Assessment & Readiness
The American College Of Sports Medicine publishes fitness standards that anyone can compare themselves in well-defined fitness tests to the general population. If you test yourself and you do not fare well, hopefully it is a signal to change your behavior.
Below is a sample taken from ACSM table on the push-up.
From Table: Push-up Fitness Test Results
Women Age 20-29
Very Good 21-29
Needs Improvement 9
Men Age 20-29
Very Good 29-35
Needs Improvement 16
Having similar simple prerequisites for an athlete so they understand the physical requirements necessary to compete at a high level in his or chosen sport has value. A young athlete having information about how others have performed before he enters the program or knowing exactly what is expected to compete is motivating.
Gabe Harington the strength coach at Colgate University makes requirements very clear. He requires all incoming freshmen women to achieve 10 push-ups and a chin-up and men 20 push-ups and 3 chin-ups before they are allowed to enter the weight lifting program in college. They understand the expectations well before they arrive on campus. A special program is instituted to achieve the appropriate result for those who arrive underdeveloped. All eventually succeed.
Asking young athletes to achieve reasonable normative goals either running and/or utilizing body weight exercises goes a long way in giving them confidence, if obtained, that they are prepared to make the next athletic step.
The Naval Academy administers a physical readiness test twice per year. The test consists of a 1.5 mile run, push-ups in two minutes and sit-ups in two minutes.
1.5 mile run (min) 10:30 12:40
Push-ups (min in 2 mins) 40 18
Sit-ups (min in 2 mins) 65 65
Not only is it important to have a basic standard of fitness, but it is important to be Ready. Ready means that you are fully prepared. Readiness is a certain state of fitness that all athletes should perpetually be in. Many high schools are not able to have organized year round programs, but readiness is something that all athletes should aspire to.
Setting assessment standards and keeping athletes ready is a simple way to Get and keep athletes Strong.