Resources Library

ePublication of Australian Fitness Network

Title: Assessments for Sport and Athletic Performance
Author: David H. Fukuda
Publisher: Human Kinetics, ISBN: 9781492559887
Details: Paperback, 304pp
RRP: AUD $65.00 OR $52.00 when you use the code HK20 to SAVE 20% at the checkout HERE.

Reviewed by Tony Boutagy, PhD, AEP, AES

Management expert Peter Drucker’s quote ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’ is often stated in sports and exercise settings. Through reliable tests and normative data, a coach or trainer can better establish baseline fitness levels, compare against others and monitor performance over the months and years. Dr Fukuda has provided a marvellous resource in this respect, as this book provides the definitive, one-stop place for assessments across a wide range of physical capabilities and qualities.

The book is divided into two parts: the first section outlines the basics of assessment. The second section details the numerous available tests. Fukuda begins by discussing the usefulness of assessments, how to understand the comparison of normative data and testing numbers as a predictor of performance. Information gained in assessments provides the basis of optimal program design, both for performance gains and for injury prevention. Fukuda’s framework of testing fits within the PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act), which is a model for constant evaluation of indices that predict performance and/or injury so that programs can be modified as needs arise. In addition to this, Fukuda uses a SWOT matrix (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) to optimise program design, which is a helpful model for interpreting testing data and transforming that into actionable training variables in the program.

The next chapter covers the equipment choices needed for the full spectrum of assessments outlined in the book, including equipment to measure anthropometry, strength, distance and timing, heart rate, GPS and questionnaires. The final chapter before the testing protocols are discussed details which particular tests should be used to measure specific performance outcome. Here, Fukuda overviews body composition, flexibility, balance, speed, agility, power, strength and endurance.

The bulk of the text hereafter is devoted to the detail of tests used to assess the performance qualities on the spectrum between balance to explosiveness. Each test is explained clearly, with the assessment’s purpose, outcomes, equipment needed, things to consider before you begin, the exact protocol to follow, alternatives and modification and an inclusion of normative data for comparison. This is the most comprehensive and detailed information on assessments available anywhere and is a ‘must-have’ for any trainer or coach who tests and retests their clients or athletes.

Assessing, monitoring and retesting are a prime component to any coach or trainer’s day-to-day job. Fukuda has provided the trainer and coach with an invaluable resource, covering every test that could ever be performed, along with normative data to aid in comparisons of where a performance resides. This is a very welcome addition to the library of trainers and has the potential to greatly improve programming and athlete monitoring.

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