Actionable data and reports for teams in GymAware Cloud
Whether you are coaching weightlifting or athletic performance to get soccer and basketball players faster and jumping higher, there are multiple qualities of strength and fitness to consider, so sometimes I am most concerned with getting my athletes stronger in the squat or deadlift if the data tells me they need absolute strength to climb higher in the power department. That’s what today’s article is about. I am going to share information on actionable data and reports for teams in GymAware Cloud. GymAware RS and GymAware FLEX automatically collect data from your athletes’ training sessions which gives you the ability to drill down data and formulate your next steps guided by much more than just the ‘feeling’ or ‘vibe’. GymAware Cloud Pro is a MUST-HAVE in all Coaches’ VBT toolbox; especially those leading Pro teams. Coach Joe Kenn, two-time NSCA Coach of the Year, told me a long time ago that collecting data is pointless without a use for the data being collected.
In this article, I’ll go through the uses and applications of data for teams. Check out the uses and applications of data for individuals here.
Here we’ll look at the following reports and data uses for teams:
- Difference Analysis
- Set Ranked Graph
- Team Trend Comparison
Don’t worry, I will explain the importance and use of each of these in the following paragraphs. My goal is to get to the point, and to show you the ease of using each. This is really simple. If a man from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina can do it, so can you.
Difference Analysis in GymAware Cloud:
Coaches need to know the amount of change that takes place from one testing date to another. Understanding the percentage of change is important for several reasons. First, we need to know as practitioners that our plan is working or not. I recommend not being afraid to see poor percentages of change because that allows coaches the ability to intervene and ensure progress in the future. I want to teach all of you one important truth about coaching athletes. When you first start coaching a brand new athlete, you are making a best case educated guess. We have data of our own and data from the past from amazing exercise scientists like Bompa, Verkhoshansky, and Bondarchuk. A lot of us use Prilepin’s Chart, but the truth is that each individual is different. Until we have collected some data on the individual and performed assessments, we are guessing. This report shows us if we are actually creating an amount of change that we deem significant.
The best part is that coaches are able to track changes via percentage in performance between dates for each exercise with this report. The coaches can also easily compare performances between athletes, the whole team or specific individual athletes. This report gauges the magnitude of change between testing sessions, preseason and post competition performances. If you need to justify your program to someone higher in the organization, I recommend learning a few simple statistical equations like:
- Coefficient of Variation– this stat lets us know how much a test can vary from test to test. For example, if a test can naturally vary 3% in each direction, the coach would want to see a change of greater than 3% for the change to really matter.
- T Test- this one is really cool because it allows you to compare the team as a whole to each other or an individual to the team’s change as a whole.
- Effect Size (also referred to as Cohen’s d)– this one is a simple way to determine if the increase or decrease was significant or not. Here’s the equation actually: Effect Size= (Mean/Avg of Group 2 – Mean/Avg of Group 1)/Standard Deviation of Group 1
- <0.2-trivial or no effect
- 0.2 to 0.59 is a small effect
- 0.6 to 1.19 is a moderate effect
- 1.2 to 1.9 large effect
- > 2.0 is a very large effect
I implore you to not be afraid of knowing the truth. If an athlete doesn’t improve in the first month or two, it doesn’t mean that you are a bad coach. You can have a conversation with the athlete or the team as a whole, determine the stress levels the individual or team is experiencing, and make a change. Simple start could be to make a 5-10% change (up or down) in total volume, average intensity, and/or relative intensity. Coaching at a high level is like becoming a master chef in that we know the recipe, but sometimes a dash of salt or a small amount of butter is all the difference.
Set Ranked Graph in GymAware Cloud:
This provides coaches with a quick snapshot of a chosen parameter (in this instance – Relative Power (W/kg) based on best set) that ranks the players based on the exercise done for the day.
This is useful in seeing the spread of a team, ranking athletes, stimulating competitiveness and identifying any stand out athletes.
This will give coaches a look at a parameter of his or her choice comparing the entire team in regards to their performance in terms of their best set on the day. This is a great way to look at your team as a whole, and make decisions on best practices moving forwards. It’s also a great way to ensure competitiveness especially in the parameter of relative power (Watts/kg) or power output per kg of bodyweight. This is a great way to spark competition for the team as a whole versus the biggest and strongest players always coming out on top.
This is yet another way to group athletes in terms of high force/low velocity, low force/high velocity, or power driven which is what most of us are after. With huge rosters, I am the first coach to understand not individualizing to the degree that I might. However, with the help of a little data, it’s fairly easy to deliver a program that best suits your athletes.
Here’s a look at that Best Set Graph based on Relative Power:
Here are a couple of Best Set Graphs from my own squad starting with Peak Velocity:
And Peak Power:
These two graphs are perfect for me to make a point. In the peak velocity graph, all the athletes were really close within 0.1m/s. However, in the Peak Power Graph, I can look at this and determine that I need to focus on Nathan getting stronger in terms of absolute strength. His velocity is right there with the other two. Now I already knew this to be true, but now it’s quantified. Now I can look at this graph again in 4-6 weeks and determine if he’s closing ground on the two other boys.
Trend Comparison in GymAware Cloud:
This report is useful for coaches at a team or individual level with a longitudinal analysis of data. We are focusing on team data this week, but next week we will explain the individual trend analysis reports. As you track your athletes across the board depending on your training blocks, rehabilitation, pre and post competition performance, a decline in performance could indicate to coaches other forms of stressors in their athletes’ lives that might not be physical fatigue related. This is the talk in the strength and conditioning world right now. We all want to measure fatigue, so we know each athlete’s daily readiness. Individualization is the only way to succeed in the competitive arena of high performance.
The trend analysis squad/team report compares all the individual athletes for a selected exercise. This is useful in comparing athlete performance against other team mates and identifying your highest and lowest performing athletes visually. For most coaches, it’s a look at the quality or type of athlete. For example, if an athlete is excelling in the power clean and failing in the deadlift, that particular athlete leans towards the velocity side of the force-velocity curve. This gives me valuable information for exercise selection in the future. This report could also be used to determine how the team is handling particular phases of a program like in-season or post-season. The goal is always to at least keep athletes where they are athletically during the season, but that’s not what always happens. The first step is to measure and make a determination.
All Athletes in the squad:
By looking at a particular parameter, in this case back squat, of all the athletes, it allows coaches to analyze trends. For example, if this graph is looking at in-season, it’s easy to see that Athlete D started out the season with the most power by far. Then around April 4th, she took a massive dip. A coach might see this and alert her sports coach because maybe she’s simply playing too much or having personal problems. The sport coach might decide to intervene before her performance drops more or before an injury. You will see that she was able to work her way back to producing the most force on the team by May 16th, but she was still well below her initial performance. This trend might alert the strength coach to take a different approach during the following season to avoid the decline.
I hope this article will help all of you coaches out there with some options you have at your disposal with GymAware’s data collection that happens automatically in the cloud. GymAware makes it easy for you to make squad and/or individual decisions based on the data being collected in the background. We have entered a world of sport data analytics. It can seem daunting, but with all the scientific advancements and in this case GymAware, collection and discernment of data is made easy and actionable. I recommend taking a few minutes per day getting to know all the data and reports available in the GymAware Cloud. GymAware offers a 7-day free trial so you can explore all the data and reports available for individuals and teams in the GymAware Cloud, register here. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Watch the video below:
Being a World Champion in powerlifting, Travis competed at a world-class level in Olympic weightlifting and has coached professional Olympic weightlifters alongside Don McCauley and Glenn Pendlay at Team MDUSA. Now Travis coaches the most successful weightlifting team in the USA.