November 5, 2023 @ 7:49 PM

Coaches, get to know your boxers better and improve your
boxer relationships by not doing any more assessments! 

Delegate assessments to an assistant coach or a volunteer assessment coordinator and your boxers will receive on-time assessments,
a personal coach/boxer consultation and their own comprehensive boxer assessment report.  Without you!


Many RSB gyms are solo coach gyms where the coach does everything.  Set up, lead the workout, post-workout clean up, and assessments.  In very lucky gyms, there might be multiple coaches and volunteers. In most RSB gyms, the demands of the program get in the way of assessments.  The reason your gym is behind on assessments is probably lack of time, not lack of interest or commitment.  And moving from paper to a tablet won't solve that.  For PARS to succeed in your gym you should consider a PARS Coordinator.  Even with the old-school, paper-based process, you probably need an assessment coordinator to have a successful, stress-free assessment program! 

I have talked to dozens of RSB affiliates and a very small percentage are current with their assessments, a larger percentage are behind and feeling the pressure of overdue assessments, and some accept that regular reassessments just aren't going to happen.  Subscribing to an assessment app does not create additional time in your day or offset the many jobs and responsibilities of coaching.  What PARS provides is step-by-step, guided tools making it possible to hand off the boxer management process and even the assessment process to well-trained, competent assessment coordinators.

In testing PARS, we administered hundreds of assessments and we tried special assessment days, before-workout assessments, post-workout assessments and during-workout assessments.  With an exception for some gyms that have sufficient resources (people), a reliable, on-time assessment program does better with a PARS Coordinator and during-workout assessments. 

In our showcase gyms, we have full responsibility PARS Coordinators and it works very well.  The PARS Coordinators do assessments during the regular workout period.  They let people know ahead of time and then they pull them out of the workout for about 24 to 27 minutes.  They can easily do 2 assessments during an hour and a half period.  In Covington, with 44 active boxers, we administered 87 assessments in 2023... reassessments and intake assessments.  ALL by a volunteer PC, a PARS Coordinator!  It takes about 10 assessments for the PC to become comfortable, about 20 to become competent in every case.  After that, there is not much difference in a PC and a coach doing the assessments.  And, depending on the background on both... the PC could do a better assessment.
In the beginning, our PC's were task masters taking photos and updating general fighter information.  Now, assessments are part of the culture of our gym.  The PC is seen as part of the coaching team.  The boxers look forward to their assessments because they want to know how they are doing and the Boxer Assessment Report, the BAR, tells them in an easy-to-understand format.  The BAR is their report card for their family and their neurologist.  They work harder knowing they will be tested.  Someone is watching.  Someone cares.
Although the PC wants to manage the assessment process for efficiency, a PC isn't typically as rushed as a coach might be having forced this assessment into their busy day.  Your PC will build an environment of trust and confidence to the process and the boxer relationship.  Consistency in administration of the tests and the process is key.  Just like the boxers have strong loyalty with their coaches, they will develop a strong relationship in their PC.
You may have difficulty handing off the full assessment to a volunteer.  You gain so much information from watching the boxer go through the assessment steps.  However, anyone can count stands, measure a jump, watch someone balance for 30 seconds.  The reality is that assessments seem scary and complex because RSB doesn’t train affiliates on how to do them properly.  The PARS application has full step-by-step instructions to help the coordinator learn the assessment process and we will provide Zoom training for your team.

If you have difficulty handing off full responsibility for assessments, implement a hybrid model over about a 3- to 6-month cycle.  Phase 1:  Have your PARS Coordinator take your boxer photos and verify and update the boxer general information and schedule assessments.  Phase 2:  In our 2 test gyms, 59% of our boxers are Stage 1 or Stage 2.  Assign Stage 1 and 2 boxer's assessments to your PARS coordinator and maintain Stage 3 and Stage 4 assessments for yourself.  Phase 3:  Allow your PARS Coordinator to do Stage 3 boxers. With the current assessment protocol using the FAB, TUG &  S2S, Stage 4 boxers cannot do most of the tests, so they are a case-by-case assessment decision and administration.  

With a PARS Coordinator, during-workout assessments are a more manageable path to a successful assessment program whether you are using the old-school paper-based assessments or using the PARS app.  The PARS Coordinator pulls boxers out of the workout, administers the assessment, and sends them right back to working out.  In our test gyms, our PARS Coordinators can easily do 2 assessments during a 90-minute workout, and they sometimes do as many as 3 Stage 1 or 2 assessments during a 90-minute workout.  Full, complete, quality assessments. 

Migrating from the paper-based, old-school assessment process to the PARS tablet does 3 things.  1.  Saves time.  Using PARS, Level 1 & 2 intake assessments take about 45 minutes due to the general information you have to capture for a new boxer.  Level 1 & 2 reassessments can be done in 24 to 27 minutes.  (Level 3 & 4 assessments take what they take)   2.  PARS organizes your assessments, so every boxer is professionally assessed on time.  And, 3.  Scripted assessments standardize the assessment process; you don't have legibility problems or missed steps; the app scores everything and creates progression charts in real-time; and you can print the Boxer Assessment Report so the boxer leaves your gym with their personal report in-hand.  I guess there are more than 3 benefits of using PARS for your assessments!

If you are lucky and have a coach or volunteer you can assign, great.  If not, you will want to recruit one.  The following chart identifies the breakdown of roles for coaches and coordinators from coach-does-it-all to coach does just the boxer & family consultations.

With the Quality of Life Summary, Physical Assessment Summaries and the PAPI Insights, you get more information about the boxer in a 2-minute PARS review with the coordinator than you do today doing them yourself using the paper process.  PARS provides significant new ways to look at assessment results and their progression over time.  Without doing the assessment yourself, with just 2 minutes to read the PARS reports and Insights, you will provide better, more focused boxer consultations than you do today. 

Your assessment volunteer should be smart, caring, comfortable with tablets, and have a "Parkinson's eye".  Take 1 hour to go over the paperwork and pass off your assessment tips.  Take another hour to do 1 assessment with them observing you administering the assessment and 1 assessment with them administering and you observing.  It is great if you can use level 1 and a level 3 boxer for your training.  (that's 2 hours more training than you had!).  

We do recognize that intake assessments are different from reassessments.  The intake assessment is critical to placing the boxer in the right level workout and you are looking for every clue to their Parkinson's symptoms, capabilities and limitations.  The intake assessment brings lot of questions, from boxer, their family, and from you to the boxer.  You are evaluating how the RSB program can help the boxer and you are promoting your program.  You can schedule the intake assessments outside of class at your convenience.  In both of our test gyms, with a new boxer candidate, after the coach has spent significant time with the boxer and their family talking about the program and its benefits, the PARS coordinator does the intake assessment.  In spending 30 minutes or more with the boxer, RSB coaches can see much of what an assessment will tell them and there are very few surprises after the PARS Coordinator completes the assessment.  The coach and PARS Coordinator do their regular consultation and the coach can circle back with the boxer and their family.  If it is after the boxer has left, the coach can do the review with the boxer and their family by phone.  A follow up call demonstrates your follow through and caring.

PARS gives the coach all the information they need to do a professional consultation with the boxer and their family, even when they didn't do the assessment.  In supporting our member gyms, I often do a PARS review for a Boxer I have never met and the coaches tell me I am right on.  The key is getting very familiar reading and interpreting the PDQ and physical assessment summaries and the PAPI Insights.


You should have a full understanding of PARS so you should administer 5 or even 10 assessments, intake and reassessments, yourself.  There will be lots of situations where the boxer’s situation requires a nuance in PARS.  The reading and interpreting the assessment results and the Insights requires personal experience with PARS.

BwP’s recommendation is a parallel solution.  Find your PARS Coordinator and let them capture the historical assessments and work with the Boxer’s to verify the existing fighter general information, complete the new information PARS contains that wasn’t in the old RSB forms and they can take boxer photos.

That leaves you free to focus on the higher-level value of PARS… the administration of assessments, the reading of the assessment results and the PARS insights.  You have the intrinsic experience and knowledge from doing paper-based assessments that you don’t want to lose and can’t be passed on to your PARS Coordinator in an hour. 

It may take a month or two to transition the assessments to your PARS Coordinator.  It takes trust and confidence in the coordinator that doesn’t come instantly.  You will want to observe their first 4 or 5 assessments from beginning to end.  After the assessments you can share with them things you didn’t want to talk about on the boxer’s time or in front of the boxer. You should have a post-assessment review for every assessment they do for the first month or two as part of their training and to instill that confidence and trust for yourself.  And a post-assessment consultation is required for every boxer… forever. 

The boxers are precious and deserve a professional assessment experience.  A new PARS Coordinator needs to be trained and given the time and experience they need to become a professional assessment administrator.  You want to trust that both are being achieved.

The full implementation of PARS may require a change in priorities for the short term.  You might decide that for 2 months, you will set up 30 minutes early so the 30 minutes before workouts are committed to PARS.  You might be able to assign warmups or the cool down to an assistant coach to free you up.  But something has to come off your plate to find room for the PARS potatoes.

Once PARS becomes a part of your daily routine, you will have a knowledge of your boxers that you couldn’t imagine.  Today, you can pretty much look at a boxer and know their level.  But with PARS you’ll know so much more.  You’ll know how each boxer perceives the impact of Parkinson’s and aging on their emotional and daily life.  You’ll know about each boxer’s balance and their physical capabilities and limitations.  Your workout plans will be more targeted.  Your relationship with each boxer and their family will be so much deeper.  You’ll depend on PARS for this week’s birthdays and anniversaries.  On Veteran’s day you can celebrate all your veterans.   

There is no comparison between a non-PARS and a PARS-centric gym.