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Evaluation of the flamingo (balance) test

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In the ‘flamingo’ test we tested our balance. I scored well above average. Balance is very useful, almost essential in hockey as you need good balance to keep a low stance and be able to perform skills. Without good balance you would not be able to stay upright and use skills such as hitting the ball, as when hitting the ball you use a lot of momentum, without balance you would fall over because of the momentum spinning you round.

Also when running with the ball, you need to have good balance not to trip over, as you put a lot of your weight forward over towards the ball so as you keep it out in front of you, this then will unbalance some people. And balance also allows you to change direction quickly, this I find very easy, and it helps significantly with my skills, especially those than involve moving around a defender with the ball, or in a defensive situation it allows you to keep up with an attacker if they try and dodge around you. In the ‘plate tapping’ test, we tested the speed of our limb movement.

I scored about average in this test. The speed of your limb movement is essential in hockey as it allows you to sprint quickly, so you may intercept a ball, catch up with a member of the opposition team who has the ball, loosing a member of the opposition, or get away from a member of the opposition so as you are free to receive the ball yourself. As I scored about average this means that I am able to sprint as fast as some players although because my sprinting skills aren’t above average I therefore rely on my skills more so than players that are quicker than I am.

The speed of your limb movement also is essential in the power of your hit, good speed of limb movement will result in a better hit. As only have average limb movement, I have to make sure I hit is as efficient as I possibly can, so that it can still be a quick hit. In the ‘sit and reach’ test we tested our flexibility. My flexibility is average. Flexibility can be useful in hockey as it perhaps allows you to perform skills more easily. Although my flexibility is only average I don’t find that my lack of it has a significant impact on my play.

Perhaps if I was more flexible I would be able to improve my skills, and their consistency. In the ‘standing broad jump’ we tested our explosive strength. I again scored average. Explosive strength is essential in hockey, especially when hitting. Because I lack in explosive strength, my hit relies on accuracy, and I have to hit the ball on the ‘sweet spot’ of my stick to get a hit that may be faster than average. When hitting unlike most people, I have my hands almost at the very top of my stick.

This I find gives me a harder hit than if I hold my stick in the middle of the handle as many players do to give them more control. In the ‘hand grip’ test we tested our static strength. I scored just about average. However having static strength is not essential in hockey as you do not need strength for a short amount of time. Apart form perhaps in tackling, although here it is bad habit to rely on strength alone and skills should be used instead. So I do not find that my lack of static strength has effected my hockey. We did sit-ups to test our trunk strength. I scored above average in this.

Having good core strength in hockey is useful as it allows you to maintain a low body position, and therefore makes you stance stronger and a strong low body position in a sign of a good hockey player, as it gives you more control over the ball, and it allows you to keep the ball out in front of you without over balancing and therefore you can see more of the hockey field. As I have good core strength I find keeping a naturally low position very easy, and it helps my ability to play significantly. To test our functional strength we did a bent arm hang. I scored above average in this.

Functional strength can be useful in hockey when keeping a low position as you have to keep your leg muscles in the same low position for a length of time. I find keeping this position easy, and although having good functional strength may not be the main reason why, as although you have to keep a low posistion you don’t have to keep for a prolonged amount of time at once. And as the bent arm hang was testing the functional strength in your arms, I would think that this is irrelevant to hockey as you don’t have to keep your arms in such a posistion during hockey.

We did an ‘alternate hand wall toss’, which tested our hand/eye coordination. I scored above average in this. Hand/eye coordination is essential in hockey; it plays a big part in receiving passes and making them. As I have a good hand/eye coordination making and receiving passes is one of my strengths. It helps me to have a good hit as my strength is only average, my coordination allows me to hit the ball with good accuracy increasing its pace and also makes it easier for me to aim. It also means that I can receive passes well so I can concentrate on where I am about to pass the ball rather than receiving it.

In the agility run testing running speed and agility, I scored just below average. Having good agility in hockey is essential and I think that if I had better running speed and agility I would do better. You need running speed and agility to change direction at pace which is not one of my strong points. However instead of completely turning 180i?? as we did in the test, in hockey you need good agility to evade a defender. For this I use more skills, however because I lack in agility, my skills aren’t always consistent and so improvement in agility would probably help my skills significantly.

In the bleep test we tested our cardiovascular fitness. I scored above average. My fitness is probably my strongest point. It is essential in hockey as you need to be able to keep going throughout the whole game. Usually my fitness will improve during the season and it is clear that my game does also. It is improtant to have good cardiovascualr fitness because the more fit you are then the less energy you use on running, and the less energy used on running means there is more energy for other things such as skills and hitting, therefore good cardiovascular fitness is probably the most important of the tests.

Having completed the tests I am able to see how good I am at certain aspects compared to others and whether that is essential, useful or irrelevant to hockey. Looking at my results I can see that there are things that are essential to hockey and that I am above average in, this would explain why I find certain things easier than most people in hockey. Although on the reverse, I can also see the things which are essential to hockey that I am not so good at, which may explain why I find certain things harder than other people.

For instance I find keeping going for a whole game easier than most, this is shown in the bleep test which tested my cardiovascualar fitness. However for instance in a game when I hav to change direction at speed, I find it quite difficult, this is refelcted in the results for the agility run, which tested running speed and agility. There are some results which don’t make much sense, such as the bent arm hang, which tested functional strength, I scored above average in this, yet is is almost irrelevant in hockey.

The plate tapping test, which tested the speed of limb movement, is not what I would have expected. I scored just about average but I would have expected to score above that as I have a stronger hit than most of the team and I can outrun most people during a game. I think that the reason for having a strong hit may just be becasuse my hand-eye coordination is above average, and that I can outrun people because I have good caridovascualr fitness and so I may not be as tired as most people and so therefore can outrun them.

In conclusion I think that I need to improve my running speed/agility. I scored below average in this and there are aspects of my game that reflect this. Better speed and agility would improve both my defensive and offensive skills as I would be able to keep up with an attacker and mark them, and also if I was that attacker I would be able to dodge the defender as I would be able to change direction at speed quickly. To improve my running speed and agility I also think it is important to improve my cardiovacualr fitness.

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