Functional testing is a great tool for athletes and their coaches. It helps show an athlete’s fitness level, and doing the tests at regular intervals (e.g. six months apart) can show and motivate progress. Functional testing shows where and how coaches can help athletes focus to improve their fitness and foundational movements. And it helps athletes feel successful when they see the improvements in their results!
Special Olympics BC Locals are awesomely offering functional testing with their fantastic Club Fit programs. Club Fit is a fabulous and fun opportunity for athletes to participate in a weekly program that will help build their overall fitness. Please contact your Local to find out if you have Club Fit and can participate in functional testing.
In addition, Special Olympics BC is hosting three functional testing events in November:
- Open to all athletes: Prince George November 1
- Open to Richmond athletes: Richmond November 3
- Open to all athletes: Burnaby (BCIT) November 7, with the generous support of Vancouver Canucks employees through their annual Live 2 Give event
About functional testing
Functional testing is used by major sport organizations to improve athletic performance and measure athlete progress. Special Olympics BC’s functional testing is a set of 18 tests used to test and track an athlete’s fitness level, exercise form, flexibility, and functional movement patterns. The tests are organized and run by coaches and volunteers with a sport, strength and conditioning background.
Athletes should do functional testing roughly every six months. After each functional test, athletes will be given a corrective exercise guide specifically tailored to improve their weaknesses.
Functional testing is important as a starting point for an athlete’s training. Through functional testing, we can determine any muscular imbalances an athlete may currently have that can lead to future injuries. Furthermore, we can help an athlete develop proper form for key movement patterns by assessing flaws and correcting them through the various functional tests.
It is imperative to continue attending functional testing, as it allows an athlete to track their progress and learn how they can improve. There are specific strength and athletic tests that an athlete should be able to improve on each time they attend a functional test.
After an athlete has attended a functional test, we hope they have performed their corrective exercises and improved their weaknesses. At this point, we can start challenging the athlete by giving out harder exercises for him or her to work on.