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Archive for the ‘P.E investigation’ Category

Initial Data

Posted by lednum on September 24, 2006

As the term suggests this type of feedback/evaluation/testing means that this is early or the first piece of information i will have recieved regarding my own performance.Initial data is mostly of benefit at the start of a new sporting season, if you have changed your playing role e.g Goalkeeper to sweeper in football, or when at a beginners level in that sport. Initial data will look at your entire performance in your chosen activity and reveal your strengths and weaknesses.

Initial data will not be in large quantities but to the point and mearly “scratch the surface” of our strengths and weakness in our activity. The best or most obvious ways of recieving initial data are :- self evaluation (internal feedback)

                -verbal feedback (coach, teacher,team-mate, pro )

                 -brief video analysis


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Weight Training

Posted by lednum on September 24, 2006


-isotonic exercises in which you move the weight through the range of movement required. In a shoulder press you move from a short bent arm to a fully straight out arm. Useful for developing dynamic strength.

-isotonic exercises in which you hold and resist against the weight. Isometric exercises are less common than isotonic. They are useful on occassion for developing static strength. One example is holding a press-up position close to the ground for a number of seconds, and so resisting against own body weight.

-free-standing weights and weight machines can be used for both isotonic and isometric exercises.


-indoor: weight machines tend to be located in specially designed fitness suites; free standing weights can often be used in a gymnasium or practice hall.


-develop both general and specific muscles

-develops muscular endurance as well as strength and power.

-straight forward to calculate personal exercise, values for exercises (e.g 40% to 50% of your maximum single lift if based on sets and repititions for muscular endurance)

in a general muscular endurance exercise, values for shoulder press could be 2 sets of 20 reps at 25kg.The same exercise could use values of 1 set of 15 repititions at 45kg if it was being used as a part of a strength-or power-based circuit. This figure could be calculated on 80% of a maximum single lift.

-progressive overload achieved by increasing weight (intensity) or by increasing reps (frequency)

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P.E investigation outline

Posted by lednum on September 14, 2006

I am going to investigate kicking in rugby from three perspectives :

Physiological demands and improvement strategies

Psychological demands and improvement strategies

Skill acquisition demands and improvement strategies

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Principles of Training

Posted by lednum on September 11, 2006

1. The Principle Of Individual Differences

Because every athlete is different, each person’s response to exercise will vary. A proper training program should be modified to take individual differences into account. Some considerations:

  • Large muscles heal slower than smaller muscles.
  • Fast or explosive movements require more recovery time than slow movements.
  • Fast twitch muscle fibers recover quicker than slow twitch muscle fibers.
  • Women generally need more recovery time than men.
  • Older athletes generally need more recovery time than younger athletes.
  • The heavier the load lifted, the longer it will take the muscles to recover.



The Principle of Overload

The principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. The body will adapt to this stimulus. Once the body has adapted then a different stimulus is required to continue the change. In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is used to. To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are used to. If this stress is removed or decreased there will be a decrease in that particular component of fitness. A normal amount of exercise will maintain the current fitness level.

3. The Principle of Progression

The principle of progression implies that there is an optimal level of overload that should be achieved, and an optimal timeframe for this overload to occur. Overload should not be increased too slowly or improvement is unlikely. Overload that is increased too rapidly will result in injury or muscle damage. Exercising above the target zone is counterproductive and can be dangerous. For example, the weekend athlete who exercises vigorously only on weekends does not exercise often enough, and so violates the principle of progression.

The Principle of Progression also makes us realize the need for proper rest and recovery. Continual stress on the body and constant overload with result in exhaustion and injury. You should not (and can not) train hard all the time. Doing so will lead to overtraining and a great deal of physical and psychological damage will result.

4. The Principle of Adaptation

Adaptation is the way the body ‘programs’ muscles to remember particular activities, movements or skills. By repeating that skill or activity, the body adapts to the stress and the skill becomes easier to perform. Adaptation explains why a beginning exercisers are often sore after starting a new routine, but after doing the same exercise for weeks and months the athlete has little, if any, muscle soreness. This also explains the need to vary the routine and continue to apply the Overload Principle if continued improvement is desired.

The levels of adaptation are quite complex. A more detailed explanation can be read here.

5. The Principle of Use/Disuse

The Principle of Use/Disuse implies that you “use it or lose it.” This simply means that your muscles hypertrophy with use and atrophy with disuse. It is important to find a balance between stress and rest. There must be periods of low intensity between periods of high intensity to allow for recovery. The periods of lower intensity training, or the rest phase, is a prime time for a bit of crosstraining.

6. The Principle of Specificity

The Specificity Principle simply states that training must go from highly general training to highly specific training. The principle of Specificity also implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. To be a good cyclist, you must cycle. The point to take away is that a runner should train by running and a swimmer should train by swimming.

While there may be other ‘principles’ of training you will find on the web and in text books, these 6 are the cornerstone of all other effective training methods. These cover all aspects of a solid foundation of athletic training. Once put together, the most logical training program involves a periodized approach which cycles the intensity and training objectives. The training must be specific not only to your sport, but to your individual abilities (tolerance to training stress, recoverability, outside obligations, etc). You must increase the training loads over time (allowing some workouts to be less intense than others) and you must train often enough not only to keep a detraining effect from happening, but to also force an adaptation.

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Power and performance

Posted by lednum on September 10, 2006

Power and a person’s capacity to perform sport

i’ve copied this article below and have added my comments in italics and highlighted key parts in bold.

Statement of the Topic

Power is the most important factor in assessing a person’s capacity for performance in sport!


To properly discuss the topic of power predicting performance many areas of the question first need defining. The definition of power will be discussed in relation to muscular power as well anaerobic and aerobic power measures which are regularly utilised as performance indicators. One must then consider the multiple factors including power that can influence the capacity of performance in sport. Specific consideration will be given to the physiological (how the body works) factors, discussing the energy systems and also the measurement of strength and power.

A close look into specific sports and athletic pursuits is also required to more relevantly relate the measurement of properties such as power to the individual sports. To date there continues to be debate on the optimum measures of human performance. Power certainly does have a role to play is most sporting activities but to what extent hopefully this review will shed some light.


In terms of pure physics power is well recognised as rate at which work can be done. It is the work done per unit of time.

In physical terms, work is done when an object is moved against the resistance of an opposing force: Work = force x distance.

 So using the above two formula power can now be seen as : power = force x distance / time.

Since speed is distance over time, power is also equal to force x speed. In athletic situations it is closely related to the development of strength and speed. Rushall and Pyke (1990) define it as a function of both the force ( strength ) and speed of movement.

From this information one could assert that any movement is a power movement, for all movements entail some strength and speed. However a very fast movement such as the golf swing seems to require small effort and is often referred to as a speed movement. In contrast when an activity such as a maximal bench press is performed requiring heavy effort then it is seen as a power movement. The two concepts are interrelated and the performance of power or speed activities is dependent on their interrelationship.

 The golf swing and bench press are both power movements, but the golf swing uses hight speed and low force, where as the bench press uses high force and low speed.

Every activity which may be very individual has a desirable speed of performance that is combined with a maximal level of useable strength (Ellis et al 1998, Rushall and Pyke 1990). This is important when considering power in regards to performance. Like strength measurements not all power is considered maximal and within sport it must be noted that maximal power achievement is not always required However the use of power does exist and confusion arises regarding the type of power measurement to attain.

Abernethy et al (1995) additionally suggests that strength and power can be considered the forces generated during sporting activity. Because strength is a component of power it must also be considered an important factor when measuring performance. Brukner and Kahn (1997) note power as the equivalent of explosive strength. This relates to the so called power events such as jumps, sprints and throwing events where the athletes body is propelled – by jumping or sprinting or an external object is projected such as a shot or javelin (Watson 1986). But to describe it is explosive power may be poor terminology as it is simply another measure of power measured in watts.

Because power is closely related to strength the many factors influencing maximal strength will also relate to the development of maximal power performance.  The rapid ability of the muscle to shorten and produce contraction is seen as an indiaction of power.

The power qualities of some athletes depend on the ability of the muscle to contract with speed and force.

This is linked to the muscle fiber type being either fast or slow twitch.

Fast twitch motor units are more closely related to power and are of vital importance to explosive activities or short intense efforts.

Slow twitch motor units are more advantageous to endurance athletes and the adaptability of these fibres in generating force and power is not high.

The definition of power so far relates to muscle force production over a specific time period but power also relates to the rate at which energy may be provided and utilised. This often relates to the energy systems and to measures of anaerobic and aerobic power which are other factors influencing the capacity of performance.

 My example- a sprinter who needs power over 100m but who can’t provide enough energy over that period might tie up at 60m

 This will be discussed under the review of energy systems but firstly we must recognise the many other factors that contribute to sports or athletic performance.

Factors Affecting Performance

One problem regarding the single use of power to indicate performance capacity is the multiple factors which will combine to produce optimal performance. Sporting performance can be seen related to three general factors being skilled technique, physiological fitness and psychological skills (Rushall and Pyke 1990).

 At an elite level it is important that each component provides to the overall performance capacity. There are however differences to the degree in which optimal performance (best performance) relies on any one of them. Practical examples may include the golfer who requires a very specific learned and skilled task with high technical skills , like goal kicking. which is completely different to the marathon runner who relies mainly on muscular endurance and aerobic capacity.

Muscular power has already been defined and as indicated relates to the product of muscular strength and power. Different tasks require varying combinations of strength and speed such as the comparison of weight lifting versus baseball pitching.

General muscular and joint flexibility (this is important for goal kicking) must also be considered as an indicator of performance. It relates more commonly to sports that require a great amount of movement such as swimming, diving and gymnastics.

Other influences requiring consideration include genetic endowment, age, gender and training. All sports involve different physiological requirements so when discussing assessment of performance it is imperative to know and understand the most appropriate components relevant to the sport being tested. The specific assessment of performance will be discussed soon.

Energy Systems

The energy requirements for sport and athletic activities varies considerably depending on the type of task being performed. The energy systems can be classified into the anaerobic and aerobic system and most activities generally require the use of a combination of systems for energy fulfillment. The anaerobic system is classified further into the immediate supply via the “alactic” or adenosine triphosphate-creatine phosphate (ATP-CP) and the short term energy supply from the “lactic” or gylcolytic pathways of energy supply. For more sustained and longer term energy supply the aerobic system is utilised by the process of oxidation.

Each energy system can provide supply specific to the requirements of the activity. For the specific time frames one should refer to the energy-contribution / performance time relationship as outlined by McArdle et al (1997). The ATP-CP system provides for the first 5-10 seconds and relates to speed and strength activities thus being very important to the production of power within performance. The recovery of this system is relatively quick with only periods of 30 seconds required to be replenished and then apply repeat effort. If high energy tasks are required greater than 10 seconds then the breakdown of glycogen to glucose and lactic acid occurs via glycolysis. This can maintain muscular contractions between 30 -40 seconds. This is used commonly in sustained sprint or muscular endurance activities as seen in most team sports. The presence of large amounts of lactic acid can interfere with muscle shortening and prevent activity if accumulation is allowed. The recovery of the lactic system is longer.

Energy Systems and Performance

Athletic performance can be classified into energy systems and related to power output. Generally sports or tasks can be considered a low power task or a high power task. The lower power activities may include endurance based athletes such as a long distance swimmer or runner. They rely more on the aerobic energy system and generally muscular power in not a good predictor of performance due to muscular strength and bursts of speed not being a major determinant of the sport.

The high power tasks can be classified as using the anaerobic energy systems. They are split into the alactic and lactic systems. The short explosive type efforts are seen in sports such as weight lifting, jumping tasks, sprint activities. Normally the sports requiring very intense single efforts or short bursts of intense activity require sufficient use of the ATP – CP or alactic system. The glycolytic or lactic system is used commonly by sustained sprint activity such as the 100 – 400 metre run events, sprint cycling events and also many team sports needing short repeated efforts of intense activity.

Evaluation of Energy Systems

Performance tests that cause maximal activation of the ATP-CP energy system have been developed to evaluate the capacity of these systems in producing performance. These tests are generally referred to as power tests. It does relate to the early definition of the time rate of doing work. It is often referred to in watts.

A stair sprinting power test is described by McArdle et al (1997). The power is the product of the persons mass and vertical distance covered divided by time. Using this measure indicates that a heavier person would have a greater power but this is not supported by evidence so caution is used when using these such results.

Another commonly used power task is the vertical jump test. The counter movement test involving a step before the vertical jump and no arm swing is seen as a test of leg power (Young 1994). In analysis of this power test it fails to adequately measure a persons ATP-CP energy transfer capacity but it does provide a sports specific explosive test for sports such as basketball, volleyball and netball. It would help predict performance relating to a specific component of these sports rather than the overall capacity of the sport.

Other tests involving all out exercise of 6-8 seconds is sometimes referred to as a measure of anaerobic power as it measures the ability to supply energy over a short period of time. Finn et al (1998) indicates that peak power has been expressed as the highest power output averaged over periods between 1 and 5 seconds.Power Indicating Performance (literature)


This measures the power associated with tasks where the load or velocity of movement is held constant. The three modes of exercise are described as isometric, isotonic and isokinetic. It is important to understand when discussing assessment of power it yields different results to the measures of strength and will provide different interpretations regarding the effects of training (Abernethy et al 1995).

Isometric testing is difficult to justify a true power activity because by definition power = work / time and because work is force throughout movement then there is no power output as there is no movement produced.


In reviewing the topic of power in respect to predicting performance many factors need to be considered. The integration of energy systems, muscular strength and sports specificity are the main factors creating a difficult form of assessment. Power is a term that is used regularly and incorrectly at times in the assessment of performance and because all sporting tasks require a form of power as an assessment tool it appears very appropriate. Specificity is another term that must be realised. To achieve the most appropriate measure of ones performance and capacity for performance then all testing procedures used should relate to the requirements of the task.

Performance is a complex mix of physiological, psychological and technical abilities so assessment should also address all these issues and in light of the debate power should always form part of the assessment of performance.

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Subjective testing

Posted by lednum on September 3, 2006

Subjective tests are based on opinions.

This maybe your own opinion, a teacher, a teamte or a coaches opinion

The best form of assessment for subjective data collection is a criteria sheet.

Subjective tests generally assess your performance in a game situation.

 performance analysis

Human memory is limited so that it is almost impossible to remember all the events that take place during an entire competition. Franks and Miller (1986) showed that soccer coaches are less than 45% correct in their post-game assessment of what occurred during 45 minutes of a soccer game. While there is considerable individual variability, this rapid forgetting is not surprising, given the complicated process of committing data to memory and subsequently retrieving it. Events that occur only once in the game are not easily remembered and forgetting is rapid. Furthermore, emotions and personal biases are significant factors affecting memory storage and retrieval.

In most team sports an observer is unable to view, and assimilate, the entire action-taking place on all the playing area. Since the coach can only view parts of game action at any one time (usually the critical areas), most of the peripheral play action is lost. Consequently the coach must then base his post-match feedback on only partial information about a team’s, unit’s or individual’s performance during the game. This feedback is often inadequate, so an opportunity is missed to optimise performances of players and teams.

Problems associated with subjective assessments would seem to present the coach with insurmountable difficulties, particularly if improving the performance of the athlete hinges on the observational abilities of the coach. Despite the importance of observation within the coaching process, very little research has been completed into observational accuracy, the little that has clearly demonstrates that coaches cannot expect to remember even 50% of a performance, in most cases considerably less.

One of the coach’s main tasks is to analyse accurately and assess performance. It would seem then that this couldn’t be carried out subjectively. Any hopes for improvement through feedback would be reduced to chance. How can this be rectified?

Objectivity can be obtained through the use of video, biomechanical systems for fine analyses, or notational analysis. Hand notation systems are in general very accurate but have disadvantages: the more complex ones involve considerable learning time. In addition, the data these systems produce can involve many man-hours to process into output that is meaningful to the coach or athlete: for example it can take as much as 40 hours just to process the data from one squash match.

The introduction of computerised notation systems has enabled these two problems, in particular the data processing, to be tackled positively. Used in real-time analysis or, with video recordings, in post-event analysis, they enable immediate easy data access and the presentation of data in graphical and other pictorial forms more easily understood coaches and athletes. The increasing sophistication, and reducing cost, of video systems has greatly enhanced post-event feedback, from playback with subjective analysis by a coach to detailed objective analysis by means of notation systems (see Brown and Hughes, 1995).

Computers introduce extra problems, of which system-users and programmers must be aware, such as operator errors (e.g. accidentally pressing the wrong key), hardware and software errors. Such undetected perception-errors, where the observer misunderstands an event or incorrectly fixes a position, are particularly problematic in real-time analysis when the data must be entered quickly.

To minimise these problems, careful validation of computerised notation systems must be carried out. Results from the computerised system and a hand system should be compared to assess the accuracy of the former. Reliability tests must also be performed on both hand and computerised systems to estimate the accuracy and consistency of the data.

Four major purposes of notational analysis are:

  1. Analysis of movement
  2. Tactical evaluation
  3. Technical evaluation
  4. Statistical compilation

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Objective testing

Posted by lednum on September 3, 2006

 Objective tests are factual or based on fact

All fitness tests and knowledge of results tests are objective e.g beep test, standing long jump, margaria stair test and shot putt.

What are the requirements of a test?

In constructing tests it is important to make sure that they really measure the factors required to be tested, and are thus objective rather than subjective. In doing so all tests should therefore be specific (designed to assess an athlete’s fitness for the activity in question), valid (test what they purpose to test), reliable (capable of consistent repetition) and objective (produce a consistent result irrespective of the tester).

In conducting tests the following points should be considered:

  • Each test should measure ONE factor only
  • The test should not require any technical competence on the part of the athlete (unless it is being used to assess technique)
  • Care should be taken to make sure that the athlete understands exactly what is required of him/her, what is being measured and why
  • The test procedure should be strictly standardised in terms of administration, organisation and environmental conditions

What are the benefits of testing?

The results from tests can be used to:

  • predict future performance
  • indicate weaknesses
  • measure improvement
  • enable the coach to assess the success of his training program
  • place the athlete in appropriate training group
  • motivate the athlete

Tests additionally break up, and add variety to, the training program. They can be used to satisfy the athlete’s competitive urge out of season. Since they demand maximum effort of the athlete, they are useful at times as a training unit in their own right.

What factors may influence test results ?

The following factors may have an impact on the results of a test (test reliability):

  • The ambient temperature, noise level and humidity
  • The amount of sleep the athlete had prior to testing
  • The athlete’s emotional state
  • Medication the athlete may be taking
  • The time of day
  • The athlete’s caffeine intake
  • The time since the athlete’s last meal
  • The test environment – surface (track, grass, road, gym)
  • The athlete’s prior test knowledge/experience
  • Accuracy of measurements (times, distances etc.)
  • Is the athlete actually applying maximum effort in maximal tests
  • Inappropriate warm up
  • People present
  • The personality, knowledge and skill of the tester

Why record information?

For the coach it is important to monitor the program of work, so as to maintain progression in terms of the volume of work and its intensity. Both coach and athlete must keep their own training records. A training diary can give an enormous amount of information about what has happened in the past and how training has gone in the past. When planning future training cycles, information of this kind is absolutely invaluable.

What should be recorded?

The information to be recorded falls into two broad categories: –

  • The day-to-day information from training, e.g.
    • State of the athlete (health, composure)
    • Physiological data (body weight, resting heart rate, etc.)
    • The training unit (speed, speed endurance, strength, technique)
    • The training load (the number of miles, the number of sets and repetitions, the number of attempts)
    • The training intensity (kilograms, percentage of maximum, percentage of VO2)
    • The prevailing conditions (wet, windy, hot etc.)
    • The response to training (the assignments completed, the resultant heart rate recovery, felt tired, etc.)
  • Information that measures status. This can take the form of a test. If the test is repeated throughout the program, it can then be used as a measure of progress within the training discipline. Examples of such tests are:
    • Time trials – speed, speed endurance, endurance
    • Muscular endurance – chins, push ups, dips
    • Strength maximum – single repetitions, maximum repetitions
    • Explosive strength – power bounding, vertical jump, overhead shot putt
    • Mobility – objective measurements of the range of movement
    • Event specific

Competition evaluation

Following competition it is important that the coach and athlete get together as soon as possible in order to evaluate the athlete’s performance. Elements to be considered are pre race preparations, focus and performance plans and achievement of these plans. An evaluation form is useful to help the athlete and coach conduct this review.

Maximal Tests

Maximal means the athlete works at maximum effort or tested to exhaustion.

Example of maximal anaerobic tests are:

  • 30m sprint
  • Wingate 30 second cycle ergometer test

Example of maximal aerobic tests are:

  • Multistage Fitness Test
  • Cooper Test

Disadvantages of maximal tests are:

  • difficulty in ensuring the subject is exerting maximum effort
  • possible dangers of over exertion and injury
  • dependent on the athlete’s level of arousal

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Posted by lednum on September 3, 2006

This means , basically, how trust worthy our results are.

We can do this by repeating the test and taking and average, especially for for and speed but not for strength.

This will reduce the impact of freak results.

We should also make sure that any measurements are accurate.

When we retest we must make sure that all the variables are kept the same :

– same area is used

-same equipment

-same conditions

-same helpers

This allows us to make realistic comparisons.

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Posted by lednum on September 3, 2006


we are using valid tests for power, valid basically means it it is an appropriate test. These tests are appropriate because they test the specific aspect of fitness which i’ve identified. Valid tests can also test a specific area of the body used in my performance.

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