Touch football is considered to be a variant/branch of American football, its basic rules and regulations are similar to those of American football, they only differ in very small aspects, for instance when making a tackle, the person holding the ball just needs to be touched by the opponent (Mazanov & Huybers, 2010).
Well, the purpose of this report is to discuss some of the major aspects of touch football. A number of this will be mentioned such as the energy systems used in touch football, fitness components that are specific only to touch football, these fitness components will then be ranked from the most important one to the least important one. Energy demand for touch football is also another very important component of touch football that will be looked at (Dragoo & Braun, 2012).Graphical representations will be used in this paper to show some fitness test data of my partner and me.
Major systems and energy systems used in touch football
There are certain major energy systems that are used in touch football. These are; Creatine phosphate (ATP PC) energy system, the lactic acids system and the aerobic system. Each system has certain specific features that enable them to play different but very vital roles during the game.
ATP energy system is usually found in all the living cells in a human body, it is known to be a chemical form of all the muscular activities in the body and it is responsible for the performance of all the possible functions in the human body. ATP has a lifespan of 10-30seconds.
The ATP system is thus used in touch football and is used for extremely short durations of up to 10 seconds, it does not require any oxygen, and thus it is considered to be anaerobic. In the game it is usually used in at least a 50m sprint or less (Chornobay, 2012).
After the ATP-PC energy has been exhausted, the lactic energy takes over. It lasts for approximately 40 seconds. It is this special characteristic that makes it suitable for use in the game especially during the very quick and repetitive rucks.
The last energy system that is used in touch football is the aerobic energy. It usually takes over after say 40 seconds and it is believed that it is in a position to sustain the human body indefinitely.
The three energy systems mentioned above are very important and must be considered and put into use during both training and playing of touch football (O’CONNOR, 2017).
Fitness components used in touch football
There is various fitness components in touch football, these components are outlined below;
- Flexibility; This is often defined in the elasticity of a person’s muscle.
- Muscle endurance; Ability of the body to exert muscles repeatedly without getting tired for a considerable amount of time.
- Agility; Ability to change the body’s direction accurately and quickly without any difficulties.
- Balance; This refers to the body’s ability to maintain at equilibrium either when it is in motion or when it is moving.
- Strength; Exerting force that is expressed either through lifting or controlling one’s own body.
- Aerobic capacity; Maximum amount of energy that a body can consume within a given time of exercise. It is important to note that aerobic capacity is measured after or during a small period of high intensity exercise ( Pope & Grant, 2017).
From the components of fitness of touch football lifted above, the most important to the least important one fall in this order; Muscle endurance, Aerobic capacity, Agility, Strength, Flexibility and Balance.
There are certain fitness components that are related. For instance, flexibility is related to muscle endurance, they all relate to the tactical capability of the body’s muscle (Clarke, 2018).
Appropriate fitness tests for each fitness component
The most appropriate measure of flexibility is the sit and reach test. It is specifically designed to measure flexibility on both the hamstring and lower muscle. The diagrams below indicate how it is conducted.
Fig 1. Flexibility (O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016).
Agility involves the ability to move quickly and change directions but at the same time maintaining balance and control. There are certain tests for agility such as the zig zag test, the shuttle run test, the Illinois test among others. The zig zag test is considered to be the most appropriate one (O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016).The diagram below shows the concept.
Fig 2. Zig zag test (O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016).
It involves the ability of the body to stay upright. It can be easily done either standing on one foot. The diagram below shows a simple balance test.
Fig 3.Mantaining balance (O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016).
The simplest and most appropriate test of strength is the 3-minute push up test. The diagram below shows it.
Fig 4.Strength (O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016).
Muscle endurance test
One of the most appropriate tests for muscle endurance is the bosco repetitive jump test. The diagram below indicates it.
Fig 5.Muscle endurance test (O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016).
The multistage fitness test is considered to be the most appropriate aerobic tests of all time. It is shown in the diagram below.
Fig 6.Aerobic capacity (Kennedy, 2012).
Implementation of the fitness tests on me and my partner
After an implementation of the above mentioned fitness tests on my partner and I, the following results were obtained as plotted in the graphs below;
Fig 7.My partner (Dragoo & Braun, 2010).
Fig 8.Myself (Dragoo & Braun, 2010).
From the graphs above, I can make a really good middle because I am aerobically fit.
My partner can make a very good link because of his high acceleration ability.
It is very clear that I cannot make a good wing. I am not fast enough and my anticipation ability is not so good. My partner can try the wing position but it will definitely not fit so well for him due to the fact that he is not a reliable ball catcher.
Implications of fitness testing on performance in touch football
Testing fitness in touch football is very important. It is meant to determine the best position that one can fit in. Performance and fitness test in touch football are directly related. When fitness is not tested for, then we might end up putting the wrong persons in the wrong positions and this will negatively affect our performance (Dragoo & Braun, 2010).
Limitations of testing procedures
Testing procedure can at times be a challenge. For instance, different players come to the ground each day having different levels of morale and attitude. So determining the actual potential on one player based on the fitness testing becomes a challenge as the human body is made in such a way that it responds differently depending on the surrounding and also the mechanism.
Recommendations on improving each profile
My profile-From my profile, it can be seen that I have a weakness in flexibility and strength. This can be improved by me thoroughly working on both my flexibility and strength.
My partner-From my partners profile, it can be seen that he has a weakness in muscle endurance; this can be improved by working on his muscle endurance (Gudmundsson & Wolle, 2010).
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