Fitness Testing > Introduction
Monitoring and evaluating progress are integral parts of a fitness program. Conditioning sessions provide feedback on performance, whereas football-related fitness tests measure the levels of conditioning and reconditioning after injury.
A formal fitness test can be administered at the beginning of a training program or phase and repeated periodically. All elements of conditioning should be measured to provide feedback for setting targets and designing the training program. Initial test results can be used to compare players and to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Periodic retests assess progress and provide information for manipulating the training program.
Complete Football Fitness Profile
Fitness testing is part of a complete profile that also incorporates other elements of assessment. A complete fitness profile can include the following information:
- Training status-the type and volume of training the player has had
- Medical history-recurrent and long-term injuries, conditions such as asthma and diabetes
- Level of ambition-the player's aspirations in relation to football
- Exercise techniques-the techniques the player is familiar with, such as the lifting technique for loaded and Olympic lifts
- Feedback-the assessments of fellow players and coaches on training and performance
- Nutritional profile-the player's nutrient intake recorded in a food and fluid intake diary
- Match analysis-the number of games played, average tackle count, number of successful passes, errors made, and number of meters covered at specific running speeds (the measurement of which requires special software)
- mental toughness-an assessment of the player's mental skills by a sports psychologist and an appropriate mental training plan
- Muscle lengths, imbalances, and mechanics with the help of a Physiotherapist
The more detailed the fitness profile, the more specific, individualized, and beneficial the fitness program.