Health related fitness for two sports.

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Health related fitness for two sports

I have chosen to compare the related fitness for football, and netball. These two sports first and foremost are, somewhat mistakenly, restricted to gender in peoples ideas. Football is often perceived as a male dominated sport; the facts say otherwise, football being the fastest growing female sport not only within this country but also in larger countries such as the USA. Netball, on the other hand is often viewed as a female sport, this view is slightly more understandable given the relative non-participation of men on a higher stage, but to pigeon-hole sports in the modern era is wrong.

Football, due to the large amount of physical contact is often deemed one of the more physically taxing of competitive sports, injury is not uncommon, although a fair proportion of injury is muscle based – meaning pulls and strains rather than impact injuries. Netball, is a non-contact sport, therefore the risk of impact injury is very low, although there will always be accidental collisions. There is a large amount of movement still involved, with pivoting and turning sharply an important part of the game, injury can result. It is important therefore to be agile and flexible for both sports, for both similar and different reasons. Football is slightly more dynamic, and often played at a higher intensity than netball, whereas netball relies upon intricate movement, both with and without the ball in hand.

The question of endurance is another to consider. Football is played over two periods of 45 minutes whilst netball over 15 minute quarters. Football is somewhat reliant on what position you play as to what intensity you play at, the central roles; especially in midfield seem to be the workhorses. This can be said of netball also, the position of centre is the one position that covers the largest area of play. The endurance needs are different between positions; the goalkeeper in football can be compared to the goalkeeper in netball, these two positions sharing a relatively low workload.

There are of course no restrictions in position for football, a defensive player can move forward at will, though sometimes neglecting their defensive duties can prove costly, this is less of an issue in netball, where the positions are less disciplined as the space you can move between is restricted. There are times when the players will be caught out of position, but far less frequently then in football, where more and more, with the progression of the modern game, players are often asked to increase their workload more and more. This means, ultimately, that endurance is perhaps more of a factor within football than in netball, the game is played over a longer period, with less rest time, and the non-restriction of positions means a heavy workload, more so for positions that require a ‘box-to-box’ mentality, whereupon their workload is almost from the first minute, until the last.

Speed and strength in both is a slightly controversial issue, it can be argued that in terms of football that a lack of speed and/or strength means a decrease in performance. It can however mean, due to the high skill nature of football that a player without these attributes can contribute to the game differently, either by being an exceptional passer of the ball for example, or excelling in shooting. The success of the player may not be that of one who possesses the attributes of speed and strength – again becoming more important in the modern era, but the numerous positions on a pitch – there are a few general positions on the field of play, but in reality there are many, many more within the game itself. This means that any player that may be lacking in certain areas can almost be compensated by another who holds those attributes. Netball is similar, in a way to this, although the positions are somewhat isolated, and not in the pairs that appear on the football pitch (e.g. there are 2 central defenders in football, whereas there is only one centre on each team, only one goal shooter etc.). The need for speed and strength in netball is not a requirement in open play but can be useful in the act of setting up a shooting opportunity, and by using strength, in the act of shooting itself. Since the ball cannot be passed over more than one third of a netball pitch there is not a huge emphasis on strength whilst passing the ball to a team-mate. Speed is not of a paramount but can be useful in some positions on a netball court, the centre needs to cover a lot of area, and therefore speed would allow them to be more efficient in their movement. The positions involved in shooting, or in the assist to the shooters may require speed to evade a marker or to create space for a pass.

Below is a table comparing the requirements of both football and netball.

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Fitness requirements for three sports

There are different definitions of fitness actually means, but one common way it is described is as the 5 S's






Two other S's sometimes associated with describing fitness are

 Specificity (what do you need to fit for)

 Spirit (psychological aspect)

One key element is specifity, in that what you want to be fit for, determines which of these S's has the most weight or importance. For example, a golfer would not need much speed but would need ...

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