Are your athletes getting better and how would you know?

I gave a talk at a local strength and conditioning facility, the Alpha Project, which is hosting the North American Global Hamstring Project. The coaches at Alpha are doing some great things, and it’s great to join their efforts to bring more strength and conditioning and sport science to the California Central Coast. Below, you can find the slides and the accompanying spreadsheet for the talk I’m giving on effective test selection and some useful statistics for determining if a real and/or meaningful change occurred.

Side note: Things have been simplified a bit in the spreadsheet and slides. For example, I chose not use log-transformed values for calculation of typical error to simplify the spreadsheet and make it less complicated. This will make it less accurate if there are issues with heteroscedasticity (error that grows with larger values) – but generally speaking, it should be fine (check out this link for more on the topic). In addition, I chose not to dig into the weeds with magnitude-based inferences, because I thought it would complicate things too much. Is SDD a bit on the conservative side for the applied setting? Maybe, but I don’t think that is a problem, because it will ensure that you are really confident that change has occurred.

Side side note: When I came up with the title, I was reasonably sure that it was based off of something I had previously read, but the Googling around I did didn’t turn up anything. Dr. Cody Haun pointed out the similarity with Dr. Bill Sands’ and Dr. Mike Stone’s paper “Are you progressing and how would you know?” It turns out that that paper was what I had put into my longterm memory stores and couldn’t quite put my finger on. Unfortunately, you usually figure these things out after you’ve given the talk. Oh well. Slides have been updated to give that paper credit.