Fitness Testing for AFL
Fitness is a very important component of success in modern AFL football, and it is important to measure fitness in the course of training - to get baseline measures, to identify strengths and weaknesses, and monitor changes in fitness over time.
Most senior AFL players are in great physical condition. The attributes required for AFL include good physical size, running speed and agility and aerobic capacity (see more on the fitness components for AFL). At each year end the AFL conducts a draft camp in which prospective players are put through a battery of fitness, physical and psychomotor tests. More details of these tests and the results can be followed on the AFL Draft Camp.
Here are some recommended fitness tests for assessing AFL players. Many of these are the same as used in the AFL Draft Camp.
- BODY SIZE: anthropometric measures - height, hand span, arm length, body mass & skinfolds
- STRENGTH: grip strength, 1RM Bench Press
- POWER: vertical jump test (there is also a AFL specific running vertical jump test)
- SPEED: 20 meter sprint
- AGILITY: AFL agility test
- ANAEROBIC CAPACITY : anaerobic sprint-recovery test
- ENDURANCE: shuttle run (beep) test and the three kilometer time-trial
- FLEXIBILITY: sit and reach test
- SKILL TESTS: kicking efficiency, goalkicking accuracy and clean hands handball
|body mass (kg)||87.5|
|Skinfolds, sum of 7 sites (mm)||39.6|
|Grip Strength (kg)||67|
|1RM Bench Press (kg)||145|
|Vertical Jump (cm)||76|
|Sit and Reach (cm)||+14|
A fitness testing regimen for AFL would include a wide range of physical tests, based on the demands of the game. Brett Deledio, a senior Richmond footy player was tested in 2009 (as detailed in the Herald Sun Newspaper). A summary of his results are in the adjacent table.
His body strength for his size is very good (he can lift 1.66 x his body weight), which is important in AFL as players need to have strength without too much bulk. He is a good all round player, with a high VO2max endurance score, but still very good leg power (vertical jump).
Overall Football Ability
An article about the AFL draft from 2005 listed these 14 key performance indicators that AFL talent scouts used to rank players. Some of these are physical abilities, but there are also many other non-measurable aspects of the game. This list may or may not be used today by the talent scouts, but either way they provide an insight into what the AFL considers the important characteristics of the elite AFL players.
- Kicking ability
- Marking ability
- Clean hands
- Ball-winning ability
- Recovery and agility
- Leadership and self-discipline
- Aggression, intensity and second efforts
- Football character
- Football smarts