Why Get an Assessment?

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One of the biggest things to change in golf fitness, recently, is the use of movement screens and assessments.

TPI is on the forefront of this and they do a really good job with their certifications.

Assessments also seem to be one of the more debated topics in fitness.

The FMS is one of those controversial topics. Some trainers swear by it and anyone who doesn’t use it should die. Other trainers say that is is useless because it doesn’t predict injury risk. Note: I do not use the FMS, nor am I certified in it so I will not be talking about it specifically.

Well, we need to get somewhere in the middle in terms of all assessments.

The real point of an assessment provides 3 real benefits.

Screening

At Evolution our movement screen for athletes is very basic. If someone experiences any pain during it, we have real issues. I immediately tell this person that they need to see a physical therapist.

The same goes for the TPI screen. Treating pain is outside my scope of practice. I do not have the proper credentials to manage that. Pain during an assessment is indicative of a bigger issue that needs to be addressed by the proper medical professionals.

Progress Tracking

I like to use measurable data with our movement screens in assessments. For our athletes we use jumping, running, and changing direction. Golfers will test their swing speed and do a swing video.

This info allows us to track progress. We can test before, after, and during to see progress and ensure that we are on the right path.

I like to test every 6-10 weeks, depending on how long someone will be training with us.

Program Design

I think this is the part that most people forget about when using assessments and screens.

Yesterday, I guest lectured an undergrad class at my alma mater. I taught them how to do the TPI screen and also how to then use it for programming.

I don’t think a lot of them really understood the connection because only a few of them had actually trained people before. I just wanted to expose them to it.

When I do any kind of movement screen, my only goal for it is to drive programming. It gives me an idea of what exercises I should or shouldn’t use. I can then build a program based on the info in the assessment.

A good example of this is an overhead reach. Most people do not pass this screen. Someone who cannot get their arms to their ears has limitations in shoulder range of motion. Someone who can but  arches their back has core stability needs. Someone who has both needs both.

I can then take that info and make a program that does not involve a lot of overhead work with someone who cannot safely get there. Why the limitations exist will take some trial, error, and time but we can start by only involving safe patterns.

Assessments are not magical and they are not going to solve the world’s problems.

They also will not predict risk of injury. The best predictor of injury is previous injury. Other than that, we cannot really be sure.

Anyone that does a screen and then goes on about how you are at risk is probably misinformed or trying to make some money off fear.