Coach's Toolkit: Evaluating New Athletes

How do you evaluate an athlete when they first enter your program? This question is part of my new book coming out titled, Sprinter's Compendium: a "one-stop shop" for theory and practical information for any coach looking for real world strategies to improve sprint training for any type of athlete. Look for it soon!

This question is answered by 14 people... 13 coaches and 1 athlete to be exact.  The responses from real coaches and real experience will become apparent. In no particular order... Keep clicking through the slides for the different opinions and enjoy!

Mike Cunningham

After an initial conditioning period, I would do a standard testing protocol for all athletes in my group. Normally my group would consist of sprints / hurdlers / jumpers. Everyone would do the same test even if it doesn't specifically relate to their known event. The testing is done for two reasons:

  1. The potential to discover other related talents are available. A sprinter who never long jumped or long jumped poorly, in high school may have natural abilities to jump that shows up in testing and can be awakened with proper coaching
  2. The potential to discover combined event athletes comes from seeing "what else they can do" besides their known abilities.

- Mike Cunningham, USATF instructor and DI coach