During my five-week training programme I felt that my sessions have been very successful. I really enjoyed taking part in each session as I varied them, thus meaning they did not get boring or repetitive. I feel within myself as though I am fitter and my new fitness test results on the previous page prove this. I felt that throughout the five-week period the positioning of my stations were always correct; they did not concentrate on one part of my body for too long.
This meant that I could have a higher intensity workout because I was not overloading specific muscle groups. I tried to increase the intensity so that it was set at the right level for my body, although on a few occasions I increased it too dramatically. Even though I had a through cool down it was not enough to remove the lactic acid from my muscles, thus causing me to show signs of DOMS the following day. I was disappointed that I picked up an injury in the middle of my training programme as this prevented me from developing to my full potential over the five-weeks. I was forced to decrease the intensity of my sessions and primarily concentrate on my upper body, although towards the end of my programme I was back to full fitness.
My motivation was sustained throughout the programme by me setting myself specific targets that I wanted to achieve and gave myself rewards for achieving a good session. I set the target of me reaching level 11 on the bleep test at the start of my training programme, although I did not quite make it I think that if I had not strained my groin half way through and would have continued with the progress I was making I would have achieved my target.
At the start of my training programme I decided that I wanted to improve my cardio-vascular and muscular endurance. I gave a catalogue of the attributes a footballer needed and in particular those that played in defence or midfield. The first criteria was that of speed, from my first fitness test my sprinting has improved from 4.08 seconds to 4.01 seconds to sprint 20 metres. Although this is not a huge improvement I have nearly knocked a second off my best time, which means that in my matches now I will have an extra burst of speed to get me to the ball quicker than my opponent, to beat my opponent or to avoid my marker. I will also be able to keep up with my opponent easier, thus meaning I will be able to concentrate more on producing an accurate and efficient tackle to win possession. The development and strengthening of my fast twitch fibres will help my performance because now I will need to use less effort than before to sprint the same distance.
The second criteria was strength and balance. From my first fitness test I only managed to produce 30 press ups in a minute compared to when I retested myself and achieved a score of 35. This was a good increase for me, as I had been forced to concentrate on my upper body in the middle phase of my programme due to injury. Although you don’t necessarily need upper body strength to play football, it does give you the added advantage that you can hold the ball up, and shield the ball when it is needed.
By including stations such as burpees and squats in my circuits and by doing one plyometric circuit a week I have also improved the strength and muscular endurance of legs. This will improve my performance because I will now be able to produce more powerful shots, which is one of my major weaknesses during a game, I will also be able to jump higher, thus meaning I will be able to defend better and get to the ball before my opponent. This is important for me because I am quite small compared to other players so need to produce more height in my jumping. By having an increased number of mitochondria because of my training, my muscles will be able to generate energy more efficiently.
My third criteria was that of cardio-vascular endurance, I have increased my score of the multi stage fitness test from level 10.2 to level 10.5. This will help my performance in my matches because now I will have the endurance to allow me to make forward runs towards the end of my matches, thus maybe creating a goal scoring opportunity. My all round game will improve because I will not get fatigued as easily and will be able to contribute more to game situations. My fourth criteria was agility; I have improved my time at the Illinois agility run from 17.01 seconds to16.06 seconds. This will improve my performance because football is multi-directional and by improving my ability to turn at speed I will be unpredictable to my opponents and harder to defend against.
I still hope to further develop my training programme by continuing with my circuits. I would try to vary them so that I do not get bored and lose motivation. Also if I vary the stations I will achieve a more all round body muscle development, thus continuing to improve my performance. I am going to try and achieve a higher cardio-vascular endurance, because even though I improved my score on the multi stage fitness test I did not reach my target of level 11.
Therefore I am going to develop my training programme to incorporate more cardio-vascular stations. I will continue with my circuits right up to the beginning of preseason training, as this will give me a good level of fitness to start on. I will concentrate on my all round fitness throughout the preseason phase, which means that by the beginning of next season I will be able to concentrate more on skill development. I am also planning to incorporate a change in diet into my training programme, thus giving me more carbohydrates and a lower fat intake to help me produce more energy for my sessions.
Davis, B. Bull, R. Roscoe, J. Roscoe, D. (2000) Physical Education and the study of sport. Fourth edition. Mosby-Harcourt Publishers Limited. Mafe, A. (1998) Football fitness. Boxtree http://www.netfit.co.uk