You want to improve? You’ve come to the right place.
Whether you are 12 years old and want to make the county side in cricket; a pro BMX-racer needing to cut that second off your time or a keen runner who want to avoid injuries and just get that little bit faster – a sports assessment is your way of finding out if you are physically as good as you can be.
Preventative sports assessments are usually only given to elite and professional players, but having worked at grass root level and up through the ranks to professional national players in sports such as cricket, football, rugby, dance, volleyball, sailing, athletics, swimming, BMX racing among others, I have found that if we want to create champions, we must follow the long term athletic plan and create optimal athletes who can take on the skills of their chosen sport and thus allowing them an opportunity to become the best in the world.
I believe that everyone with passion, desire and want are entitled to this opportunity, which is the reason for offering Sports Assessments.
Below is an example of a sports assessment report:
Master Jimmy Wright (not real name)
Date of Birth 26/11/2007 (not real d.o.b.)
Present physical challenges:
- Right shoulder pain: Intermittent pain in front of shoulder which comes on after throwing the cricket ball. Feels it is affecting his ability to throw the ball as far as he would like.
- Left neck pain and Headache: Intermittent pain.
- Tension in shoulders and mid back.
- Tension in lower back
- Soreness in right outside thigh.
Present sporting goals:
- Be faster and lighter on his feet especially when batting in cricket.
- Wants to improve his cricketing skills to be invited and make it into country cricket youth side.
No medical issues.
Postural Alignment and biomechanical assessment
Jimmy is hyper-mobile. This is a genetic condition where the amount of collagen fibres in his joints are below average and thus allow his joints to move too far. This has resulted in Jimmy having flat feet.
Unfortunately flat feet has an adverse effect on other structures in the body.
For example it has been scientifically proven that children with flat feet do not load their Achilles tendon correctly creating long term weakness within the said tendon, which can cause lower limbs problems in the future.
Also it will not allow Jimmy to lock his feet during the push off phase in running and is likely the reason why he is struggling being light and fast on his feet.
The flat feet also causes increased rotational twists in the bones up through the body encouraging him to lock his knees and stick his stomach out. It is hard for his stomach muscles to activate in this position and it will then cause further muscle imbalances such as weak hip musculature and tight hamstrings.
James shows all of the above signs and he furthermore has developed a postural scoliosis (curvature in his spine) due to his left neck issues and right shoulder pain. This has been caused by fascial tightness (fascia is a connective tissue which supports all structures in the body.)
All of the above issues are treatable.
What is not treatable is Jimmy’s hyper-mobility and he will need to learn how to manage this to avoid future problems.
Contact sports such as rugby, combat sports and boxing are not recommended.
Jimmy has weak core stability muscles around his shoulders, neck, back, pelvic and hips.
He has increased muscle tightness in his right neck extensors and back extensors, hamstrings and right Iliotibial tract.
Bilateral flat feet.
Dysfunction in the joints of the left side of his neck and lower back.
Uneven fascial tightness in the posterior superficial fascial chain.
A grade two tear of his right pectoral muscle
All else – nothing abnormal detected.
- Purchase insoles to correct bio-mechanical alignment.
- 4-6 Manual therapy sessions over 1 month to:
- Release the uneven fascial pull
- Mobilise the neck and back
- Deep friction massage to the pectoral tear.
- 10 Exercise rehabilitation sessions over 4-6 months:
- Regain/improve baseline core stability strength of shoulders, hips, pelvis and spine.
- Balance exercises and practice to improve body awareness which will benefit his hyper-mobility difficulties as well as improve his ability to take on more advanced cricket skills.
- Teach Jimmy how to run and generate forward power.
- Athletic skills training focusing on the areas that Jimmy are struggling with such as agility, balance, co-ordination and speed under pressure.
- It is important that Jimmy still participates in other sports to continue to develop good all round athletic skills as he should not be looking to specialise until he is 14.
- In view that Jimmy aspires to play cricket for England when he is older and become a professional cricket player I would like to recommend that he and his parents read the following:
The principles of Long Term Athlete Development is imperative for creating a champion:
Another link that would be beneficial for Jimmy which is more related to mental approach to playing is the following link:
Also it is my recommendation to have a parent/coach/player conversation in regards to Jimmy being a fast bowler. Looking ahead I feel to improve his chances of reaching his goal a decision needs to be made whether he will physically have the needed attributes to make it as a professional fast bowler (height specifically) and whether it would be more beneficial for Jimmy to become a Medium fast bowler and a top 4 batsman (all-rounder). This would be the time to make this decision as Jimmy can then over the winter work on this and return next session ready to go.
Jimmy’s present physical ability to play cricket.
Jimmy’s present physical alignment and strength will adversely affect him in the following areas:
- A fast bowler will use his right arm as a lever and generate power from his stomach muscles. Said bowler with also need core stability strength with in his hips to remain tall during the bowling phase. Jimmy lacks both at present, which means that he is at risk of injuring his shoulder by overusing it. The brilliant thing is that he already is a talented player with these deficits and once he has eliminated this weakness he will be faster, stronger and more consisting, thus an even better and safer player.
- A batsman needs to be able to stabilise his trunk, lower back, pelvic and hips as this locking will allow the arm movements for batting extra power. Without locking the ball will not travel far and timing/connection with the ball can be inconsistent.
Jimmy’s strength/timing will improve tenfold once he has regained this strength.
- Running between the wicket and in the field requires light feet, agility, balance and co-ordination. Because Jimmy has flat feet when he runs he does not at present generate a forward power, but a downward and likely sideways power. Insoles will allow him to lock his feet, which will instantly improve/stop the downward power and as his core stability and strength around his hips, pelvic and spine improves he will immensely improve.
You don’t play sport to get fit, you get fit to play sport.
There is nothing worse that sitting on the side line watching your friends play, book a preventative Sports Assessment. You service your car, why not service your body. 🙂