Many of the questions I receive from players, coaches, and parents revolve around strength and conditioning testing.
Testing is fine as long as it meets two criteria:
- It is safe and well supervised
- It is viewed as a way to monitor progress; not as a tool to compare players or to predict success on the court.
No test done in the weight room can predict success on the court. Kevin Durant couldn't bench press 185 pounds and had the 2nd lowest overall score at the 2007 NBA Combine. He is now an NBA All-Star.
If you choose to test, you should attempt to measure three key areas:
- Strength and power
- Quickness and agility
- Basketball specific conditioning
Each of these areas plays a role on the court. Just testing one area is too narrow.
Testing is only valuable if there are follow up tests to monitor progress. While there is no 'right' answer, four tests over the course of the year are more than enough. You can test at the:
- Beginning of your off-season training
- End of the spring (before summer)
- Beginning of the preseason (end of summer)
- End of the preseason (right before the season starts).
I see no point in testing during the playing season. That is when your focus should be on winning games!
While testing can be a valued part of your program, the most important part is the daily, weekly, and monthly workouts. Make sure you put most of your focus on training, not on testing!