CARDIO RESPIRATORY ENDURANCE

Definition
Cardio Respiratory Endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to provide the working muscles with oxygenated blood for a prolonged period of time.
Impact on Performance
Poor CRE will result in the performer becoming breathless more quickly and unable to keep up with play or maintain a high skill level. Decision making may also be affected and longer rest periods will be needed to aid recovery. For example, Cardio Respiratory Endurance (CRE) is required in order to last the full 90 minutes of the game in football. During the game you will do a lot of work both on and off the ball. You will make repeated runs to support attacks, get into space to receive the ball, make runs with the ball, and chase back to defend etc. The energy required to do this is supplied aerobically, which requires your heart, lungs and blood system to supply oxygen to the working muscles throughout the game. Therefore a high level of CRE delays the onset of fatigue. This means that your work rate stays high so you can fulfil your role in the team and maintain a high skill level (as fatigue can also affect your control, touch, concentration and decision making).

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE

Definition
Muscular Endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to perform repeated contractions for extended periods of time without tiring.
Impact on Performance
If the muscles tire, due to poor Muscular Endurance, then the performer will be unable to make effective use of the muscles. For example, Muscular Endurance in the upper body is required when swimming for an extended period of time as you must be able to consistently use your arms to pull through the water for the duration of the race. In the role of centre net hitter in Volleyball, you would require a high level of Muscular Endurance in the quadriceps as you are constantly running and jumping in the front court when attacking and defending at the net.

SPEED (AND SPEED ENDURANCE)

Definition
Speed is the body’s ability to perform an action in a short time. Speed can be split into two categories – Whole body speed – where your whole body performs an action quickly and Limb speed – when a particular part of your body performs an action quickly. Speed Endurance is the ability to continually make fast runs over a long period time.

Impact on Performance
Speed is required in football when trying to beat an opponent to a 50/50 ball, to lose a defender, to get into space, to support an attack, to dribble round an opponent or to chase back and close down an attack. If you lack speed then you will be unable to maintain possession of the ball, win it back, or take on your opposite player effectively. This happens continually throughout the game as you repeatedly sprint over varied distances. Therefore speed endurance is also important because if it is poor you will be unable to maintain sprinting throughout the duration of the game. The energy required to do this is supplied anaerobicallyas the aerobic system is too slow to meet the energy demands. Repeated sprints results in lactic acid build up and it is this, which leads to muscle fatigue. Therefore with improved speed endurance (anaerobic endurance) the body can delay the production of lactic acid and tolerate higher concentrations of it thus delaying fatigue.

FLEXIBILITY

Definition
Flexibility (also known as suppleness) is the range of movement across a joint. There are two types of flexibility: static and dynamic flexibility. Static flexibility is necessary when you are holding a part of the body still. Dynamic flexibility uses the full range of movement across a joint for a short time within your overall performance.
Impact on Performance
Static Flexibility is required in activities like gymnastics where you have to hold your body still during various balances. For example, a good range of movement is needed across the hips to be able to perform the splits well. Dynamic flexibility in the hips is also very important to a goal kicker in Rugby. A big range of movement across the hips means the kicker will have a bigger follow-through allowing them to kick the ball further. Poor flexibility may also result in injuries if muscles are overstretched.

STRENGTH
Definition
Strength is the maximum force a muscle or group of muscles can exert at any one time. Strength can be further divided into Static Strength (muscles contract and hold one position), Dynamic Strength (muscles repeatedly apply force over a short period of time) and Explosive Strength or Power (muscles exert force in a short, fast burst).
Impact on Performance
Performing a scrum in Rugby would be an example of where Static Strength is required. Rugby Players are required to use Static Strength to stop the opposition from pushing the scrum and gaining an advantage. Dynamic Strength would be required when swimming short distances. Swimmers would require strong chest, arm and shoulder muscles when performing strokes like the freestyle, backstroke and breast stroke in order gain propulsion. Explosive Strength would be required for activities such as throwing a Javelin. Explosive Strength is used in single actions when maximum energy is needed.

POWER

Definition
Power is a combination of speed and strength.

Impact on Performance
Lots of sports require power, for example shooting in football requires power, as does driving in golf and smashing in badminton and tennis.Power is also one of the main physical aspects of fitness that is required for an effective long jump take-off. To gain maximum power the athlete must reach an optimum maximum speed in their approach. By gaining maximum speed you will gain greater power at take-off. Maximum speed will initiate maximum momentum and will in turn give you more height and a resulting greater flight time. Having longer in the air (flight) will result in more time to adjust to a long flight shape, and enable a greater leg shoot. Overall this will result in a greater distance. As well as speed, power requires strength. At the point of take off an explosive downward force (explosive strength) is required on the take-off board. The greater the maximum force that you apply downwards, with your flat take-off foot, will result in a greater force pushing you upwards. This upward force combined with the fast run up approach will create the optimum take-off propulsion. This upward force is applied downwards via the hips, knee and ankle and hence these joints and related muscles must be strong. When performing the long jump, your free leg must quickly drive up and out with a powerful force to help create an up and outwards forward motion.
CO-ORDINATION

Definition
Coordination is the ability to control your body movements smoothly and fluently. It is the ability to link a series of movements or subroutines together by moving your body parts in the correct order. It often involves moving 2 or more body parts together at the same time to perform a particular action/skill/movement effectively.
Impact on Performance
Coordination is particularly important when performing a complex skill or when performing a skill/action at speed. Performing the correct technique for the hurdles requires lots of coordination. You must first have the correct stride length and number of strides between the hurdles. Then drive/extend the lead leg over the hurdle, whilst leaning forward at the waist and bringing the opposite arm forward. As you bend your trail leg to the side and over the hurdle you must simultaneously begin to snap down your lead leg, and the same time as keeping as low as possible over the hurdle. All this needs to be performed smoothly and at speed in order to clear the hurdles as quickly as possible. Poor coordination could result in a wrong foot taking off over the hurdle; hesitation at a hurdle; knocking over (hitting) a hurdle / poor technique and therefore a slower speed over the hurdle.
AGILITY
Definition
Agility is the ability to change the position of the body quickly, precisely and with control. This uses a combination of speed and flexibility.
Impact on Performance
Agility helps when competing in activities that require you to change direction quickly whilst keeping balanced and in control. It is helpful when participating in racket sports such as squash, tennis and badminton, and also in team games like rugby, basketball, volleyball, hockey and football. For example, Agility is important in football as it enables a player to turn quickly and evade challenges. A player who is agile can also respond quicker to an opposing player, close down or jockey an opponent and he or she is also able to explosively stop, change direction and increase speed again. In Badminton, Agility helps a player move around the court reasonably smoothly reaching shuttles at the back and front of the court. A lack of Agility would make it difficult for a player to reach shuttles played to different areas of the court causing them to be under pressure or lose the point.
REACTION TIME
Definition
Reaction time is the interval of time it takes for a performer to choose a response to a stimulus and then perform the selected movements. The stimulus is received through the performers sight, hearing or kinaesthetic sense. Reaction time can be quicker if a performer pays attention to relevant cues and also through controlling anxiety. A performer’s reaction time is also shorter if there is only one possible response but longer if there is more than one possible response.
Impact on Performance
A skilled performer has a quick reaction time by reacting to a stimulus, selecting response and moving sharply. This quick reaction time can be decisive between winning or losing in an activity. An example of simple reaction time is at the start of the 100m when the starting pistol goes off. Having good reaction time will allow you to start the 100m as quickly as possible without false starting. This will give you an instant advantage over other sprinters as it is such a short race/distance. Every millisecond can make the difference between winning and losing the race. A tennis player has a matter of seconds to respond to their oppositions serve. The tennis player must have good reaction time to select movements, respond to the speed, direction and spin of the tennis ball in order to return the serve successfully. In football, when a GK makes a penalty save or the ball rebounds of the woodwork the striker is usually the first player to react and convert the rebound. If the defending team do not react quickly enough they will concede a goal. An example of choice reaction time is dribbling a basketball down court during a game with passing options wide, forward or having the option to drive for the basket. Under the pressure of time and space you must be able to react to the changing environment as quickly as possible.


BALANCE
Definition
Balance is the ability to retain the centre of gravity above the base of support when stationary (static balance) or moving (dynamic balance).
Impact on Performance
Static balance is the ability to maintain control of position whilst remaining stationary – for example, balancing on one leg or holding a headstand in gymnastics. Dynamic balance is the ability to maintain balance and control of the body whist moving. In football, dynamic balance is very important. Players need this because they are moving and adjusting body position constantly when looking for scoring opportunities in the penalty box or trying to mark an opponent closely. Good balance will help you to keep your shots on target, and to reach and play difficult volley strikes with accuracy - it will also help to maintain possession when a defender tries to push you of the ball.
CORE STABILITY

Definition
Core Stability describes the ability to control the position and movement of the central portion of the body. This is being able to control the muscles deep within the abdomen which connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders. The muscles of the torso need to assist in the maintenance of good posture, balance, etc., especially during movement:

Impact on Performance
Good Core Stability will help you to maintain good posture and provide the foundation for all arm and leg movements. Power is derived from the trunk region of the body and so good core stability helps to control that power allowing for smoother, more efficient and better co-ordinated movement of your limbs. Core Stability is therefore required for performing in sports that require good balance. For example, you will need to use core stability in order to maintain your balance when being tackled in Rugby.
A strong core gives you: Better posture, more control, more powerful performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation, increased protection and "bracing" for your back, a more stable centre of gravity, a more stable platform for sports movements.
When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine and help transmit increased power and performance for just about any activity. As power is required in a high number of activities good core stability is needed. Activities where it will be especially prevalent are gymnastics and swimming.

A weak core makes you susceptible to lower back pain, poor posture and a whole host of muscle injuries. Strong core muscles provide the brace of support needed to help prevent such pain and injury -- and this is why core training has become so popular among elite athletes.