of distances, the time taken etc. Any past experience or testing knowledge of the athlete, unnecessary warm up, the people around and the skills of the tester may also affect test results.
It is important to make a note of the information derived from such test and maintain records. Training records are useful both for the athlete as well as the trainer, it helps determine the time and effort that has been put in and the results obtained.
Every day training data must be recoded, the physical and mental health of the athlete that is the weight, height, pulse rate etc. The technique used for training, training intensity, training load and training conditions, that is hot, wet or windy must be mentioned. Finally the results of the training must be recorded.
The information that helps measure status can become a test. Repeating tests in a program can be used to gauge the development inside a training discipline. Time trials-endurance, speed and speed endurance, explosive strength- overhead shot putt, power bounding, vertical jump, muscular endurance- dips, chins and pushups are all examples of such tests.
For both the coach and the athlete it is important to be competitive and gauge performance. The athlete must practice well and make all necessary arrangements before the final performance, set goals and accomplish them. Reviews and evaluation are helpful for the trainer and the athlete.