This post is going to be focus in one of the several test we can use in football to know the status of fitness of our players.
These tests are made usually in the beginning of the season to try to have the best knowledge possible of how our players are back after the holidays period and have a reference for planning the rest of the preseason period.
Now in Norway, country where I work, the preseason starts and it is the time to see if players did their job during holidays and to know the level of the new players the club has signed.
As I said before, I like test, as a physical coach, to have the best control possible of the players, but I know that in the reality I am, to make too many test would mean loose training time for football, so we have to find a proper balance. To find this balance, my favorite test is Yo-Yo test, and in particular, Yo-Yo Intermittent test Level 1
YO-YO INTERMITTENT TEST LEVEL 1
The test evaluates an individual’s ability to repeatedly perform intervals over a prolonged period of time, specially for athletes in sports where repeatedly sprints with short pause are required.
Use cones to mark out three lines as per the diagram above; 20 meters and 5 meters apart. The subject starts on or behind the middle line, and begins running 20 m when instructed by the software. The subject turns and returns to the starting point when signaled by the recorded beep. There is a active recovery period 5 interjected between every 20 meter (out and back) shuttle, during which the subject must walk or jog around the other cone and return to the starting point. A warning is given when the subject does not complete a successful out and back shuttle in the allocated time, the subject is removed the next time they do not complete a successful shuttle.
The goal of the test is to know the VO2 max (indirect way) using a test that requires similar efforts like the players have to make during the games.
This result can be used as well as a reference for the players coming back after a injury, and have an objetive reference from where the player was not injured.
To estimate the VO2 max level of the players, we use this formula:
Yo-Yo IR1 test:VO2max (mL/min/kg) = IR1 distance (m) × 0.0084 + 36.4
The athlete’s score is the total distance covered before they were unable to keep up with the recording.
For that I use this software (Available, contact me in case you want a copy)
Large groups can perform this test all at once for minimal costs. In my reality this is a great advantage because the only material that is needed is a good audio system, and the stadium audio system can be used.
Practice and motivation levels can influence the score attained, and the scoring of when a person is out of the test can be subjective. At this point, it is important that the coaches keep a good motivation level in the group, trying to push every single player to their limits. As the test is usually conducted outside, the environmental conditions can also affect the results, so in case of repeat the test, the environmental conditions should be as similar as possible to the first test.
This is my approach to the Yo-Yo intermittent test Level 1 and how I do it with my teams and so far in the test that worked better for me in my reality, but this is totally open for discussion to try to make the best test possible for help our players to get the best level possible.