Complete Track and Field

Testing

Every November for the past 10 years, I have tested my sprinters in order to improve the training for each individual athlete, and to help me become a better coach.  All of the tests that I use are designed around specific track and field events. Testing is beneficial for both the athletes as well as myself. The tests are events that the athletes can be successful in early in the year. In November, the athletes are not prepared to run a personal best in the 100m, 200m, or 400m. During testing, it is common for athletes to become frustrated with how they perform, because they usually have high expectations for their results. Testing helps me figure out the strengths and weaknesses for each athlete and the team as a whole. The events that I test can be re-tested later in the season so the athletes can see their growth within a given year. The testing is also done on a yearly basis, so the athletes can see how far they have come as result of their hard work and effort.  Since the athletes are aware that testing takes place early in the season, they are more likely to complete fall training correctly.

The testing measures strength, power, speed, coordination, flexibility, and endurance, which are all great qualities to have if you are an athlete. The testing allows me to measure the levels of each of these characteristics.  Knowing this information allows me to write better workouts for specific events groups, or tailor the workouts to fit individual athletes. The tests include: the OHB (over head backwards throw), UHF (under hand forward throw), Fly 30m, Block 30m, SLJ (standing long jump), STJ (standing triple jump), 150m, and 300m. I do NOT test all of these on the same day.  I usually divide the events over a few days so the athletes can test to the best of their ability and I can get an accurate measure for each event.

Are your athletes training properly during breaks? Read Workouts and Training During Breaks

What does each test measure?

SLJ (standing long jump) which tests power & coordination

STJ (standing triple jump) which also tests power and coordination, but also aids in identifying acceleration capabilities

Block 30m which tests power and coordination, but also aids in indentifying acceleration capabilities

Fly 30m which tests speed

OHB (over head backwards throw w/ shot put) which tests power and coordination

UHF (underhand forward throw w/shot put) which tests power and coordination

150m which tests speed and speed endurance

300m which tests endurance, overall fitness level, and it helps find out who the “gamers” are in the group.

Testing Schedule:

Day 1:

SLJ

Block 30m

OHB

150m

 

Day 2:

STJ

Fly 30m

UHF

300m (lately I have been testing the 300m on a 3rd day by itself)

The testing results allow me to figure out if I have my athletes in the correct event(s). Sprinters can usually fit into one of many different categories. There are long sprints (200m/400m), short sprints (55m/200m), short hurdles, long hurdles, short sprinter-hurdler/jumpers, and long sprinter-hurdler/jumpers in our sport (hopefully…I did not forget a group).  Every year after testing, I realize that I have at least one athlete in the wrong event, or that I need to add an event to their profile.  Most often, it is a freshman that is a short sprinter, who I am surprised by after testing.  Usually, I am amazed that a short sprinter is able to move up and run a leg on the 4×4 or can help the team in a jumping event. These are ALWAYS good surprises. I would not know this information early in the season if I did not test my athletes.

Learn How to Build the Perfect 100m Sprinter From Start to Finish

The chart below is an example of testing for one of my former athletes. You can see that I use a chart that scores the testing like a decathlon.  The scoring helps the athlete understand what their strengths and weaknesses are in athletics.  The scoring also creates a little competition. I always encourage the athletes to focus on their own score.  I ask them to focus on scoring more points than the last time they tested. Truth be told I understand they are going to compare their score to the other sprint’s scores.  I am okay with this because the extra competition ensures 100% effort in all of the tests which helps validate the assessment of each athlete.  The testing would be invalid if the athletes were not giving 100% in each event.

SLJ Fly30 STJ BLK30 OHB 150 UHF 300
Name Perf. Pts. Perf. Pts. Perf. Pts. Perf. Pts. Perf. Pts. Perf. Pts. Perf. Pts. Perf. Total
Runner, X M Sr Long Sprinter 3.02 710 3.03 747 8.71 735 3.89 740 16 900 16.6 935 14.9 507 35.33 5273

 

My advice is to test your athletes to help you measure their growth.  Testing can also be used to categorize your sprinters into event groups (example: long sprints or short sprints).  There are a ton of tests that you can use from simple (pull ups and 45 second runs) to advanced techniques.  Pick the tests that fit your program the best and keep a file to learn more about your athletes.  The longer you keep records the more you will understand the results.  I have 10 years worth of test results.  I also share results with close friends so we can learn from each other. I know how fast someone needs to run in the fly 30m and block 30m if they want to break 11 seconds in the 100m.   Teachers have been giving quizzes, tests, and exams since students have been in the classroom.  Let’s start looking at track & field as a learning experience. If that is the case then we need to test our athletes as the year goes on to get feedback on our training.  I don’t want to wait until the last meet of the season to find out the training needed to be changed (too late).  Testing allows me to tweak training for event groups or individual athletes as the season progresses.  It has worked for me!

@Marc Mangiacotti


About Marc Mangiacotti

Marc MangiacottiCoached eight NCAA National Champions, 53 All-Americans and 31 school record performances while at DIII Wheaton College 2008 USTFCCCA Division III National and Regional Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year USATF Level II Certified Coach in Sprints, Hurdles, Relays, Jumps and Combined Events Spent three seasons as Assistant Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at the University of Houston under head coach Leroy Burrell, former world record holder in the 100 meter dash
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  • Johnareus Young

    Would you please email me the spread sheet?
    johnareus.young@gmail.com

  • Tim Young

    can u email me the scoring sheet please
    Olympian9.74@gmail.com

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  • Jordan Daigneault

    Coach Marc,

    Is there any way you could send me the points spread sheet please? I have tried to find it online but have been unsuccessful.

    Thanks!

    Jordan

  • Heiko Kraubner

    Coach Marc Mangiacotti,

    Can you email the points spread sheet?

    Thank You,
    Heiko Kraubner
    decathlon@hot.ee

  • Kerby Kirkham

    I see many asking for the spreadsheet. Is that something you have been willing to email to people or is available online? If you could email it I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!!

  • AMyron

    I would like a copy of the excel spreadsheet to assign the points to the event tests.
    Thanks!! Great article.

  • JT

    Coach,

    Can I obtain a copy of the excel scoring sheet? It would be an excellent evaluation tool.

    Thanking you in advance for your forthcoming reply and thoughful consideration.

    JT

  • http://www.texasstallions.com Lavoxkeia Carnes

    I’d be interested in something I could use for kids 6 – 18. I coach a youth track club. stallions@texasstallions.org

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  • Zack Trapp

    Could I see the chart?
    zacktrapp@ymail.com

  • M. Scheef

    Could you please let me know how I could get a copy of the excel scoring sheet?

    Thank you

  • Renee Johnson

    I would love to include this testing in our track program.

    Will you please email the scoring spreadsheet?
    It would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You,
    Renee

  • Edward Holder

    May I have the scoring spreadsheet?

    Thank you very much,
    Edward

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  • Tanju Hassan

    Hi was just wanting to know if you can suggest a publication/resourse with various field tests and data for comparison. I guess something that explains from start to finish of tests etc.

    cheers

  • http://elitetrack.com Carl Valle

    What did Sheldon do on his freshman data?

  • Frank Rizzo

    Any video that your allowed to post by NCAA rules that will illustrate your point? Do you use dartfish?

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  • Marc Mangiacotti

    @Carl Valle:

    Any athlete that has “killed it” in the the throws and jumps has been great out of the blocks and the transition phase. Athletes that can hit the correct positions in the throws and jumps will be more likely to hit those positions in running. Athletes that do not hit the triple extension position in the jumps and throws are the same ones who can not hit the correct positions out of the blocks and while pushing in the act of running. EVERY athlete that I have coached that could do UHF and SLJ correctly could also drive off the front block correctly. EVERY athlete that I have coached that could not do UHF and SLJ perfectly also struggled with block work.

  • http://elitetrack.com Carl Valle

    Sorry Marc for the lack of clarity, what relationships do you see with the throws and jumps with the running (autocorrect was on!)

  • http://elitetrack.com Carl Valle

    I would be interested to see how Marc or anyone can share how they extrapolate jumps and throws without runs. What correlations are we seeing, especially if the excel table’s formulas are a bit of an enigma.

    My other question, with fatigue, why is the fly done on day 2 instead of day 1?

    • Marc Mangiacotti

      @Carl Valle:

      Hi Carl,

      Great questions. I am not super scientific, but here is my answer to your questions. I do not test jumps and throws with a run because it adds a whole new twist to the event. A twist that would have to be taught. It is hard enough to get these kids to understand and execute a SLJ. Since we all face time constraints with our athletes I feel that my time is better spent teaching other things rather than a run/jump or run/throw to sprinters.

      I always teach acceleration first. I put acceleration at the beginning of the week and/or the beginning of a practice session. Acceleration is completed in a non-fatigue state. I put the block 30m on day one because the athlete is not fatigued at all. This will give me a good idea of the athlete’s ability to accelerate. If I put the block 30m on day two it may not be a great indicator of the athlete’s ability to accelerate properly. Putting the fly 30m on day two is the lesser of two evils. I hope that helps.

      Marc

  • Andrew Maclennan

    Hi Marc, could you please send me a copy of the testing spreadsheet, it would be of enormous help as I have been trying to set up some testing protocol’s like this for a while but I have not had a good measuring tool to monitor progress.

    Thanks in anticipation

    Andrew

    andrew@athletics.org.nz

  • BJ

    Can you email the points spread sheet? Temple.bj@gmail.com

  • James Belle

    Coach Marc Mangiacotti,
    This sound great!!
    So how can I get that excel spread sheet?
    Where can we find it?
    James Belle

  • louis

    I ve been testing athletes over the last 15 yrs why is there such a big issue with this now is it cause no one wants to step on toes with trainers not tested but taking hard earn dollars and athletes making no improvements?

  • http://www.stampedetrackandfield.com Vernon Langley

    I have used those exact same test for about 9 years. I use them first to measure athletic ability and the grouping of my high school and youth Atheletes. Afterwards I use them to measure progress. The kids look forward to testing and their results and it allows us to make realistic goals and objectives in a covencing non threatening environment.

  • W.E. Price

    I’ve been doing this form of periodic evaluation during the training year for over a decade since studying Gary Winckler’s training system. It’s an important part of our development and monitors conditioning strengths and weaknesses.

  • Mario Gomez

    Coach,

    Thank you for your reply. Is that chart available online or maybe for sale? I also heard you mentioning the testing process in the masters class, wondering if I can have access to that chart. Thank you coach.

  • Guy Muhammad

    Marc,

    So how can we get that excel spread sheet?

  • Michael Grether

    Thank you for this testing information. It has definitely helped me get a good idea of who my athletes are and chart their progress.

    Question from the Building Perfect 100m Runners: Where do I find info about hip height in the blocks? (referencing the part in the series with using the hurdles and the bands so that the runners can practice their hip height)

    Thank you for all you do.

  • Mario Gomez

    How to you assign points for each specific result in each event? For example, how does jumping 3 meters in the standing long jump equal 700+ points?

    • Marc Mangiacotti

      @Mario Gomez:

      We use an excel sheet that calculates the points for us. I stole it from Boo Schexnayder years ago.

      Marc Mang

      • Marty Honea

        @Marc Mangiacotti:

        Would it be possible for you to send the spreadsheet to me. I am a high school coach in Arizona and I would like to use this testing protocol and point assignments.

        Thanks, Marty

        • Marc Mangiacotti

          Hi Marty,

          The testing chart is one of the bonus handouts that is part of the 100m and 400m programs.

          Marc Mang