Hey all, Coach Guyer here reporting on our fall strength and conditioning camp! It was a great fall with some really awesome athletes and also some really great performances both on the field and in their training. I wanted to share some of the highlights from their training this fall and recognize some of the top scores from their performance testing.
Over the last 3 years I have had the pleasure of working with a company that specializes in performance testing and velocity based training with the use of wearable accelerometers. Push Band
was developed to help coaches and athletes quantify the work we do in the gym by giving the athlete objective feedback on their movement instantaneously. This in turn helps athletes more effectively quantify what they are doing in the gym. Instead of being focused on just lifting more weight we can instead be focused on variables such as the speed of the athlete’s movement, power production and velocity which is both safer for the athlete and far more effective than just observing how much weight you are lifting. VBT has been a game changer for the performance training industry and is now finding it’s way into almost every performance facility in the world looking to provide the most effective training programs to their athletes. At my facility, Xtra Innings Performance, I am always looking for the best and safest approach for our athletes and this is ultimately what lead me to working with the team at Push Band.
This fall we used our Push Bands to test every fall sport athlete in 2 very simple to administer tests, Vertical Jump and RSI, or Reactive Strength Index. Push Band has testing features for each of these tests and allows the coach to track each athlete’s results over time. The Vertical Jump is a great descriptor of vertical power created by the hips in a test of their “triple extension” of the ankle, knee and hip. Think of a lineman exploding off the line, a sprinter exploding out of the blocks, throwing the shot or a basketball player going up for the tip at the start of a game as good descriptors of power. The test involves one powerful jump as high in the air as you can. We have the athletes perform the test with hands on the hips to isolate the score to power generated from the lower body without assistance from the upper body or arms. See the video of two of our men’s volleyball athletes performing this test. Connor McClure (athlete on the left) had the highest men’s vertical jump score in the school this fall at 23.7”. The highest women’s score came from Julia Before at 21.5”, who as you can tell from the next video is not the tallest athlete by any means. That’s what’s cool about the Push Bands and using these metrics for testing as it really evens the playing field with different body types and allows us to see what each athlete’s body is capable of doing.
The second test, the RSI, or “Pogo Jump Test”, gives us a look at an athlete’s bounce and spring in the foot and ankle. Athletes perform 10 consecutive “pogo jumps” in place trying to get as high as possible while spending as little time on the ground as possible between jumps. This test is normally quite effective at telling us who will have good quickness on the field or court in movements such as change of direction or cutting. Remember there is a difference between athletes who have great linear speed and those who possess great quickness. For most team sports sprint speed is important but it’s their quickness that really helps an athlete shine due to all the changes of direction encountered in most team sports. Of course, those with have both are the truly blessed athletes. Athletes who can create and apply force to the ground quickly will score quite well on the RSI test. They will also be the athlete who will be bouncing around on the field or court making opponents miss and showing great elasticity when they move. From an injury prevention standpoint, athletes who score higher on the RSI test should also be less likely to sustain injuries in cutting type movements. The science shows us that athletes who can create force quickly upon ground contact (under 250ms to be precise) will be less likely to sustain ligamentous injuries such as an ACL tear due to high speed change of direction. Sport as we know is “dangerous” in nature, and that means injuries can and will happen regardless of how physically prepared athletes are. In the video below you will see a Field Hockey athlete performing the RSI test with her teammates cheering her on. Typically testing is a bit of a boring session, in this case one athlete challenged another athlete to a “jump off” and it created a very high energy and competitive environment driven from the feedback they saw on the screen. Props to Sydney Smith here for a great performance and also to her teammate who took it like a champ and dropped down and gave her 10 push ups after defeat. The highest women’s RSI score came from Julia Before at 1.53 m/s, she was also the women’s vertical jump champ you saw in the video above. Nice job Julia! Highest men’s RSI score came from Dylan Young, basketball player, at 1.97 m/s. Dylan just bested that score in his in-season testing just last week at 2.05 m/s. Nice work Dylan!
The last recognition I will give for the fall is to the team with the best attendance. All of this geeky stuff I talk about with these tests, preventing injuries and performance enhancement really doesn’t make a bit of difference if athletes don’t show up each week to train. I preach to athletes constantly that we must have a relentless pursuit of excellence in order to reach our true potential, this of course applies to sport and life. Showing up and being accountable to your team, your teammates and your school is just the start of this commitment to excellence. This fall the best attendance was a tight race between the men’s and women’s soccer teams and in the end the women’s team pulled it off. Their tests scores were also the most improved of all the teams which tells us that between the work put in on the field and in the gym they saw some very measurable progress. A big piece of their attendance was their coach’s dedication and commitment to their success. You can see in the video below that he is definitely committed and that they have a lot of respect and admiration for him. Although he was the only coach to test, Frank Leafe currently has the highest Vertical and RSI scores for all coaches in the school. GO FRANK!
I have also included the highest scores for each of the fall teams who tested and trained during the fall 2018 season. In my experience in using these accelerometers and performing many hundreds of these tests with HS athletes from a range of different sports elite scores for High School men and women are as follows.
Vertical Jump RSI:
Men 24” and up Men 2.8m/s and up
Women >21” and up Women 2.0 m/s and up
Vertical: 16.6 Nicole O'Connor
RSI: 1.08 Ariel Switser
Vertical: 23.7 Conner McClure
RSI: 1.78 Miles Adams
Vertical: 20.8 Omari Bain
RSI: 1.72 Noah Foster
Vertical: 17.4 Lauren Bora
RSI: 1.43 Aiden Hale
Vertical: 20.2 Camryn Heath
RSI: 1.32 Sydney Smith
Vertical: 19.7 Dylan Young
RSI: 1.97 Dylan Young
Vertical: 21.5 Julia Before
RSI: 1.53 Julia Before
Be sure to look for the winter training recap the end of March!