Friday, July 17, 2009

Paying Dividends

Hopefully, you'll all remember what Nike SPARQ testing is. Standing for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness, the battery of tests that Academy players underwent at the Winter Showcase and then again in the Spring Showcase help to measure each individual athlete's overall athletic ability. They can then train for specific weaknesses, helping to improve their ability over time.

Well, after last night's U-17/18 Development Academy championship game, we found out that Nikita Kotlov, the winning goal scorer for Carmel United, had the fastest 20-meter sprint time at the Spring Showcase. He also had the third highest overall SPARQ rating. So it would seem the training and testing works! Don't quite believe us yet?

Maybe it'd convince you if we told you that the Derby County Wolves, one of the teams playing in today's U-15/16 championship match, has the highest team speed in the Academy according to SPARQ testing. This means that after every player's 20-meter sprint time was taken, the team as a whole possesses the fastest average speed among players.

So in the heat of these summer months, if you're not one of the lucky few to still be playing in Finals Week, keep working hard. It will pay off!

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