An effective strength and conditioning instructor seeks to meet the needs of his/her athletes. The issue comes with how to you identify those needs? There are some great products on the market like Kinduct that can help you do so, but with some work, you can set up your TeamBuildr platform to give what I like to call a “Ready to Work” assessment to identify the needs of your athletes on a daily basis.
Let’s start with the basic information that you want to know as a coach. I started with these basic 10 questions:
- Physically, how does your body feel?
- What is your overall soreness/pain level?
- What is your current level of fatigue/tiredness?
- How would you rate an average night’s quality of sleep?
- What is your current level of stress?
- What is your mood usually like?
- How has your mental focus been?
- How has your food intake been?
- How would you rate the nutritional quality of the food you eat?
- How are your hydration levels?
First, you need to build these questions in TeamBuildr. The specific module in the software is referred to as "Sports Science" which allows a coach to create questions and then group the questions into a Questionnaire. For example, Sleep Questionnaire made up of 3 sleep-related questions. You can then create your own scale such as 0-12 for number of hours slept, or 0-5 for Sleep Quality. For our purposes, the better the athlete functions or performs in a given question, then we want that number to be closer to the 5 than 0. A question like “What is your overall soreness/pain level?” then you need to clarify that 0 is very sore and 5 is not sore at all. This will be important later.
Then using the Questionnaire’s function in TeamBuildr, you build your Ready to Work Questionnaire to be included on your workouts. I then add the questionnaire when I program my workouts either at the beginning or after the workout session. Athletes answer the questionnaire using their smartphones, but you also have the option of allowing them to use a tablet in the weight room.
In my case, the questionnaire is the first thing list on their workout. They complete this before they start today’s work. The beautiful thing about this function when using the number range (Eg: 1-5) and a numeric value is that TeamBuildr's Sports Science function will total all the responses for each individual athlete and give them a total. The maximum for this 10 question Ready to Work questionnaire would be 50. I have several large groups of athletes so we have established a cut line of 25. If your score is 25 or less, then they need to come see me. Obviously if we are 25 or less then something is hindering this athlete and their readiness to work. From there we will make some adjustment to their workout and perhaps have them opt out and substitute other movements or exercises (another great function on TeamBuildr) on the workout based upon their responses. I also have established that if you answer any of the questions with a 0 or 1 then I need to see the athlete to address that individual need.
This is a quick and simple method integrated into TeamBuildr individual workout function that lets the athletes quickly assess their readiness to work and gives them a chance to conference with you quickly to address their individual needs. You could also run reports on the questionnaires each day to address overall needs of your class. For example, if all of your athletes answer that they are at a 0 or 1 on a day after a specific workout (meaning they are very sore) then you could go back and evaluate your programming for the previous day or look at the competitions that they may have had prior to the workout and adjust what you have programmed for them in the future. The possibilities are endless!