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The Importance of Performance Testing for Youth Athletes

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The Importance of Performance Testing for Youth Athletes

Performance testing is a very valuable tool to use to ensure you are making progress, and all the hard work you are doing in the gym and at training is benefitting you. Testing allows us to see what areas of fitness may be lacking, and highlights any risk factors for injury whether this be due to asymmetry between limbs or a significant difference between upper and lower body strength/power.

When completed regularly (every 6-12 weeks), the testing becomes a motivation tool for young athletes as they can get addicted to wanting to consistently see improvement. Additionally, it gives the coach a reference point to relate any plyometric/jump movements back to when they are developing a program.

As a youth athlete they don't need to understand the intricacies into how each movement is important to their sport. However, having a tangible reference point creates a great level of buy-in from the individual, which is more important than any perfectly constructed program ever will be.

At Inner Athlete, we use the following testing measures:

Lower Body Power

  • Isometric mid-thigh pull (kg)
  • Broad hump (m)
  • Triple board jump (m)
  • SL triple hop (m)
  • Squat jump (m)
  • Counter movement jump (cm)

Upper Body Power

  • Max chin ups (reps)
  • Medicine ball seated chest pass (m)


  • 20m sprint - with 10m time taken as well (s)
  • 5-10-5 change of direction drill (s)

Aerobic/Anaerobic Conditioning

  • 1.2km block run (mins)
  • 45 seconds all-out assault bike effort (calories)

Now in saying all this, just because someone has a really good vertical jump, or insanely good aerobic fitness, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll be better at your sport.

These are simply measures of athleticism and they may or may not be specific to your individual sport or position within that sport.

A more well-rounded athlete will always be better and more resilient one. It's the work you do at sports training and perfecting your skills in your sport that will determine how successful you are.

By improving your speed, endurance and power, it will assist in your ability to maintain focus under fatigue, recover quicker between sessions/drills, and allow you to perform skills at a much higher game like intensity, which will make you better at your sport in the long run.

For more information on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sports performance, check out our website and podcast available on Spotify and YouTube!

You can also book a FREE consultation by emailing us.

Matt Hucul
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Inner Athlete - Bayside's premium strength and conditioning coaching for youth athletes

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