Why is a Dynamic Performance Evaluation Important?
It is important to understand the context of the dynamic performance evaluation. It is a snapshot of the athlete on that day. It can be used to inform training, monitor health, and ultimately give the athlete, their family, and their trainer a complete understanding of who that athlete is. As important as the first evaluation is, it is only a baseline. Once the baseline is established, athletes should test again …
- … each month (for the competitive athlete). So much can change with the body in a small amount of time.
- … after they have just finished a long season and want to see how much of a toll their sport took on their body before they start their offseason training.
- … after they have just finished their offseason training and are feeling great. They want to see where they are now vs. when the offseason started.
- … when they are recovering from a lower-half injury and want to objectively monitor their recovery so that they can have confidence in their recovered injury the next time they are in competition.
How the athlete applies the information gained from the evaluation is most important. Once they have applied what they’ve learned, evaluate again and make sure they are progressing towards their goals.
Lower-half asymmetry is a well-known indicator for injury. Most of the time, a hamstring pull or a calf-strain isn’t a freak injury, it is often a result of a lower-half asymmetry. Some asymmetry is completely natural and OKAY. Different sports inherently train the legs to be asymmetrical – so don’t panic. Too much asymmetry will increase injury risk. Too much asymmetry can overload the power producing muscles in the legs and can cause a hamstring pull, calf-strain, etc. etc.
Use the dynamic performance evaluation to stay informed on your athlete’s lower-half symmetry – it just may keep them on the field more this year, and longer for their career.
Confidence After Rehab
Your athlete has a dynamic performance evaluation report from a few months back. Everything looked great and the lower-half was symmetrical in power and quickness.
Today, they pulled a quad muscle in competition.
The body is a complex system that is impacted by everything from a diligent warm-up to adequate sleep to proper nutrition and hydration. It is important to celebrate when the body is performing as it should, but it is MORE important to do the little things to sustain that.
Just because an athlete has lower-half symmetry doesn’t make them immune from injury, they are just less prone.
The dynamic performance evaluation report from a few months back is a great reference for what the athlete should look like at their best. As they rehab, they can be evaluated again to monitor their progress on their road back to competition.
After rehabbing the pulled quad muscle, use the dynamic performance evaluation to give the athlete objective, peace of mind that they are close to or at 100% and ready to return to competition.