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Screen. Assess. Test.



Every client should begin a journey with a proper evaluation. For most clients, an evaluation is the beginning of their journey. The components included in an evaluation will allow for continual monitoring of needs, functional capabilities, physiological and psychological effects of exercise. It will also help build a rapport, and provide an individualized approach when a fitness professional is designing their program. A systematic plan should be in order so nothing is overlooked. Incorporating this system will determine the client's or athlete's goals, needs, and abilities.


At Linked Fit HQ, we take pride in all of our evaluation procedures. Administering an evaluation with a client should be a priority, otherwise, it just turns into a guessing game while coaching the client. A coach should prioritize their evaluation, to prioritize their coaching. Each component is carefully thought about so the correct objectives are planned. This article will discuss the LF evaluation system and how they are structured.


Determine the Population

First things first, it's important to determine the population that will be evaluated. In previous or current communication with the prospect, what is their likely classification (list below)? This will help a fitness professional think ahead and produce a pre-evaluation plan. Of course, as with any evaluation, a fitness professional's plan can be modified as further data is collected. Modifications are acceptable since each individual holds their own personal abilities and limitations. Depending on the population different components will be added and others will be taken away. Remember, a coach should be client-centered so they can deliver the BEST outcome for the client. Learn more about being the best coach with this article by Dr. Bartz (Article: Become the BEST Coach!).


Below are a few populations that Linked Fit works with on daily basis via their facility, outreach, or online services.


Athletic Population:
  • Athletes are a part of a sport, which can be team-based or solo participation. The athlete can be classified as elite, sub-elite, or amateur. There are a variety of sports that can be considered, such as basketball, football, Olympic weightlifting, snowboarding, tennis, downhill skiing, and more. A coach's goal should be to enhance their athletic potential in their respected sport.

General Population:
  • General population clients are in it for the lifestyle! Their individual goals tend to include increasing strength, lean muscle mass, quality of life, and other physiological/psychological qualities. Also, decrease body fat percentage, body weight, blood pressure, and stress levels. General population clients typically have goals of increasing fitness capacities and wellness habits as well.

Special Population:
  • Special population clients are likely to have movement limitations which can result in pain or discomforts. These individuals may have been discharged from physical therapy or recommended by a physician. Also, these types of clients may be experiencing life alterations from illnesses, diseases, or cancer that significantly impact their limitations. A coach's responsibilities should include improving the client's functionality and enhancing their quality of life by means of fitness and wellness habits.

Tactical Population:
  • Tactical facilitators use their minds and bodies to serve and protect individuals, communities, states, countries, and themselves from various threats. These individuals may be the first to respond and assist in emergencies, accidents, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. These individuals include special weapons and tactics (SWAT), special operation forces, military, law enforcement, and firefighters. A coach should plan on enhancing these clients' tactical skills but also improve their physiological and psychological ramifications from the high-exposure occupation.

Youth Population:
  • This population is currently in the stages of growth and development. Depending on what stage of life they are in, it is ideal to design a different style program that will meet their needs. Therefore, at this age, make training fun and enjoyable! However, including formats of long-term athletic development so these types of clients continue the path of a healthy and active lifestyle.


Questionnaire

Secondly, a questionnaire will be integrated to gather data on the individual's fitness and wellness habits. Questions will help build a profile of the client, which will be used as a base for the upcoming step of the evaluation. The questionnaire includes subjective information that focuses on occupation or sport, training status, training background, movement experience, previous injuries, health and medical history, and goals. Different questionnaires can be utilized depending on the population to better fit the individual potential needs.


As mentioned earlier, adjustments may be needed as you continue to work with the client. At Linked Fit, we encourage coaches to send out a questionnaire before the consultation so a minor profile can be reviewed beforehand. Below are some example questions that we utilized in our coaching questionnaire.


Fitness Questions:
  • How many years of training experience do you have?

  • If you are experienced in training, please explain what you have experienced in the past?

  • Have you struggled with any particular movements?

  • Are there any movements that are painful?

  • What fitness habits are looking to improve?