Recruitment for bobsleigh will vary from country to country, and from team to team. However, most organisations will operate on a largely similar model of trying athletes out across a range of standardized tests, before moving them on to more relevant and bobsleigh specific tests.
For the most part, in order to warrant being tried out, an athlete must be able to meet a set of requirements set by the team. This can range from strength and speed, to weight lifting, or just previous sporting background.
Using the Great Britain team as an example, the tests run at a try-out for new athletes are as follows:
- 60m sprint
- Both 30m, and 60m are timed, and a “flying 30m” time calculated as well
- Single person sled pushes
- Timed over 5-40m
- Side handle and back handle are tested
- Both handles are trialled over 2 weights, for 4 total pushes
Generally, these results are then combined with a subjective look at the athlete’s background, their potential ceiling, as well as their weight and injury history to decide whether the athlete should progress onto pushing a sled in a crew on a dry practice facility.
Most teams the world over will hold try-outs throughout the summer, culminating in a push test or competition later in the summer where athletes are evaluated both as individuals as well as in a team. From here the crews can be selected and the athletes named to the national team or otherwise.
For information on trying out for Great Britain Bobsleigh, please see the GB Recruitment page.