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Junior Mustangs Physical Assessments with Inspire

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Over the past couple of weeks, our Junior Mustangs have attended BMTA's sponsor, Inspire Health Services, and their clinic located at West End for team based physical assessments. The purpose was to compare individual and team data to ensure physical growth and performance is on track as well as identify any key injury risks. This was achieved by recording baseline flexibility, strength and power after testing the players on five assessments.  


Ankle Flexibility

Ankle mobility plays a crucial role in not only reducing the risk of foot and ankle injuries (most notably calf strains and lateral ankle sprains) but also the potential to express force through the ground, affecting physical aspects of touch football such as change of direction, acceleration, and ability to compete in the air. 


Hamstring Flexibility

A lack of hip range of motion means the knees will have to absorb more force when landing, running, and changing direction. The reason why the hamstring is more exposed to injury is that the muscle has to produce forces up to 10 x Body Weight (BW) during high-speed running. From a performance perspective, hip range of motion is the key driver of acceleration and top speed, so improving the hip range of motion will also contribute to being quicker on the field. 


Broad Jump & Vertical Jump Assessments

Power is force acceleration/speed, which essentially is the player's ability to utilise their strength and muscle mass in athletic movements. A player's jump height is important for leaping for the ball, or diving for a touch, but also their ability to change direction, accelerate, and cut. Power assessments have high crossover with acceleration and sprint speed, especially in the broad jump assessment. So, improving on both these modalities will translate to better off-the-mark speed, change of direction, agility, and reaching the ball first.


Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull (Strength)

In touch football, strength is critical to combine with speed for explosive power, injury prevention as muscle tissue has more resilience, and for quicker recovery between games or repeat efforts as the capacity is a lot higher. Strength is also the biggest metric for long term health and performance. The isometric mid-thigh pull assessment uses the VALD Force Plate technology to complete a submaximal deadlift hold for 5s (max push but light weight) to give us an insight into a player’s maximum force production and strength, both as a maximum output and also a strength/BW ratio.


Peak Height Velocity  

Inspire use a range of anthropometry assessments (seated height, standing height, weight, gender, age) to calculate limb and torso length, and provide Inspire a rough guideline to when they think each athlete will have their peak growth spurt. This plays a huge role in athletic development and also on injury risk, as we all know you are more susceptible to loading based injuries during peak height velocity (peak growth rates). This allows Inspire to plan the athletes load and preparation around these growth rates to ensure the player can play sport while growing by doing all the right things to lower the risk of injury or growth related problems during this phase. 

Partaking in Inspire’s team based physical assessments is a highlight of our Junior Mustangs Program for players. Parents then have the opportunity to book a one-on-one meeting with Inspire discuss their child’s results. BMTA would like to thank Shannon, Angus, and the rest of the Inspire team for running such enjoyable and successful assessment nights for our teams, we look forward to working with Inspire more as the program progresses.

If you are interested in improving your health and performance, head to Inspire's website to see the services they offer. Inspire has been an amazing partner of our representative programs so be sure to check them out if you wish to improve your game!

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