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The comparison between Football, Javelin and Weight lifting.

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The comparison between Football, Javelin and Weight lifting

As you can see from the comparing graphs all the sports require quite similar fitness and health components (especially between football and javelin which are both dynamic sports whereas weight lifting is a static sport). This is clear to see in terms of the requirements they need to be an effective player of each particular sport because football and javelin both dynamic sports require much more all round fitness and skill whereas weight lifting is static and much more specific and this is why it has lower requirement ratings than football and javelin.

        Football is also a team sport, which requires a much wider range of types of training because the player must be well rounded a passer/tackler/shooter and team player. Whereas individual sports such as javelin and weight lifting are individual and much more specific in terms of the training they will do. A weight lifter can train very specifically by simply lifting weights because that is the sport, this gives them a psychological advantage over team sports players because they either know they can lift a certain weight because they’ve achieved it previously in training, or they can’t; so they can set their goals much more easily than a football player.

This may make weight lifting sound like a very simple skill but because it requires such a specific body type it is very hard to become successful as everyone’s body ahs it’s genetic limitations, only someone born with a very high percentage of fast twitch muscle fibres will ever be successful in the weight lifting world. This is stated by Thordikes law of Readiness which states that “the performer must be physically and mentally capable of performing the task” (Skill acquisition notes)

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Arm and shoulder strength

Weight lifters and javelin throwers obviously both need a very large amount of strength in their arms and shoulders because they are in use so much to carry out such explosive movements. A javelin thrower with a great amount of fast twitch muscle fibres and great anaerobic capacity has the potential to be very successful yet without enough arm and shoulder strength they are going to restrict how far they can throw the javelin.

        Weight lifters and javelin throwers both require very high strength in arm and shoulders to produce the explosive contractions that are required, so if a football player tried to compete in a weight lifting competition for example their arm and shoulder strength might look low at best. Yet on the football pitch players do need high upper body strength, especially at a professional standard where your strength can be the determiner of your success or downfall.

        Good examples of players who are dominated by stronger players are when team bring youth players through into first team football. For example players such as David Bellion who are obviously very talented and have achieved a lot through the youth teams of Manchester United, but when they come into the first team they look no more than average players. The main factor affecting this is strength along with experience, because a younger and not as strong player can easily be over powered and intimidated by older players.

Arm and shoulder strength and endurance

The same theory applies too arm and shoulder strength and endurance, weight lifters an javelin throwers have to produce a maximum effort and then be forced by their opponents efforts to try improve the distance of their javelin throw or the weight lifted.

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A good way of comparing the 3 sports is in terms of what percentage of the 3 muscle fibre types (slow twitch, fast oxidative glycolitic and fast twitch glycolitic) an elite player of each sport would have. As every sport will have varying muscle fibre needs to participate successfully in each sport. This table compares the 3 sports in terms of muscle fibre type usage:


        From this you can see an obvious similarity between the two more anaerobic and individual sports weight lifting and javelin throwing. From my over all comparison I can see that javelin throwing and weight lifting are quite similar sports in terms of the requirements needed to do them, from this picture you can see that weight lifting is slightly more anaerobically intense though as it requires more FTG muscle fibres. Whilst football players muscle fibre needs tends to be quite opposite to weight lifting and javelin throwing; I think this difference is mainly down too the length and style of the 3 sports, as weight lifting and javelin throwing are both over very quickly while football games last from 90 too a maximum of 120 minutes. This extra time requires more slow twitch muscle fibres and thus differs it greatly already from the two individual sports.

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