This is part one of two and here I’ll be discussing the initial assessment and testing all coaches and players should address prior to beginning an in-season training strength & conditioning program.
Before beginning a strength & conditioning program, it is important that all players receive medical clearance from their doctor. Since this is for “in-season”, I’ll assume that has already happened (or they wouldn’t be allowed to participate).
With the following assessment tools, you will be able to find any deficits a player may have, as well as any strengths that can be utilized in competition. As you will see, many tests are pass-fail. A failing grade doesn’t mean a player isn’t allowed to lift, just that he/she has a deficit that should be fixed and both the player and coach should be aware of. These are also tests which can be re-administered to determine progression during the season, or reveal signs of regression and overtraining.
Flexibility & Mobility
This is an important, and vastly overlooked, aspect of basketball performance. Poor flexibility can leave a player at greater risk for an injury such as a muscle pull and limit mobility. Mobility is even more essential as basketball players are consistently shifting body position from upright, to half squat, to triple extension. Combined with the need for rapid power development and the ability to transfer energy, mobility is necessary to make movements more efficient and allow the body to function properly.
Deep Squat – This is the most beneficial test, providing mobility information for the ankles, knees, hips, spine, and shoulders. To test, have an athlete perform an overhead squat with either a PVC pipe or wooden dowel. Have them go as deep as they can. Scoring is as follows: