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Fitness Testing for Football

The physical demands of American football are great and varied, and only the exceptional athletes reach the pinnacle of the sport. To excel in football you need to be big, strong and powerful, and also be fast and agile. There are also positional differences in the physical demands - a quarterback requires different abilities to a linebacker or kicker.

A fitness test protocol for football should at least assess the physical attributes of speed, strength, power and agility. Below is listed some tests that would be suitable for assessing football players. See also the well established testing protocols for football as used for the annual NFL scouting combine, and the Football SPARQ protocol used to assess the potential of young athletes.

Fitness Test List for Football

Here are some suggested fitness tests for football players. It is indicated if they are already part of the assessments for the SPARQ and NFL Combine.

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To interpret the results of fitness testing, you need an understanding of the relative importance of these physical attributes for the sport. In football, the importance of each fitness component vary with playing position - see Fitness Testing Norms for a discussion on this and some results to aim for. See also the results from the NFL Combine.

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