Football requires many physical fitness requirements. Theses are Strength, Speed, Flexibility and Endurance. Strength is the ability to exert a force against a resistance. Having strength allows the participant to be the stronger person when going for a challenge and hopefully resulting in winning the ball. Speed is the quickness of movement of a limb, whether this is the legs of a runner or the arm of the shot putter.
Having speed allows the participant to gain an advantage over their opposition when a quick burst of acceleration is needed. Flexibility is the range of movement around a joint. Having good flexibility is important because it prevents injuries from over stretching or getting into a bad challenge. Flexibility also gives you an advantage over your opposition. Endurance is the ability to perform strenuous activity over a long period of time using aerobic respiration. Some studies have also shown that footballers tend to cover less distance and work at lower intensities during the second half of games than during the first half. The logical interpretation of these findings is that fatigue is limiting the players and that if they were fitter they would perform more effectively in the latter stages of their matches.
Football players need a combination of technical, tactical as well as physical skills in order to succeed. The motor fitness requirements of football are agility, balance, co-ordination, power and reaction time. Agility is the ability to perform a series of explosive power movements in rapid succession in opposing directions. A footballer needs agility to be able to take his/her opponents on with confidence and allows them to trick their opponent and send them the wrong way or through fancy footwork. Balance is the ability to control the body’s position, either stationary or while moving.
Balance allows Co-ordination is the ability to integrate the above listed components so that effective movements are achieved. Co-ordination allows a footballer to place the ball more accurately when passing, heading and shooting. Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements. Power again gives you an advantage over your opponent, when going in for a challenge if you have more power then you are most likely to win the ball. The more power you have the harder you are going to hit the ball therefore you are more likely to score a goal. This is also an obvious advantage. Reaction time is. Reaction time allows a footballer to move quickly away from your opponent which is marking them and also react quickly to the movement of the ball.
The aim of this program is for me to improve my cardiovascular endurance for football. As it is for football I need to aim the exercises I take out on the specific muscle group found in the leg consisting of the hamstring, the gastrocnemius and the quadriceps. I am also going to improve skills related to football, improve my accuracy in the technique used for heading, passing, dribbling and shooting.
So I can determine if my cardiovascular endurance has improved I am going to take a test prior to starting the program and the retake the same test after I have completed my program. The test I am choosing to carry out is the Queens College Step Test. Basically to complete this test you step up and down the platform (step) at a rate of 22 steps per minute for me, and if a male was completing this test it would be 24 steps per minute for a total of 3 minutes. After the three minutes you immediately stop and the heart beats are counted for 15 seconds from 5-20 seconds of recovery.
The disadvantages of this test is that biochemical characteristics vary between individuals e.g. taller people have and advantage but this doesn’t matter so much for me because I am testing my personal fitness. Therefore as long as I take the same test at the start and at the end of the program it will show whether my cardiovascular endurance has improved or not. The advantage of taking this test is that the equipment and the cost involved are minimal, the test is only short therefore little time is required and it can be self-administered.