Performance Testing of
Fitness and Athleticism:
The Development of a
John R. Cone, PhD, CSCS
Athletes’ Research Institute, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
S U M M A R Y
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS
TO ADDRESS THE USE OF FIELD
TESTS OF PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE
AND ATHLETICISM IN ELITE
OUTFIELD SOCCER PLAYERS (E.G.,
COLLEGIATE, PROFESSIONAL, AND
INTERNATIONAL) THROUGH THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE
PLAYER PROFILING SYSTEM.
A SECONDARY PURPOSE IS
TO ADDRESS THE USE OF DATA TO
QUANTIFY A PLAYER’S PHYSICAL
ATTRIBUTES, LIMB ASYMMETRY,
TIME-RELATED CHANGES, AND
RETURN TO PLAY AFTER INJURY.
The development of sport performance
testing assessing an
athlete’s physical abilities presents
a unique challenge for the sports
scientist, strength and conditioning
coach, athletic trainer, and sportspecific
coach. This challenge increases
with sport complexity, where perhaps
the greatest challenge is presented by
highly dynamic, field-based sports,
such as soccer, requiring a diverse
mixture of skill, athleticism, and fitness.
In particular, the need to gather sufficient
information to effectively characterize
physical performance with the
amount of time allotted for testing is
inherently challenging. A key component
to achieving this balance requires
limiting the redundancy of information
between tests. Additionally, physical
testing has been proposed to serve
multiple purposes (5); these are as
1. Examine training effects
2. Athlete motivation
3. Objective feedback for the athlete
4. Increase an athlete’s awareness of
5. Evaluation of an athlete’s ability or
readiness to compete
6. Evaluation of an athlete during and
returning from rehabilitation
7. Development and planning of
8. Exercise prescription and identification
of potential weaknesses.
Observationally, the above purposes
are prioritized differently according
to an individual’s role within a team
(e.g., strength and conditioning coach,
sport-specific coach, athletic trainer,
physical therapist, and sports scientist).
To thoroughly address the aforementioned,
a systematic approach to testing
may be proposed regardless of the
sport: (a) test selection, (b) test administration,
(c) use of testing information,
(d) retesting for the assessment of
performance increases resulting from
training, (e) testing for return-to-play
assessment, and (f ) data presentation
(Table). The purpose of this article is to
use this approach to develop a soccerspecific
player profiling system that
allows for a more complete assessment,
comparison, and diagnosis of players’
PERFORMANCE TEST SELECTION:
GENERALIZABILITY AND VALIDITY
Test selection begins with an assessment
of sport-specific demands (physiological
and biomechanical), followed by selection
of tests. Matching of demands with
testing begins with an understanding of
performance testing; lower extremity
rehabilitation; limb asymmetry; return
from injury; return to play; return to
competition; field-based testing
Copyright _ National Strength and Conditioning Association Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 11
the available tests and their associated
validity and reliability. Specifically, how
well the test reflects component(s)
related to actual sport performance
(20), how accurately the test assesses
the physical attribute it is intended to
measure (20), and finally, the reliability,
or reproducibility, of the test must be
considered (26).Ultimately, test reliability
is highly dependent on the consistency of
test administration. A short list of the
primary factors that must be controlled
for are as follows: environment (e.g.,
ambient temperature, testing surface, and
motivation), time of day, warm-up,
exercise sequence, and athletes’ condition
at the time of testing (e.g., maximal
recovery from the previous training,
hydration, and nutritional status) (14).
Based on its metabolic demands, soccer
has been characterized as an intermittent
endurance sport (3) where fatigue is
observed in primarily 2 manners. The
first is in the middle of a match after
bouts of sprint and high-intensity work.
This is reflected in the observation that
sprints greater than 30 m result in
greater recovery time than those of
shorter duration (4) and that the 5-
minute interval containing the greatest
amount of high-intensity work was
followed by a 5-minute segment at
a lower than match average intensity
(4,42). The second is as a function of
soccer match duration. This is reflected
in the observation that players cover
less total distance and perform less
sprinting in the second half compared
with the first half (42) and that both
running distance and intensity
are decreased in the final 15 minutes
relative to all previous intervals (43).
The result is that physiological fitness
testing must integrate 2 components.
The first is the intermittent anaerobic
endurance targeting the assessment of
the ability to resist and recover from
transient fatigue. The second is the
aerobic endurance targeting the assessment
of the ability to resist fatigue as
a function of match duration.
Soccer’s multidirectional and dynamic
nature, incorporating as many as
1,346 changes (43), speculatively requires
an individual to possess diverse
characteristics of athleticism. For this
reason, multiple characteristics are considered
in test selection. Foremost, focus
is placed on the physical attributes:
sprinting, agility, power, and balance
that characterize the actions most frequently
contributing to noncontact injury
in soccer (i.e., running, twisting or
turning, jumping, and landing (24)).
Because of moderate-to-high correlations
between tests of strength, power,
and sprint speed (52), limiting test
redundancy is an important consideration.
As these relationships have been
linked to both movement specificity (37)
and the duration of an action (52), great
emphasis is placed on selecting ecologically
valid tasks. Finally, unilateral
testing is prioritized for the following
reasons: (a) the highly unilateral nature
in which soccer is played (12); (b) the
dominant versus nondominant limb
imbalances observed to increase with
soccer playing experience (27,29,51); (c)
the observation that limb asymmetry
greater than 15% is associated with
lower extremity injury (33,44); (d) the
majority of injuries in sport affect a single
limb; (e) finally, unilateral testing allows
for the more effective development of
return-to-play criteria via either comparison
of injured and noninjured limbs,
and/or comparison of preinjury to
Combined the outlined components of
fitness and athleticism result in priority
being placed on the following physical
characteristics: intermittent endurance
capacity, and where applicable unilateral
testing of lower extremity strength,
power, agility, and sprint speed.
There are a number of tests that characterize
anaerobic and aerobic capacity
or power. The inclusion of an intermittent
component simultaneously limits
the available tests and is problematic
because of the interplay between the
aerobic and anaerobic systems. Specifically,
the large contribution of the
aerobic system to recovery from intermittent
high-intensity bouts (21) makes
isolation of aerobic and anaerobic
characteristics difficult. The result is that
emphasis is placed on selecting tests
related to match performance where
emphasis is placed on repeated highintensity
and/or sprint performance.
A primary means for analyzing
the intermittent high-intensity
Proposed systematic approach to performance testing
1 Test selection Assess validity and reliability of testing to optimize testing battery
2 Test administration Maximize test-retest reliability via consistent application of testing
3 Use of testing information Maximize data collected to ensure that all purposes of testing are
addressed, and needs of staff are met
4 Retesting for performance increases Maximize data collected to monitor training response and exercise
5 Testing for return to play Maximize data collection to monitor progression from rehabilitation
to return to training and competition
6 Data presentation Maximize data analysis and exhibit information in a usable manner for
all staff members
12 VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 5 | OCTOBER 2012
Soccer-Specific Performance Testing
performance has been tests of repeated
sprint ability. These tests are appealing
because they provide 2 quantitative
indicators of performance: (a) total
sprint time (i.e., the cumulative time
required to complete all sprints) and (b)
fatigue index (i.e., the decrement in
performance from the first to last sprint)
(2). However, these tests are accompanied
by practical difficulties that make
their use problematic. First, the decrement
in repeated sprint performance is
seldomlinear with an increase or plateau
observed with the increasing sprint trials
(53). Second, reliability and validity of
the test are at times challenged by the
player. Specifically, where a maximal
effort during each subsequent sprint
interval is required, players also understand
that they are being assessed on
their performance decrement. This may
result in greater inconsistency as players
pace themselves. Third, regardless of the
test selection (dependent on the test
selected, either running distance or
sprint time is measured), test administration
may be logistically challenging in
a team setting. Thus, where distance
is the primary measure, a large number
of testers are required to score performance,
and when sprint time is measured,
the number of players who
may be effectively tested at one time is
Themajority of these shortcomings and
practical problems are circumvented by
the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1
(YYIR1) and level 2 (YYIR2) tests.
These tests consist of 20-m shuttle
running performed at progressive running
speeds, integrating a 10-second
active recovery period between each
consecutive shuttle run, with the pace
controlled by a digital metronome (34).
This allows for the effective application
of testing in a team setting with relative
ease and time efficiency. Additionally,
research has confirmed the strength of
the YYIR tests’ reliability and validity.
Specifically, the distance run in the
YYIR1 and YYIR2 tests have demonstrated
a coefficient of variation of 4.9%
(34) and 9.6% (36), respectively. Compared
with maximal graded treadmill
tests, they have been shown to elicit
maximal heart rates (HR) of 99 6 1% in
YYIR1 (34) and 9861% in YYIR2 (36).
This is a key element in the development
and use of HR as a means for
quantifying training load and exercise
prescription. The YYIR1 has been
correlated with physical match performance.
In male professionals, it highly
correlated with high-intensity running
distance (r = 0.71), moderately correlated
with combined high-intensity and
sprint running distance (r = 0.58), and
total distance run (r = 0.53) (34). In
female professionals, it highly correlated
with high-intensity running distance
(r = 0.76) and high-intensity
running distance during the final 15
minutes of each half (r = 0.83), and
moderately correlated with total distance
run (r = 0.56) (35). Finally, both
tests are sensitive enough to detect
differences between professional players
of different levels and positions (42),
as well as seasonal changes in fitness
level corresponding to physical match
performance (36). As the YYIR2 is
formatted in a manner identical to the
YYIR1, but uses a more rapid increase
in running speeds, it is speculated that
strong correlations to match performance
would persist. Additionally, this
difference allows for a maximal effort
to be achieved by highly fit players
more rapidly during the YYIR2, in line
with the suggestions for maximal
testing (7). For these reasons, the
YYIR1 and YYIR2 tests are currently
the most effective tests for assessing
soccer-specific metabolic performance.
Prioritization of testing in soccer is
placed on the lower extremity, with
emphasis on characterizing the aforementioned
components of athleticism:
strength, power, agility, and sprint
speed. Refinement of testing focuses
on the following: (a) ecological validity,
(b) limited redundancy among tests, (c)
ability to assess return to play after injury
or time off, and (d) ability to detect
lower limb performance asymmetry.
Beginning with lower extremity
strength, greatest emphasis is placed
on selecting a test that is both relevant
to soccer and unilateral in nature. The
star excursion balance test (SEBT) is
proposed for the following reasons.
First, a large number of the technical
movements in soccer involve multiplaner
movements performed in a single-
limb stance (i.e., passing, receiving,
shooting). The finding that different
SEBT reach directions result in differences
in movement (47) and muscle
activation of the hip and thigh (17)
increases its appeal. Second, the SEBT
has been shown to be sensitive to
previous ankle injury (25), which is an
important attribute as injury to the ankle
in soccer contributes to 17–24% (1,24)
of time loss injuries. Third, it is capable
of detecting asymmetries that may
contribute to future injury (44). Finally,
the SEBT has demonstrated an intraclass
correlation coefficient (ICC) as
high as 0.95 when scoring is averaged
across the 3 best performances (32).
The SEBT consists of the player standing
in a single-leg stance at the center of
an 8-pointed star (see Figure 1) with
performance measured by the reach
distance of the contralateral limb in the
respective directions (32). Analyses of
the SEBT have determined that performance
is most effectively quantified by
measuring reach distance in 3 directions:
(a) anteromedial, (b) posteromedial, and
(c) medial, with the hands placed on the
hips, and following 4 practice trials in
each direction (46). Although the SEBT
may be categorized as a test of dynamic
balance, observationally, the test is an
amalgamation of balance, unilateral
strength, coordination, and flexibility.
Selection of power tests is similarly
focused, with emphasis placed on unilateral
high-velocity movements. This
leads to the possible selection of singleleg
hop tests grouped as follows: (a)
single-leg hop for distance, (b) timed
single-leg hops, and (c) timed multiplaner
single-leg hops. Although it may
be suggested that vertical tests of power
are more applicable in a sport involving
jumping, this suggestion may be countered
by findings that the number of
jumping actions during a match is
relatively small (3,6). Additionally, given
Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 13
the moderate-high correlation between
tests of horizontal and vertical power
(r2 = 0.695) (23), the tests appear to
examine similar characteristics of lower
extremity power. Power may be seen as
being expressed specific to muscle
action: (a) those incorporating stretchshortening
cycle (SSC) work (often
termed reactive power), and (b) those
incorporating concentric work (18). The
ability to test both types of power
provides insight into an athlete’s ability
to express power (39) and assists in
training design by allowing for a more
tailored approach (18).
Two unilateral tests of power are
proposed. For reactive power, the
triple hop for horizontal distance
(Figure 2) is proposed because of its
high test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.97;
standard error of the mean [SEM] =
11.17 cm) relative to crossover hopping
for distance (ICC = 0.93; SEM =
17.74) and 6-m hopping for time (ICC
= 0.92; SEM = 0.06 seconds) (47). For
concentric power, a single-leg hop for
distance performed in a concentric
manner, as outlined by Booher et al.
(9), is proposed (ICC = 0.97; SEM =
5.93 cm). Specifically, the athlete
begins in a static single-leg squat
position and performs a single maximal
Sprinting comprises a relatively small
amount of a soccer match. This is
reflected by a number of observations
that sprinting contributes to less than
2.5% of the total distance run (15). Less
than 1% of the total match duration is
spent sprinting (6). The total number of
sprints is relatively small and ranges
from 3 to 40 bouts (15). Although
sprinting reflects a relatively small
amount of the work performed, observationally,
sprinting is frequently incorporated
in the most decisive action
of a match and is therefore of paramount
importance. As the majority of
sprints in soccer are relatively short in
duration and distance (1.7 to 2.1 seconds
(6) and 19.3 63.2 m (15), respectively),
this should be reflected in testing.
Additionally, given the aforementioned
number of changes that occur during
a match, emphasis is placed on the
capacity for testing to discriminate
between the different qualities of speed.
Thus, if possible, testing should allow for
the assessment of (a) starting speed (0–
10 m), (b) acceleration speed (10–20 m),
and (c) composite speed (0–20 m)
(Figure 3) (22).
The role of agility in soccer is evident
in the 608 to 822 changes in direction
that are observed in a match (8).
Recently defined as ‘‘a rapid wholebody
movement with change of velocity
or direction in response to a stimulus
(48),’’ the addition of cognitive components
may be problematic when trying
to assess the purely physical components.
For the purpose of the current
article, agility will be defined exclusive
of the proposed cognitive components.
The existence of agility as a discrete
athletic attribute is evident in consistent
low correlations with performance tests
of speed, strength, and power
(11,19,38,48). Examination of multiple
agility tests resulted in the observation
that agility persists as a ‘‘complex motor
ability (49).’’ Furthermore, the incorporation
of complex changes inmovement
is demonstrated by the finding that
a ‘‘general agility factor (49)’’ is characterizedmost
highly in tests requiring the
largest changes in direction. The isolation
of agility performance is suggested
to decrease when a large number
of changes in direction are included
(16). This is demonstrated through
increasing correlation among tests incorporating
multiple cutting actions
with sprint performance: 1) the Illinois
agility test, which incorporates 7 cutting
actions and covers a total distance of
36.6m (9.1 m: r = 0.61; 18.3 m: r = 0.68;
27.4 m: r = 0.71; 36.6 m: r = 0.59), 2) the
proagility test, which incorporates 2 cutting
movements and covers a total
distance of 18.3 m (9.1 m: r = 0.59;
18.3 m: r = 0.65; 27.4m: r = 0.66; 36.6m:
r = 0.59) (50), and 3) L-run, which
Figure 1. Star excursion balance test. Modified with permission from Hertel et al (25).
Figure 2. Triple-hop test of unilateral power. Data attained from Hamilton et al. (23).
14 VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 5 | OCTOBER 2012
Soccer-Specific Performance Testing
incorporates 3 cutting actions and
covers a distance of 20 m (5 m: r =
0.57; 10 m: r = 0.64; 20 m: r = 0.73) (19).
In contrast, the 505 test, which incorporates
a single unilateral cutting
action performed in 15-m shuttle run
fashion (Figure 4), has demonstrated
no correlation (16) to low correlations
with sprint speed (5 m: r = 0.52; 10 m=
0.57; 20m = 0.58) (19). Consistent with
tests of strength and power, the
unilateral nature of the 505 allows for
the more effective assessment of return
to play and existence of limb asymmetry.
This is of particular importance
given the aforementioned contribution
of turning and twisting actions to
noncontact injury in soccer (24).
The final component of the testing
battery is the use of qualitative assessments
of movement. Bridging the gap
between subjective (qualitative) and
objective (quantitative) testing is the
functional movement screen (FMS).
Proposed as an assessment of fundamental
movement abilities (41), the
FMS consists of 7 tests: 1) deep squat,
2) hurdle step, 3) in-line lunge, 4)
shoulder mobility, 5) active straight leg
raise, 6) push-up, and 7) rotary stability;
it uses a 3-point scoring system
(41). Although discussion of the testing
protocol and corresponding basis for
the point system is beyond the scope of
the current article, it is clear that the
scoring criteria allows for the development
of an objective measure of
movement ability. In this regard,
FMS scoring has shown strong interrater
reliability, with agreement between
‘‘novice’’ and ‘‘expert’’ raters
excellent in 14 of the 17 criteria
examined during testing (41).
The FMS has demonstrated an ability to
predict potential injury in football, where
a preseason score of less than 14 was
associated with an 11-fold increase in
the likelihood of injury (31), as well as its
sensitivity to training intervention (30).
Although research is limited to the deep
squat assessment, the FMS scoring
system appears to effectively capture
the biomechanical differences that exist
between scoring groups in comparison
with 3-dimensional analyses (10). The
unilateral nature of 5 of the 7 tests and
subsequent ability to capture limb asymmetry
further enhances the appeal of the
FMS. An additional strength of the
testing is the potential subjective analyses
that, when combined with an understanding
of the anatomical relationships
to movement, may allow for potential
tailoring of exercise prescription.
DATA ANALYSIS AND
This section will address maximizing
the use of data to better informpotential
decisions of the sports scientist, strength
and conditioning coach, athletic trainer,
and sport-specific coach. The primary
purpose is to discuss how to use and
display data to characterize the individual
player within the team and by
position, to identify potential limb
asymmetry, and to monitor changes
over time. For this reason theoretical
data was developed to illustrate the
different manners that information may
be displayed to exemplify potential
differences within an individual, group
of players, and a team.
Analysis of team performance begins
with the tabling of results, general
analysis, and, if possible, comparison
of test results with research. Thereafter,
analysis within the team continues via
calculation of standardized scores both
within the team and/or positional
groups. This allows for the following
group comparisons to be made: (a)
overall performance or ranking of the
individual within the team (Figure 5)
and (b) comparison of individual players
by position (Figure 6). In the first,
a player’s position relative to their
teammates is immediately evident. In
the second, comparison by position
may highlight physical characteristics
between players, which may otherwise
A theoretical comparison of central
midfielders available on a team (see
Figure 6) shows that player 13 is the
most highly fit but has diminished
speed, SSC power, and agility relative
to players 9 and 10. A comparison of
players 9 and 10 reveals that player 9
performed more highly in acceleration
and total sprint performance (sprint
and maximal), and SSC power. However,
player 10 demonstrated the greatest
starting speed, agility, and unilateral
strength and balance. In this manner,
analysis of the individual by team or
position may highlight a player’s weaknesses
and strengths relative to their
teammates. Although these interpretations
must be made in light of a player’s
Figure 3. Sprint performance testing. Data attained from Gore (22).
Figure 4. 505 test of horizontal agility. Data attained from Draper and Lancaster (16).
Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 15
other soccer-specific qualities, they
may have implications for personnel
selection and potentially team tactics.
Ultimately, the use of test results in this
manner provides an objective measure
to what may otherwise remain subjective
Analysis of the individual player focuses
on 1) examining limb asymmetry, 2)
information to more effectively prescribe
training, and 3) examining longitudinal
change. Calculation of limb
asymmetry may be done via the
limb asymmetry ¼
ðstronger _ weakerÞ=stronger3100;
followed by the assignment of a negative
sign to the value if the player’s
nondominant limb is stronger and
a positive sign if the dominant limb is
stronger (28). The result is that limb
asymmetries in strength, power, agility,
and FMS score are expressed as
percentage difference and readily expressed
graphically (see Figure 7). The
diagnosis of differences in this manner
allows for a more discriminating look
at a player’s physical attributes. For
instance, specific to Figure 7, the player
demonstrates a consistent, low-level,
dominant limb asymmetry, except for
in triple-hop performance (SSC_
POWER_asymm) where the nondominant
limb performed to a higher level.
This type of discrepancy may highlight
the need for further examination via
medical personnel to determine if
a potential problem exists.
Several tests allow for more discriminative
analyses that potentially
enhance exercise prescription and
more effective monitoring of training
effects. Regarding the metabolic testing,
YYIR1/YYIR2 may be used to
establish maximal HR via the use of
HR monitors, allowing for refined
monitoring and prescription of training
load. Additionally, maximal running
speed may be effectively used to prescribe
running intensities relative to
soccer match performance (13). Two
tests of unilateral power were proposed,
each focusing on the expression
of power relative to specific muscle
actions (SSC versus concentric).
Although the field basis of these tests
does not allow for the direct calculation
of reactive strength index (39), the
difference between SSC and concentric
power may be estimated as follows:
percentage difference ¼
ðtriple hop=3 _ single leg hopÞ=
Calculations of reactive strength index
testing may be compared with previous
research, where the mean difference
observed is 12.1% (40). Additionally,
comparison over time may provide
insight into training adaptation(s) and
enhance training prescription abilities
and diagnosis. Finally, although discussion
of the FMS has thus far pertained
mainly to its use as a scoring system, the
subjective observations made when
testing may be used to further tailor
Figure 5. Theoretical comparison of player performance using a standardized score.
Figure 6. Theoretical comparison of players by position (central midfielders).
16 VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 5 | OCTOBER 2012
Soccer-Specific Performance Testing
movement training. The effective use of
the FMS in this manner is reflected by
the effectiveness of a ‘‘standardized’’
program in increasing FMS score (30).
A discriminative approach to return
to play after injury is inherent in
the proposed player profiling system.
Specifically, the following traits are
addressed to allow for the progressive
assessment of recovery during the latter
stages of injury rehabilitation: 1) muscle
action, 2) movement plane, and 3)
movement velocity. A phasic approach
to the assessment of player recovery
may thus be proposed. Initial application
of testing is performed as a player
recovers and consists of movement
(FMS) and balance (SEBT) tests. Similarly,
each of these tests may be
progressed across the lower extremity;
FMS testing progressing from bilateral
(deep squat) to split (in-line lunge) to
single-leg (hurdle step), and SEBT by
movement plane (injury-dependent)
from anteromedial to medial and posteromedial.
Increasing recovery is accompanied
by increasing test demand.
This progression may begin with the
integration of the single-leg hop test for
distance, followed by sprint and triplehop
testing, and finally 505 agility
testing as it incorporates multiplanar
movement performed at maximal velocity.
A theoretical model of this
progressive approach may be seen in
Figure 8, where tests of increasing
demand are incorporated as the individual
recovers. Ultimately, the progression
and timing of testing relative to
injury is dependent on the individual
injury and must be addressed by and in
cooperation with the medical staff.
The ability to capture and analyze
longitudinal change at the individual
level and team level is of paramount
importance: first, to assess return to
play after injury and second, to assess
the effects of training. Longitudinal
change may be expressed as the
percent change relative to any testing
interval (e.g., baseline, peak). Applying
this to the development of return-toplay
criteria, physical performance
during the rehabilitation phase may
be quantified relative to a player’s
performance at any previous testing
interval. The theoretical model presented
in Figure 8 allows for a quantitative
and progressive assessment of
the player’s recovery from injury. For
instance, there is a progressive increase
in the performance in selected measures
from weeks 6 through 10, with the
final phase of testing (week 11) being
characterized by performance values in
excess of 90% of baseline. Ultimately,
what is an acceptable level of performance
for return to play is unknown
Figure 7. Theoretical asymmetry score for an individual player.
Figure 8. Theoretical data showing return to play after unilateral ankle injury.
Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 17
and likely needs to be judged on an
individual basis. A benefit of the proposed
testing profile is the ability to
track a spectrum of physical characteristics
of increasing demand (i.e., muscle
action, movement plane, movement
velocity) allowing for a more educated
assessment of player function and
therein the likelihood of reinjury.
Finally, as a key element of testing is
to assess training effects, longitudinal
performance may be displayed as
percentage change between the testing
percentage difference ¼
time2 _ time1 _ __time13100
Alternately, longitudinal change may
be expressed graphically in the same
manner, as previously discussed in
Figure 6 or Figure 8.
The primary purpose of this article was
to develop a comprehensive testing
system for soccer. Strong emphasis has
been placed on selecting discriminative
and progressive tests focusing on
physical performance, exercise prescription,
limb asymmetry, and return-
to-play criteria. A secondary
focus has been on maximizing testing
information and subsequent use of
information to effectively integrate
the disciplines within sports science.
Specifically, the varying roles of
a team’s staff (coach, strength and
conditioning coach, athletic trainer,
and physical therapist) have been
addressed. The level of integration
proposed addressed the following key
factors relative to each person’s role:
(a) player comparison(s), (b) timerelated
changes in performance, (c)
exercise prescription, (d) potentially
problematic limb asymmetries, and
(e) return-to-play criteria after injury.
John R. Cone
owns and runs
Institute Inc, a performance
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