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.

Type of fitness(attribute)

Football related needs

Netball related needs


Needed to last 90 minutes. There is a large amount of distance covered. The need to maintain performance

As for football but decreased intensity as only 60 minute duration


Deal with contact situations e.g. body checks, jumping with opponent or challenging for the ball. Also needed for kicking the ball/tackling and throwing



Tackling, turning, twisting, jumping, diving (for goalkeepers), getting up from the ground, control, sprinting, headers, kicking.

Interceptions, turning, twisting, jumping, sprinting.


Contact, tackling, passing, kicking, shooting, headers, acceleration, jumping, control, acceleration, running, changing direction

Shooting, acceleration, jumping, running, changing direction


As power

As power


As aerobic

As aerobic


Jumping, diving, turning and twisting (mainly for goalkeepers)

Jumping, turning and twisting (covers all positions)

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

? Speed

? Strength

? Stamina

? Suppleness

? Skill

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 a lot of skill.

A 100m sprinter needs speed, strength, but not much stamina, a gymnast needs strength, skill, suppleness and stamina. However this stamina is different from the type of stamina that an endurance runner needs.


Physiological Characteristics of Boxing:

Boxing is a sport of intermittent nature, characterized by short duration, high intensity bursts of activity. It requires significant anaerobic fitness, and operates within a well-developed aerobic system. Boxing is estimated to be 70-80% anaerobic and 20-30% aerobic.

Boxing has a work/rest ratio is approximately 3:1. The nature of boxing requires athletes to sustain power at a high percentage of V02 max (often above lactate threshold, producing high levels of blood lactate leading to premature fatigue). The primary aims of conditioning for boxing are to delay the onset of fatigue by increasing tolerance to lactic acid build-up, to increase stores of phospho-creatine to produce ATP, to delay the pre-mature use of the lactic acid system, to improve efficiency of oxygen use, and to improve recovery between intense bursts of activity.

Energy Systems:

ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the source of energy for all muscle contractions. When ATP is broken down into ADP (adenosine diphosphate), energy is released. Maintaining the availability of ATP is the limiting performance factor, as ATP is not stored in large amounts. Exercise and sport are fuelled by three different energy systems that produce ATP; the aerobic system, the lactic acid system (anaerobic glycolysis) and the ATP-PC system. The aerobic pathway is a long-term energy system, while the two anaerobic pathways (lactic acid and ATP-PC) are short term. These 3 pathways however do not act independent of each other, as all activities lie on a spectrum with no distinct boundaries.

Aerobic System:

Aerobic glycolysis occurs when oxygen is readily available to break down pyruvate into ATP. This is a complex process with three primary stages.

. Glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose (or fat) takes place over 9 steps

2. The Krebs cycle

3. The Electron Transfer Chain

The aim of aerobic training is to improve the working capacity of the heart and its ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles. There are 2 main ways to train this system:

. Long duration interval running

2. Long distance (low intensity) steady state running

Studies have found continuous training as the optimal way to improve oxygen delivery, while interval training increases oxygen utilisation and lactate threshold. With interval training, there is the ability to perform large amounts of high intensity work in shorter time. This type of training can also be manipulated to alter which metabolic pathway is emphasized, longer intervals involve more aerobic pathways, and shorter intervals involve more anaerobic pathways.

With long distance training the aim is to run longer than the event lasts in an attempt to overload the system.

General methods of developing aerobic endurance:

. Steady-state continuous runs: 5-10km (about 70-80% V02 max)

2. Long duration interval training: 4-6 sets of 2-5 minute intervals (work/rest ratio of 1:1 or 1:2)

3. Short duration interval training: 10 sets of 400m (work/rest ratio of 1:1 or 1:2)

4. Shorter duration interval training: 20 sets of 200m (work/rest ratio of 1:1 or 1:2)

at high levels of activity, the aerobic system cannot supply enough oxygen to fuel the exercise, forcing the athlete to work in oxygen debt. When activity is performed without the use of oxygen, it is fuelled by the anaerobic pathways.
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Lactic Acid System:

This is defined as "the incomplete breakdown of glycogen in the absence of oxygen". This occurs during periods of activity lasting approximately 90 seconds, but ranges from 15 secs to 2 minutes. This pathway begins the same as the aerobic pathway, except the breakdown of glucose into pyruvic acid occurs in the absence of oxygen, and is converted to lactic acid.

Lactate is produced and transforms to lactic acid from pyruvate. This dissociates into lactate and hydrogen ions, causing an increase in muscle acidity leading to muscular fatigue. The removal of ...

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