There are many aspects of an athlete that can contribute to where he/she goes in a particular draft. An athlete's height, weight, prior injuries, performance in college, physical lifting abilities, endurance and speed are all tested and displayed to potential coaches and executives.  Although many numbers are looked at, an athlete’s 40-yard dash time is what may highlight a combine or pro day performance. However, another number that is getting thrown around a lot recently is an athlete’s SPARQ rating.

SPARQ stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. All are believed to be the essential tools for advanced athletic performance. Since it was created, the SPARQ test has seen more than 200,000 official SPARQ Ratings. Ratings are registered by athletes who believe they can reach the next level.

The SPARQ Rating is a spawned formula that combines the standard measurements taken at the NFL football combine. The SPARQ Rating weighs and combines the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, along with an athlete’s vertical jump and bench press into one single number that measures an athlete's supposed overall athleticism. NFL coaches and scouts are not the only ones who use it; basketball representatives and scouts also look at this rating to judge an athlete's future ability on the court.

The SPARQ Rating is referred to by many as "The SAT of Athleticism.” SPARQ training and testing has been active at many of the top universities across the nation. Testing and measurement technologies took place at the 2006 USC and 2007 USC, Texas, Ohio State and LSU Pro Days. The SPARQ measurements are becoming so popular that colleges are even looking at the ratings for recruiting high school athletes.

Using the SPARQ rating as a guideline, specific agencies and training organizations have developed a SPARQ training routine. This method of training an athlete is dynamic and is used in elite level training. It is a great way to compare athletes nationally on an even playing field, using a panacea of different tests.

This rating system allows basketball and football players to track the progress of their training, through occasional tests, and compare SPARQ Ratings with fellow training partners and other competitors across the nation. The rapid rise in use and knowledge of this test only means that future athletes have another way to impress potential coaches and executives, as well as giving agents another area to assess and promote their prospective recruits and clients professionally. All athletes out there, no matter how young you are, better make sure you and your trainers are aware of the SPARQ rating and train accordingly, as it will only be scrutinized closer in years to come.