Posted: November 8th, 2023
Technology and Instrumentation Assignment
Technology and Instrumentation Assignment
Strength and conditioning personnel working with football athletes must be able to deliver and execute time-efficient, reliable and valid fitness tests. As with many intensive team sports, various fitness components are crucial to football players’ success. Frequent is the case where teams require fitness testing be done before the start of a competitive season or the commencement of a strength and conditioning regimen. The report provides evidence-based information on the effective execution of battery tests in contemporary football. Practitioners will highlight a preference for recording metrics related to event data as opposed to established key performance indicators (KPIs). Football instrumentation requires increased education and collaborative efforts between practitioners, sports scientists and athletes. While there is an increased interest in the capability of measuring contextual aspects of professional performance with tracking technology, practitioners should move away from the traditional reliance on computed metrics, such as pass completion and ball possession.
Key Human Performance Outcomes
Excess body fat is scientifically proven to impede a player’s ability to move freely. Additional weight increases body fatigue, negating a player’s endurance1. Tracking body weight changes is key to determining muscle mass, which helps in the planning of strength conditioning. Herold et al. claim that with most sports, football athletes are expected to be lean with a small body-mass index1.
Strength and Power
Football entails powerful repetitive movements, such as jumping, sprinting and tackling. Assessors want to measure an athlete’s power generation to highlight their ability to exert force and pressure on opponents1. Reactive strength is a component of strength and power. The aspect measures how well a player can respond to ball direction changes. Improving the player’s mechanical energy is key to enhancing the team’s running economy.
Speed/ Acceleration/ Endurance
Sprinting ability is a significant part of successful football performance. The ability to accelerate in football determines the player’s effectiveness in regaining and retaining possession2. When it comes to speed and acceleration, measurements focus on maximum speed, speed endurance and acceleration rate. Hulse et al.’s investigation concludes that when a player is able to do speed batter tests frequently, it is believed that they can restore depleted adenosine triphosphate (ATP) 2. There are distinct aspects of speed that will require different evaluation methods. Players should be able to speed up and maintain high speeds in elite-level football matches.
Agility might be the most appropriate performance indicator for football players.
In football, agility assessments look at a player’s ability to change direction using specific neuro-muscular coordination, power and strength and without the loss of balance1. According to Herold e t al., agility constitutes more than 15% of a football player’s movements1. There is sufficient scientific evidence to conclude that agility is influenced by a person’s decision-making and environmental perception. Agility is important for injury prevention and mobility. Players that are fast-paced with little ability to change direction are often associated with muscle and joint injuries.
Aerobic fitness has a positive correlation to the speed and duration of running. Assessors will want to look at a player’s distance covered, number of springs and time on the ball2. Enhanced aerobic capacity will improve football performance by increasing the distance covered and work intensity. Frequent aerobic assessments are critical in determining the effectiveness of physical training programs1, 2. Aerobic fitness will indicate a player’s readiness for the competitive football season.
Battery Tests for Assessing Athlete’s Ability
The YoYo Intermittent Battery Test
The YoYo Intermittent test is appropriate for measuring aspects related to the player’s aerobic capacity, endurance and agility. There is a wide variety of beep tests in sports, but the intermitted method is specifically tailored for football3. Schmitz et al. record that the examination entails a 20-meter shuttle run. After two legs, the players have a recovery period of five seconds3. The battery test is designed to examine an athlete’s ability to play intensely throughout the game. The assessor will need a non-slip surface, measuring tape, marking cones, pre-recorded audio, beep test software and recording sheets3. The player’s performance is determined by recording the total distance covered before fatigue rendered them unable to match the audio recording. The test will take a maximum of twenty minutes for beginner athletes and ten minutes for elite athletes3. The test is suitable for team assessments because it allows large groups to conduct the assessment simultaneously at minimal costs.
The Repetitive Sprint Test
The Repetitive Sprint Test (RST) is suitable for testing acceleration, speed, aerobic capacity and fatigue in football athletes. According to Beato et al., the assessment involves ten twenty-meter sprints conducted every twenty seconds4. Depending on the sport, other similar RST tests have different sprint distances and recovery times. Sprint recovery is indicative of an athlete’s ability to restore depleted phosphates. The assessors will require stopwatches, timing gates, measuring tape, marker cones and a flat non-slip track4. Timing gates are preferred for short-distance sprint tests because of a lower margin of error. The assessor will record all sprint time. The total for all ten sprints is calculated. The percentage in decline is calculated using the formula (total time- (best time x10)/ total time x1004.
An assessment of body composition combines both field and laboratory battery tests. The most popular technique in field assessment is the determination of body fat percentage. The assessment employs the skinfold technique, where the assessor uses a caliper device to pinch the skin and underlying fat in different parts of the body5. The thickness of the caliper after pinching correlates with the athlete’s body fat. Grazette et al., record that the most suitable skinfold sites include the chest, triceps, abdomen, thigh, midaxillary and suprailiac. The assessor adheres to the gold standard when it comes to laboratory tests. The player will undergo x-ray absorptiometry scanning and hydrostatic weighing1,5. Important to note is that battery tests for body composition can be difficult to administer to large groups. The high-level technology requires expertise for the tests to be administered, implying heavy labour costs. Body composition tests provide crucial personal-level information for strength training and conditioning programs.
Football players require a lot of professional strength and conditioning. Personnel working with such football teams should be able to conduct battery tests with minimal equipment and time lapses. The performance will have to be considered using several variables, including speed, power, agility, body fat and aerobic fitness. Technology has to be at the center of tactical analysis and KPIs. It seems football teams need to design specific performance indexes for their players. The index might cover individual and team parameters. Currently, due to competitive pressures, there continues to be a gap in knowledge transfer in practice and research. Football teams need to invest more in education and collaborative efforts to improve the sport’s data and analytics. Collaboration should also facilitate the optimization of battery tests to standardize their application.
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