Prior fitness levels

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Purpose of the programme in relation to prior fitness levels The sport I’m going to be training for is football. At the moment my current level of performance is fairly average so I wish to improve over six weeks to make me a better player and to increase my level of fitness in different areas such as endurance- as this is key to being a footballer. I play football at the college and my main position at the moment is as a striker but I use to play in goal for a time. I felt moving back onto the pitch was a good step for me, as I believe it makes you a fitter athlete and you learn more about the game and the different skills.

At the moment I don’t feel I have any injury worries but I have been ill recently so this could affect my performance when training. For football you have to have a high level of fitness at all times otherwise when it comes to the matches I will falter and so not play to my best possible ability. For my position you have to be aware at all time and have quick reactions to what’s going on in order to react to certain situations. I also have to have a good level of skill in order to dodge around players, to create a good chance to score.

Speed is also important so for my programme as being a striker you need the pace to outrun the defender and then hopefully score- if you are lacking in this department its hard to get anywhere so in order to improve this I will set up some sort of sprinting activity to get increase my pace. I will also do enduring activities because you need to have a high level of stamina in football in order to compete over the 90 minutes. This is one of the key components of fitness that I’m going to be concentrating on because it’s the thing I feel I mostly need to improve on and its a good one to do as you can make amendments in order to improve over time.

Muscular endurance is also key for football, as you require a lot of strength in the muscles throughout playing as lots of pressure goes on the muscles to perform and deal with the different situations of the game. Other components of fitness that aren’t so important but still needed are body composition because you need to be a good body type to compete in football- so not too fat as this will slow you down, not too thin because you can be knocked off the ball and give it away and so you need to have a fairly muscular toned body composition for football in order to do well. All the fitness components combine to give an overall good player. I feel that although I’m going to be specifically working on the endurance aspect of fitness that I will try to do as many different components of fitness in my session as possible because it will give me an all round better performance in the long run.

When planning my pep I thought it was a good idea to carry out some sort of testing to see what my current level of fitness is like and in order to see if any progression has been made throughout my training. I decided to test a number of different fitness aspects. The first test I did was the multistage fitness test to test my VO2 Max, the sit up bleep test which tests your muscle stamina, the sergeant jump to see how high I could jump, a 30 metre sprint to test my speed and the sit and reach test that tests flexibility. The testing is very important as it will indicate if any improvement has been made over the 6 weeks as I will compare the results I achieve before starting training and the results after the training sessions. Hopefully there should be come kind of improvement as I would have done more health related training then I usually would have.

The Multistage fitness test was a test that I did in order to test my cardio vascular endurance. The test is valid to my training for football as in order to compete in football you have to have a high endurance level so this tests how fit you are. The test is quite reliable because it measures my endurance levels but in order to get my full VO2 max the multistage fitness test isn’t totally accurate as you muscles get tired before your lungs do so this only tests your stamina to a degree. If you achieve a high level you are obvious fit and have a good stamina but if you have a low one you don’t have as good stamina so it needs to be improved through training.

The next test is the sit up bleep test, which is a test of muscular endurance. This is a very tiring test and really puts your abdominal muscles to the test. Obviously people who train a lot and do sit-ups regularly would find this much easier than someone who doesn’t train at all. The test is valid in that it for football you do have to have good muscular endurance however the test may have been better if it was testing the muscular endurance of the legs for example because this the place where footballers need most strength – whereas the abdominal area although important for good overall fitness isn’t as valid. The test is reliable in that it finds out your muscular endurance capacity but it only finds it out for your abdominal strength whereas some people may have better muscular endurance in their arms. It’s reliable again because the tape is set at a certain speed so you get a level, which you can compare, to others to see how good your muscular endurance is.

Another test was the 30m sprint this is a test of your speed over a short distance. Its valid to football in that you need good speed to outpace the defence so you need to be a fast runner. Its also reliable in that, with football you run in short sharp bursts so 30m is a good distance to time as you are likely to run these sorts of sprints throughout matches and so need to know how fast you are, so you can improve over time.

The sergeant jump test is quite valid for football, as you could say that you need to be able to jump high when going to head the ball so you need a good amount of spring and a certain amount of power to push you up as high as possible to get the ball, so this test can show how high you can jump which is useful. Its reliable in that you have to be able jump fairly high when playing football and the sergeant jump takes height into consideration by changing the distance to suit your height so you should get a fair reading to test your power and strength in your legs really.

The last test I did was a sit and reach test that was use to test flexibility. This test isn’t really valid for football as in order to play football you don’t have to be that flexible unless you do a lot of acrobatics so I didn’t find this very useful for me at all. Its reliable in that it gives a clear reading but just not a lot of uses for footballers although it does find out how flexible you are which is what the test sets out to do.

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