Monday, February 5, 2018

How to test your players? 如何测试你的运动员的健身?

Fitness testing in football (soccer) can be a useful tool to 1) identify individual's needs, 2) reduce the risk of injuries, and 3) optimize training plans and performance. There is a number of tests that a sport scientist and practitioner can use. Before you choose, it would help if you answer the following questions:

-Why am I testing the players?
-What is my plan for the next month and the whole season?
-Which of the tests in the literature are valid, reliable and sensitive to training?
-Which of those that fulfill criterion 3 above, does my coach like?

To make it simple for you, I have summarized in table 1 below the most common tests. Their validity and reliability varies a lot and should you want to know the in-depth details you can read table 2 as well as our review paper on that topic (Paul & Nassis, 2015a). In general, all the below tests have acceptable validity and reliability.

While this is a guide, I advise you, especially the junior practitioners, before you go ahead and speak to the coach, better to have plan B too. Sometimes coaches may prefer a different test to the ones on the list. 

Table 1. Common tests used for fitness assessment in football (soccer)
Football Fitness Element
How to test?
Where can I find more info to back up my proposal?
 Sprinting ability
10-m, 20-m, 30-m, 40-m sprint
Paul & Nassis (2015a)
 Change of direction ability
T test
Slalom sprint
Slalom dribble sprint
Paul et al (2016) 
Huijgen et al (2010)
Huijgen et al (2010)
 Muscle strength/Power
Different types of jumps
Isokinetic dynamometry
Paul & Nassis (2015b)
 Aerobic fitness
 Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test
30-15 intermittent test
Bangsbo et al (2008)

Buchheit (2008)
Repeated Sprint Ability
7 X 30m or 6 X 20m 

Dribbling ability
 30-m slalom dribbling 
Huijgen et al (2010)

Table 2. Summary of the tests advantages and disadvantages (modified Paul & Nassis, 2015a)

Sources & related links

Bangsbo et al (2008). Sports Medicine 38(1): 37-51, read here

Buchheit (2008). Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 22(2): 365-374, read here

Huijgen et al. (2010). Journal of Sports Science 28(7): 689-698, read. here

Paul, Gabbett & Nassis (2016). Sports Medicine 46(3): 421-442, read   here

Paul & Nassis (2015a). Pediatric Exercise Science 27(3): 301-313, read here

Paul & Nassis (2105b).  Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 29(6): 1748-58, read here