Level 1 assessment at an Olympic Training Center
We have been using the Swimming Performance Institute's Level 1 assessment all through the season starting August 2018. This has been as part of our Educational and Sports Academy programmes. It has been very helpful, because it is fast to perform, easy to use and understand.
It has also made it easier to communicate with athletes, parents and in-house professionals such as doctors and physio’s.
The results that we have seen have been surprising: The assessments the athletes have failed most have been Breathing, Alignment and Coordination. At the Olympic Training Center in Rovaniemi in Finland, we call these conscious and unconscious training strategy issues: Athletes may have quality training regimen, but they don’t understand how their bodies work. This creates issues for pursuing personal high performance, because there is lack in the athletes' foundation.
With shoulder assessment the athletes have had the most success, but occasionally it has been good indicator of upcoming shoulder injury. This has shown either as lack in mobility or pain during the movement. These are issues we should not have in the sport nowadays, and they can be controlled with simple progressive tools in training.
This is where Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the assessment comes in handy. With these additional levels you can have a built in service chain in your organization that works seamlessly.
Breaststroke assessments of the Hip and Knee have often shown the lack in mobility or of correct muscle activation.
The Squat assessment has also shown why having different level assessors are important for the club. It became apparent that in a controlled environment the athlete is likely to be able to perform the assessment, but he/she often loses the focus in the pool. The Level 2 assessment for squat lets you know if the problem is medical, conditioning or coaching related, and this allows you to keep tracking the problem and eventually fixing the issue.
Jukka Shemeikka MSc