While the draft has been around for generations specifically in key sporting codes such as american football and basketball, the landscape with ongoing tracking and assessment is changing and it’s doing it quickly.
Debates are fluid around the necessity of a trial or draft combine however there is still a very considerable place for the event providing that it is dragged out of the dark ages of stop watches, subjective opinion and pure science and given a fresh clean up in areas of validity, reliability and purpose.
It is apparent that athletes need to be more rounded than just physically capable in the moment of a fitness test and my belief is that this needs a professional approach to bring together the enormous knowledge base of objective science, technology and expertise in sociology and psychology to assist the athlete in their potential transition in to a wide world of sub-elite and elite sports.
The sporting fan base loves the competitive spirit of the draft and today’s demands of data, data, data needs feeding but not at the cost of an athletes career when trials are performed unreliably or using unnecessary protocols. With technology advancements as high as they are in sports and an enormous cohort of professionals sitting unheard in the sidelines to offer guidance for an athletes longevity, it is time to evolve the draft combine to the twenty-first century and beyond.
Physical testing must be a component of, not the dictating factor of a professional draft combine today therefore screening of an athletes mental wellness must be integral and Global Performance Testing International have recognised the importance of this from junior and youth to professional levels to ensure a patient, timely development when the athlete is capable rather than forced development without management, direction or tracking.
A player must play to be truly assessed and the services of GPT bring all the elements of the sport to a single event in a controlled, unbiased environment. From pre-event registration and screening through physical testing including gross motor skills and functional movement the GPT event then puts athletes in to real training and game environments where they truly show sport specific talent.
It’s a 50/50 game. 50% objective assessment, 50% subjective reality.
Old school testing (when performed reliably) provides a photographic moment of the athletes abilities normally excluding sport specific technical abilities and with noise around the athletes ability to perform in the “lab” environment. Today we can look longer-term and build a sporting resume of the athlete forecasting potential injury risks, identifying weaknesses for development and overlaying capability in game play with mental and physical strengths.
As a passionate person in the space of moral and ethical equality for the sporting community, I believe an unbiased service provider needs to reinforce the space of trials and draft combines and they cannot be bias towards development, coaching, academies or the outcome i.e. they need to be unemotionally attached to the results. With this in mind it has been enlightening for my business, Global Performance Testing to team up with leading institutes in this space such as Victoria University to remain impartial and factually focused to provide consistency on a global scale.
The purpose of a draft combine is to identify talented athletes and the level of the their needs to move in to the next level of sports. If $1+million is riding on an athlete running 40 yards when their sports does not need this specific action and the result is captured within the consistency of a human thumb and stopwatch, then I question the purpose of the event. We can have the fan-fair media event with validity and purpose but the upper levels of sports internationally need to listen to their commercial friends to make this a long-term reality.
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