January 23, 2024 @ 2:40 PM

Boxers with Parkinson's recommends that every Rock Steady gym find a PARS Coordinator... a PC. The common issue for RSB gyms in maintaining an effective assessment program is time and coach ownership of the assessment process.

  • Moving assessments from paper to tablet does not relieve the lack of time problem.  If you can't get them done on paper, you won't get them done on the tablet.
  • To get more time, you need a new resource, a new person, to give your program more time.
  • And if you are adding a new person, that means coaches have to be willing to let go of the assessment strings.  Assessments are important... but they are not that complicated.  Relax.

Here are just a few thoughts from Lee Ann Gooseman, the PARS Coordinator in Covington, WA where she did 87 assessments iin 2023!

Lee Ann is the wife of one of the Parkies.  She works full time but takes a couple hours 3 times a week to bring her husband to Rock Steady.  She is an outgoing, take-charge person.  While still in BETA, we showed her the app and she wanted to help out asked to learn more.  She took the bull by the horn!

Lee Ann is seen by the coach and the boxers as part of coaching team...  when not doing assessments she is on the floor working with the boxers.  With her knowledge of PD having a Parkie husband and knowing the boxers because she does their assessments, she has developed a Parkinson's Eye.

Lee Ann does new boxer intake assessments and existing boxer reassessments.  Covington does their assessments during regular workout times.  Remember, Lee Ann works full time so she can't come early or stay after workouts.  Typically, she does one assessment in the normal workout period.  There have been occasions when she does 2 and even 3 assessments during a single workout period!

Lee Ann schedules assessments around vacations and business conflicts.  Using the PARS filters for upcoming and overdue assessments, she always knows what's due and gets assessments scheduled.  She is never more than a couple weeks ahead or behind for any assessment (allowing for boxer injuries, vacations, etc).  

When Lee Ann has an assessment scheduled, she sets up her assessment area in advance so it is ready to go.  The has her tablet and when she pulls a boxer from the floor, they know it is business. 

The first step is to go over the fighter information to verify information is correct and nothing has changed.  She then hands the tablet to the boxer for the PDQ.  After giving them instructions, she watch them to make sure they are comfortable working with a tablet and they can read the questions.  When she is comfortable that they are comfortable, she drifts away rather than looking over their shoulder.  When they finish, the app tells them to give the tablet back to the coach.  Lee Ann quickly reviews the Quality of Life Summary report for her own use.  She likes to save the review and consultation with their boxer and their family for the end when she can review everything all at once. 

Lee Ann has the boxer stand up to begin the physical assessment. She sets up each test by giving them the instructions and if they have previous assessments, she shares their previous scores with them.  When done with the 10 tests, she does a quick review of the physical assessment summary report.  And then she moves on to take the postural front and side pictures, completes the observations page and then prints the Boxer Assessment Report.

Lee Ann uses the Boxer Assessment Report to consult with the boxer and their family.  The BAR includes the PARS Progression Insights, the Quality of Life Summary and the Physical Assessment Summary.  With the BAR in hand, she goes over the complete assessment making notes on the report if desired.  She answers questions.  Then she gives the BAR to the fighter for them to take home with them.  Lee Ann sets the next assessment date and sets up Fight Club access for the boxer if desired.  The assessment is officially done.  Lee Ann takes about 25 to 28 minutes for a Stage 1 through Stage 3 boxer.  Stage 4s take longer. 

Remember, the coach is on the floor mid-workout.  When Lee Ann completes an assessment, she marks it on the sign in sheet.  After the workout, Lee Ann gets together with the coach for about 2 minutes to go over the assessment reports on the tablet and giving the coach any observations she had.  If Lee Ann and the coach don't connect, the coach can go over the assessment information at home and they text or call if desired.  The coach can then consult with the fighter the next time they see the fighter to close the assessment circle. If there is more than one coach or volunteer, they can log in to PARS to review the assessment results.  The coach should always close the assessment loop to give the boxer confidence that the coaching team is on the same page with regards to the boxer's progress and workout plan.

Covington policy is to schedule the next assessment at 3 months for new boxers and 6 months for everybody else. 

In Covington, the affiliate coach has the greatest confidence in Lee Ann.  Every gym, every affiliate and coach is different.  Read the Roles of a PC.  Be creative for the environment and people you have available to you.  Most important... get out of their way!  If your PC is not a good choice, change PCs. Be decisive and in control while you let go.