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Friday, March 29, 2019

Strength Coach- Jump Monitoring- Thoughts & Action Plan


Joel Jackson 

University of Alberta

Here at the U of A, we have students help out and gain experience in the Sports Performance center in a number of different capacities. One of the more recent projects set in motion is that of an internship in which we selected a number of third year students that had a keen interest in strength and conditioning. Each student was then placed with each one of our lead coaches to work directly with them and the varsity sports that they manage.
One of the projects that I wanted to try with my student was to start gathering some jump data for monitoring purposes.
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This is something I have wanted to get off the ground for sometime, but struggled with the logistics of how it would work. Some of the problems that I have encountered include: one jump mat to use, sporadic workout times in-season and the fact that I would have roughly 90 athletes to gather data on. With the help of a student, a couple of times a week, I figured it was as good of time as any to just start doing jumps and see how it worked.

The ongoing frustration with wellness surveys also added to my initiation of the jump monitoring. I am pretty much convinced that these types of surveys are not the best thing to use when dealing with a large number of athletes. It is a never-ending battle with the teams I work with to keep their compliance up with the surveys and there always seems to be issues with them not receiving notifications, or not being able to log on to the platform (a whole other can of worms).
Also, when I think back to times when the responses were somewhat consistent, I still wasn't seeing much value out of it. If something came up that was concerning, that lead to a conversation with said athlete, I asked myself, why do I need this survey to tell me when to have a conversation with my athlete?
Why not just have a conversation with them every week?
“How are you feeling after the weekend?”
“How is school going?”
“How are you liking the workouts?”
All these questions can give me the info I am looking for with the surveys and allow me to connect with the athletes more often as an added bonus. With that being said, I need to do a better job moving forward, making sure that these talks happen regularly and that I am writing notes about them as well. My stance on this was also supported after reading Jace Delaney's article on Invisible Monitoring. Do yourself a favor; read it. It is very informative. 
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