1. Attention Matters!
When conducting a movement assessment, the athlete must be both attentive and motivated to execute the tasks you are asking them to perform. This is especially true of the youth athlete, who may not fully appreciate the purpose of your assessment. An assumption is made that the athlete understands both the execution and outcome objectives of the test - this understanding is a reflection of age, motor development, and task familiarity. The ability of you as the assessor to account for this will ultimately influence the interpretation of the results.
Be sure to explain the importance of attention to your athlete and/or account for this in the interpretation of your assessment.
2. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
In the medical domain, it is well recognized that test findings (positive or negative) should be consistent across multiple testing parameters. For example, research would suggest that orthopaedic algorithms and clinical prediction rules require multiple consistent findings to increase the likelihood of a true/valid result. This is no different in a movement assessment, where the problem (strategy, control, capacity) should be apparent across multiple testing scenarios.
Avoid using single protocols/tests to make judgments about movement-based problems. This will reduce the chance of false positives/negatives.
3. One size does NOT fit all!
All too often, movement “screens” adopt a “one size fits all” mentality. Differences in motor development, fitness/injury history, and physical demands (sport/task) all necessitate that a movement assessment be individualized and relevant to the movement task. We do not train a baseball pitcher by getting him to practice ice skating. Therefore, why would we assess the physical demands of a baseball pitcher the same way we’d assess a hockey player?
Customize your movement assessment to match the physical competencies required for your athlete based on sport, experience, and motor skill level.