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Using assessments to illustrate progress and to support decision-making

This is an excerpt from Assessments for Sport and Athletic Performance by David H. Fukuda.

Assessment data is particularly useful when working to educate or provide feedback to clients or athletes and other relevant stakeholders (family members, teammates, other coaches or fitness professionals) on a particular topic. Early on in our lives, our parents or guardians are exposed to crucial assessment data in the form of basic anthropometric measurements (height, weight, body mass index, etc.), which is compared to normative data presented as growth charts. This information is meticulously tracked by health care providers and family members to make sure that normal development is occurring. Ask most parents or guardians about statistics and you will get a blank look, but they will most likely be able to tell you what percentile of height and weight their child was and how big their child was supposed to get. In a similar manner, we can use assessments, including anthropometric data, to illustrate progress and to support the decision-making process. This is particularly helpful when working with those same stakeholders (parents or guardians) and educating them on why we train the way we do and what the next step might be.