SKINS Strength & Conditioning Series | Part 4

In the fourth episode of our SKINS Strength & Conditioning Series, Mariners fitness guru Andrew Clark talks about the importance of a variety of tests for professional footballers.

"At the Mariners we place a big emphasis on the development of young players.

We use testing and monitoring to make sure that our young players are developing and make sure that they are meeting up to the standards of our older players.

Today in training we conducted our final testing. As part of that testing we tested aerobic fitness, skin folds, power jump tests. They-re all part of making sure that we-re monitoring a players fitness to ensure that they are developing, and that they are meeting standards that we think are necessary to compete at the A-League level.

It is important for us to know whether players are developing as footballers physically, or if they-re going backwards because of injury or rehabilitation programs.

Research has shown that most of the game happens in under 20 or 10 metre bursts, so most of the testing that we do makes sure that players are explosive over five or 10 metres and that they can repeat these events over and over again.

We measure the players- body composition to ensure that they-re not carrying unnecessary weight. We just make sure that our players stay nice and lean and that they-re the best that they can be.

We test the players quite frequently. We-ll test their weight and their skin folds about every six to eight weeks. We-ll test their aerobic fitness four to five times a year, and the same goes for speed agility. As a measure of whether a player is healthy, we measure their power through jump tests weekly.

And this is just to make sure that a player is improving through the programs we are putting them through, and that they-re maintaining their health and that they are not injured as a result of the training load that we are giving them.

Our testing program is a great opportunity to benchmark our players against international players of the highest standard. It also allows us to benchmark our younger players against our senior players, and that then gives us an idea of areas of weakness that they need to work on, and we can get the coaching staff and focus on the small areas to make those players to improve to come up to speed with the rest of the squad."

Andrew Clark