A day in the life of a Talent Development Centre athlete: Testing Day

03 February 2016

January featured Team Bath Talent Development Centre’s (TDC) bi-annual testing day, a physical fitness assessment day compulsory for all TDC athletes to track their development.

The two testing days each year, which are supplemented by ongoing in-session monitoring, are designed to assess each individual’s strengths, weaknesses and areas of major improvement.

The important days are run with the help of Team Bath’s sports scientists and strength and conditioning specialists and also feature a wealth of information and interactivity for parents of the athletes.

This year’s testing day, which took place on January 16, began with team-building activities for both athletes and parents.

The two parties then split and whilst the TDC athletes began their fitness testing, parents had the opportunity to attend a Life Skills Workshop delivered by James Lambdon, programme leader in Lifestyle and Sports Psychology.

The workshop was followed by a talk from guest speaker Dr Sean Cummings (right) – a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Health at the University of Bath and project lead on the growth and maturation project within football’s Premier League. Dr Cummings is globally known as being an expert within adolescent health and development, focusing on growth and maturation.

Meanwhile the young athletes were undertaking a rigorous medical and physical assessment, starting with the athletes’ anthropometric data including height and weight to assess growth and maturity progress.

This was followed by detailed tests to determine their current fitness levels, including:

  • Hop and Stop (to assess single-leg power and strength)
  • Y-Balance Test (to assess balance)
  • Linear Sprint Test – 8/10m acceleration, 12/20/30m sprint (to assess acceleration and maximal speed)
  • 505 Agility Test (to assess agility in both directions)
  • CMJ and Squat Jump (to assess power)
  • Hand Grip Dynamometer (to assess upper body strength)
  • YoYo Intermittent Endurance Test (to assess aerobic fitness)

Following the intensive testing day, athletes received one-to-one feedback from the TDC’s Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach Corinne Yorston who reviewed their results and set their six month targets. After this process is complete, each athlete’s individual performance coach will subsequently provide feedback on individual progression within each sport.

Talent Development Centre Co-ordinator Hayley Deacon, who attends and co-ordinates the testing events, says the days are essential to monitor the progress of the TDC athletes.

She said: “The testing day is an important part of the TDC programme to ensure athletic development and monitoring is at the forefront.

“It allows for athletes from all of the various TDC sessions to enjoy working hard and pushing themselves together!”

To find out more about Team Bath’s Talent Development Centre, a talent programme for 11-18 year olds in the South West, contact Hayley on H.C.Deacon@bath.ac.uk or 01225 386670, or visit our Talent Development Centre homepage.

 

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