There is often some anxiety about r among players due to the concern that their condition will not be good enough for their team. While these tests are in place to assess whether you are in the right condition for the game, they were not designed to decide whether you will make the team or not.
A simple change in mind-set can help you use your test results to your advantage. Think about the test as a way of understanding where you are now so that you can make informed choices in the game going forward. You can benefit from these tests by using the results to:
- Discover your weaknesses.
- Discover your injury risks.
- Identify your current fitness levels.
- Set physical/conditioning goals.
- Find out your physical strengths.
At the Investec International Rugby Academy, we test you for your personal understanding and teach you how to improve on the aspects that you need help with. Most players don’t test perfectly in all aspects and so almost everyone comes out of our courses with a set of refined goals for success.
Physical testing is not a negative thing; but rather a tool for improvement. If you are unsure of what to expect from these tests, here are the general BOKSMART guidelines:
- Consultation – all ages. Meeting with the tester to discuss your physical condition prior to testing, allows the tester to decide which tests should be performed depending on injury or health concerns. It also allows the tester to explain the test procedure to the player in order for them to perform at their best during the test.
- Anthropometry – from age 12 and up. This is when the tester measures the player’s size, shape, body proportions, body composition and asymmetry (difference between left and right sides). The player is not to do physical activity before this measurement to ensure accurate results. You can use the results of these tests to understand what kind of condition you need to be in based on the position you play.
- Skinfold areas and thickness
- Circumference measurements
- Body fat
- Flexibility – from age 12 and up. Your range of motion will be tested here and you will need to stretch in various ways until the muscle becomes tight (not when it becomes painful). Learning where your flexibility stands and knowing how far you can safely stretch certain areas of your body is a great tool for injury prevention.
- Power, Speed and Agility – from age 12 and up. A power test will consist of a series of jumps, speed is tested by short sprints and agility is tested by accelerating, decelerating and changing direction at maximum speed. Depending on your position, speed may be your main goal. Keep practicing your speed and agility to improve on this aspect.
- Only conducted on players over the age of 16 and consists of bench presses and squats. Gradually increasing your sets will help you reach your body composition goals.
- Muscle endurance – from age 12 and up. A series of pull ups, push ups and sit ups. You can keep working on this, increasing your sets gradually to reach your goals.
- Cardiorespiratory fitness – from age 12 and up. This tests for your endurance in sprints, shuttle runs and a long-distance run. Use these results to set fitness goals for yourself.