Performance is an assessment of how well a task is executed and the success of a training program is largely dependent upon satisfying the performance aims associated with it.
How can performance be monitored?
Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made.
What is the evaluation process?
The whole measurement/evaluation process is a six stage, cyclic affair, involving:
All of the above stages should be completed with the athlete - especially the analysis of the collected data and making decision of an appropriate way forward.
What are the requirements of a test?
In constructing tests it is important to make sure that they really measure the factors required to be tested, and are thus objective rather than subjective. In doing so all tests should therefore be specific (designed to assess an athlete's fitness for the activity in question), valid (the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure), reliable (capable of consistent repetition) and objective (produce a consistent result irrespective of the tester).
In conducting tests the following points should be considered:
Performance in any sporting event is the result of a multitude of factors, which include the amount of training performed, the body's adaptation to the training, motivation level, nutritional status and weather conditions to name a few. As you can see, physiological parameters only account for a portion of any performance, and so the role of any exercise physiologist is also similarly limited. Through fitness testing, the factors involving physiological processes, over which there is some control, can be measured and ultimately improved upon.
Competition is the ultimate test of performance capability, and is therefore the best indication of training success. However, when trying to maximize performance, it is important to determine the athlete's ability in individual aspects of performance. Fitness testing attempts to measure individual components of performance, with the ultimate aim of studying and maximizing the athlete's ability in each component.