I've said it time and again, but I'm constantly shocked at how many trainers STILL don't assess their clients.
Look, if you want to get more out of your clients - giving them better health, longevity, and performance - you need to be assessing them from the get go.
However, just like a program shouldn't be cookie cutter, neither should an assessment. For example, would you use the same assessment to evaluate the following clients?
- An 85 year old woman with low back pain
- A 50 year old corporate executive who wants to lose body fat
- A 22 year old minor league baseball player
In this case, I'm hoping you said no, and this is what Bill Hartman talked about extensively in our 2008 Indy Performance Enhancement seminar.
The key to getting the most out of an assessment is to make it specific. For example golf, tennis and baseball are all rotational sports - but there are a lot of unique qualities to each. One of the best things you can do is to actually watch your client play their sport; you can notice mobility issues, stability issues, and even asymmetries in their performance. From there, you can break it down further into more isolative tests. But the key is specificity.
Here's another example - let's use a powerlifter in this case. He performs an overhead squat, but can't break parallel and there's a small loss of his lordotic curve in the process. Is this a cause for concern?
It depends - is he training this movement under load? And if not, can he squat down below parallel with a bar on his back and NOT lose his lordotic curve?
I hope you see what I'm geting at here. Everything in your assessment should be specific to your client - their needs, goals, sporting activities, etc.
If you want to learn more about developing the ideal assessment, be sure to pick up our 2008 Indy Performance Enhancement Seminar DVD series, on sale for this week only! Click on the link below to find out more.
2008 Indy Performance Enhancement Seminar Series