Jr. Comets SportTesting Program
By Keith VeronesiNov 24, 2015
The Utica Comets Jr. Elite program was designed to get the area’s best players in their specific age group on one team. The belief is that surrounding our athletes with the best local talent will pay dividends for future development. This off-season, the coaching staff incorporated an off-season workout packet for members of the 2004 elite team so they could come into the season ahead of the game. Some of the most noticeable development, however, might actually be a direct correlation to the on-ice testing system that will be used throughout the elite teams’ season.
Recently, the Utica Comets acquired SportTesting, an athletic testing system that captures accurate, real-time test results that measures skills ranging from speed to quickness to agility and reaction time. Through SportTesting, the athletes and coaches can use the comparative data to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, target training, track improvement and compete with peers. For the first time, our athletes can put a statistic on their development.
SportTesting measures results through sensored Sport Gates, allowing the most accurate, reliable results and comparisons between athletes. The Sport Gates utilize a light-sensor that records an athlete’s results upon breaking the start and finishing planes. The Sport Gates are synced to a tablet to automatically record the athletes results for any given test in real time.
Another integral part of SportTesting is the customized athlete profiles that easily allows tested athletes to view his or her results. Through the online profile, tested athletes can view personal results, compare results to teammates and see where they stack up against the rest of the competition. SportTesting also computes a global standard, which is the average result for every tested athlete for each specific test. So, a player on the Utica Jr. Comets 2004 Elite team can see where he or she stacks up to the rest of the competition in any of the performed tests. As an organization, this allows us to see where we need to focus the most on developing our kids so we can compete on a national spectrum. As a coaching staff, we strongly believe in this system. For the first time we can see the time differences between our top skater and the rest of our team. SportTesting gives coaches the ability to see just how fast each player is, which is pivotal as we track development throughout the season.
SportTesting is just another tool and benefit of being part of the Utica Comets Elite Program. The Utica Comets are currently one of two companies owning the system in upstate New York. SportTesting already has a presence in the Canadian Junior Leagues, as they run the combines for the OHL, WHL and CHL Top Prospects showcase. SportTesting is also actively working to get involved with the NHL Combine in the near future. As a partner with SportTesting, we can compare the results of our athletes to the averages of the top players in the Canadian Junior hockely leagues. So, ultimately, when it becomes time for our players to start considering different levels and leagues, SportTesting will serve as a tool that allows them to gauge which league may be right for them.
Please stay tuned in to the Utica Comets webpage and social media outlets, as our organization will hold a combine open to the public.