With our Academy players undertaking the next round of Premier League fitness testing in January, John McKeown (Head of Academy Sports Science and Medicine) provides an overview of the process and how it benefits you son’s development.
Q. Tell us a bit about fitness testing...
Fitness testing happens three times a year and it’s run by the Premier League who send Fitness Testing Officers to all clubs. These Officers conduct the fitness tests and Everton Academy staff are present to facilitate and oversee the smooth running of the process.
Q. When does the testing take place?
Fitness tests are undertaken across the country by all teams at the same time; Fitness Testing Officers visit clubs in September, January and late April or early May.
Q. What do the tests consist of?
The tests undertaken include:
Q. Do the tests differ between age groups?
- Counter-movement jump test – this tests an player’s vertical power
- 5 metre – 30 metre tests - these enable us to establish how quick each player is between several distances
- 505 test – this tests a player’s agility off their left foot and their right foot independently
The fitness tests follow the same format for all age groups. The Premier League conducts the testing for boys aged 11 years and upwards, however as an academy, we continue this testing down to the U9 age group. The rationale behind this decision is to familiarise the younger boys with the tests in order that they understand the importance of the tests and apply themselves accordingly.
Q. Why are the tests undertaken?
The tests are used to help us to formulate the players’ strength and conditioning programmes. For example, if a boy is identified as being slower than he should be, when taking into consideration his level of maturation and age, then this is an element of his development that he will work on as a consequence of the findings of the fitness tests. Understandably, there is a lot of variation in test results and being the slowest in a group is not an indicator that a player will ultimately fail or that they will remain a slow player further down the line.
Q How is data from the fitness tests used and stored?
The data produced from the tests is stored on the Premier League’s Performance Management application (PMA). From this data, we can assess whether players have made improvements by referring back to previous test results. It also enables us to monitor the players’ progress compared to other boys in the group, as well as boys from other clubs across the country.
All parents have access to their own son’s fitness test data via the PMA. If you are unsure of your login, please contact Sean Farrington from Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org