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    • T4 Soccer Attends 34th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Soccer Tournament in Chatham
    • Jun. 7, 2011
    • Performance Products
      Performance Assessment and Reporting for Soccer: A Unique Approach by T4 Soccer
    • Jun. 7, 2011
    • T4 Soccer Announces the Appointment of Tony DiCicco as its Ambassador
    • May. 24, 2011
    • Shaun Green, Host of The Coach Show, interviews Mark Shearer, T4 CEO, about the benefits of T4 Soccer Performance testing and website.
    • May. 24, 2011
    • Dr. Jason Vescovi Touts Benefits of T4 Soccer Performance Assessment Testing
    • May. 24, 2011
  • T4 Soccer Attends 34th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Soccer Tournament in Chatham
  • Jun. 7, 2011
  • T4 Soccer recently attended the 34th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Soccer Tournament in Chatham. The tournament provided an opportunity to raise player/parent awareness of the value of T4 Soccer's Official Performance Tests.

    T4 Soccer representatives were on hand to speak to hundreds of players, parents and coaches; they conducted Linear Speed tests and Power tests for 33 interested players at no charge. Each player's scores were posted to their personal profile page on T4's domain (www.t4soccer.com), which allows them to track and monitor their ongoing performance.

    T4 Soccer would like to express its appreciation to the Chatham Soccer Club for inviting us to this tournament.

  • Performance Products
    Performance Assessment and Reporting for Soccer: A Unique Approach by T4 Soccer
  • Jun. 7, 2011
  • - Performance Products provides the fitness marketplace the opportunity to link you to their products' "unique selling points" that sets them apart from others and how these unique selling points benefit the athlete to improve performance and/or injury prevention based on their product claims. We hope you enjoy this series and would appreciate your comments and ideas. Ken Kontor condpress@aol.com -

    The high-intensity, intermittent nature of soccer demands that players have a high level of sport-specific fitness. Testing the physical and physiological abilities of soccer players is important for a variety of reasons including: identifying the strengths and limitations of players, monitoring athletes during critical windows of development (e.g., youth and adolescence), and assessing the effectiveness of training programs. Performance profiles for individual players can detect weaknesses that might limit the ability to perform at a high level. Additionally, assessment BGN INT ADV of a team and developing a profile for the squad could help a coach identify a larger issue that needs to be addressed by the entire group. For example, if aerobic fitness is low for the majority of players then it is imperative that this receive priority during training. Regardless of working with an individual or a group, targeted training programs can be designed to improve the limitations identified with appropriate performance testing prior to the season.

    Childhood and adolescence is a time for rapid changes in anatomical, biomechanical and metabolic factors that have an impact on performance in these young athletes. It is no secret that all children of the same age do not possess the same physical attributes – young individuals develop at different rates beginning at different ages – so tracking key performance attributes is important because someone's strength today might become their limitation tomorrow. Additionally, physical performance will only improve up to a certain point in a child's development; speed increases with age until 14-15 years in girls and 16-17 years in boys. Therefore, testing players over several months or years during childhood and adolescence is vital for tracking player development during this critical window of time.

    The collection, storage and management of performance data sounds cumbersome – especially for a large group of athletes – oftentimes with test scores written down and stored in some filing cabinet never to be seen again. This could be made easier if players, teams and clubs had the ability to centrally store, access, and get reports on performance scores. What's more, is for individual players to track their own scores and watch how performance changes throughout the season, over an entire year or during a career. This is now available through a unique service provided by T4 Soccer (www.t4soccer.com), which allows test scores to be entered for an individual player, an entire team or even a whole club with the ability to subsequently generate customized reports and immediately identify strengths, weaknesses, or monitor changes in performance. In addition to storing and reporting, T4 Soccer provides a description of recommended tests for soccer players in order to highlight the specific attributes important for playing in a match.

    Matching Game Demands with Performance Tests

    Performance in soccer is multi-faceted and so in order to assess each aspect the testing protocol should include a variety of methods for evaluating a player's ability. Soccer is a sport predominated by the aerobic energy system highlighted by players covering 10-12 km during a 90 minute match. However short bursts of high intensity work including multiple sprints, rapid changes in direction and headers are interspersed throughout the game. Therefore, aerobic fitness as well as speed and power are key components for any comprehensive soccer testing protocol. Below is a brief description of field-based tests that can be used to help identify strengths and limitations of soccer players as well as track athlete development (video demonstrations and detailed downloadable explanations of each test can be found at www.t4soccer.com and www.youtube.com/user/T4Soccer).

    Aerobic Fitness

    Aerobic fitness can be assessed in the laboratory or in the field. Laboratory testing is used for an accurate determination of VO max, but it is time consuming, expensive, requires a high level of technical expertise and is challenging to evaluate an entire team in a single session. Therefore, field-based tests are commonly used throughout the year to evaluate aerobic fitness of soccer players. A wide variety of field-based fitness tests exist however the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (IRT) (Figure 1) has been validated and is directly related to on-the-field performance (i.e., distance covered).

    The objective of the Yo-Yo IRT is to run the 20 meter course for as long as possible while keeping pace with audible beeps that get progressively closer together. In other words, the athlete has to run faster and faster to keep up with the beeps as the test progresses until they are no longer able to keep the pace. Unique to the Yo-Yo IRT is a 10 second recovery in between each 20 meter lap, which was included in order to test the ability to perform high intensity work with short bouts of recovery. The test is over when a player falls short of the start line (0 m) twice – then the total distance he/she covered is recorded as their score. One of the primary advantages of the Yo-Yo IRT is the ability to evaluate a group of up to 20 players simultaneously in less than 30 minutes.

    Speed and Power

    Sprinting in soccer is typically assessed over 10-30 meters because those are the most common distances covered during a match. Shorter distances (e.g., 10 meters) give an indication of acceleration whereas evaluating longer distances (e.g., 30 meters) provides insight about maximum speed. For an accurate assessment of speed the use of infrared timing gates is essential. Using a hand-held stopwatch can result in inconsistent and sometimes erroneous times compared to timing gates. Net Link: to purchase the Yo Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Click HERE.

    To test maximum speed the timing gates are placed at the start line and finish line, in this case 30 meters (Figure 2). Flying sprint times can also be determined by including timing gates at 10 and 20 meter – also known as splits. Flying sprints (sprinting from a moving start rather than standing still) are more common in soccer since players are often already moving when a sprint is performed.

    Jumping ability, an indirect indicator of lower body power, is another important component of soccer and as a simple alternative to high-tech force plates commonly found in exercise physiology labs, an electronic timing mat can be used in the field. This portable device allows for the assessment of many athletes in a short period of time. The timing mat must be placed on a hard, flat surface and the players should wear running shoes (not cleats) during testing. The athlete stands on the mat, performs a crouching action followed immediately by a jump for maximal height (this is called a countermovement jump). An accurate assessment of countermovement jump height on a timing mat requires the athlete to maintain straight legs while in the air. Bending, raising, or tucking the hips or knees while in the air results in inaccurate scores, so athletes must be instructed appropriately and carefully observed on this test.

    Agility

    Unlike aerobic fitness, speed and power, the evaluation of agility can be complicated simply due to the wide variety of tests that exist for this component of performance. There are a handful of tests that have been used more regularly within the soccer community and include the Illinois test, the 505 test (sometimes called the pro-agility test) and the Balsom test. To minimize the need to teach players how to perform a complex protocol – and therefore avoid a learning effect – it is best to use a test with a simple course design. The 505 agility test (Figure 3) is performed by having the athlete sprinting 15 meters, turn around and sprint back another 5 meters. The timing gates are placed 10 meters from the start line, so the test evaluates how quickly the athlete can sprint the final 5 meters (of the 15 m), changes direction and re-accelerate another 5 meters.

    T4 Soccer has created a complete field-based testing protocol that can evaluate an entire team in less than 90 minutes. The selected tests take into consideration practical constraints, such as time, equipment and personnel. Athletes are given two trials in each of the tests with the exception of the Yo-Yo IRT. Once the tests have been completed, each athlete's best scores are entered into the T4 Soccer website.

    Performance Data Management and Reporting

    One of the benefits of T4 Soccer is the ability to turn the testing scores into a source of knowledge for the athlete, coach or club. The T4 Soccer website allows individuals, teams or clubs to upload, store, maintain and access their performance data all from a single site (www.t4soccer.com). The website provides a variety of options for club officials, directors of coaching, coaches, athletes and parents to view and track their test scores. For example, athletes can see their latest test scores, monitor their performance from one testing session to the next and see how their scores rank compared with their teammates (players are not able to see other players scores). Coaches have the ability to view and analyze all of the players in a group and generate a team report (Figure 4) – and by using the sorting functionality comparisons are made quick and simple. On a larger scale, directors of coaching can use T4 Soccer to monitor every athlete in their entire club, sorting by team, testing event, age group, or gender. This type of knowledge could be useful when selecting elite teams for a particular age group. For a small annual fee soccer clubs have the ability to create a profile for all of their teams in the T4 Soccer website and gain access to test instructions, score sheets, and the performance reports. Additionally, T4 Soccer offers an educational course designed to teach coaches and club personnel how to implement the entire battery of tests using electronic timing equipment – ensuring that accurate and reliable scores can be obtained for any athlete. Ultimately T4 Soccer provides a turnkey operation and is one way to enhance developmental initiatives of any club.

    Download the article here.

  • T4 Soccer Announces the Appointment of Tony DiCicco as its Ambassador
  • May. 24, 2011
  • - Head Coach of the Boston Breakers and Former National U.S. Women's Soccer Coach Recommends T4 Standardized Testing Protocol to Assess, Improve Physical Performance in Soccer -

    T4 Soccer, LLC, a performance assessment company that has created a battery of scientifically based, soccer-specific tests to evaluate players' speed, agility, power, and aerobic and anaerobic endurance, has named Tony DiCicco, Head Coach of the Boston Breakers of the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), as its company Ambassador.

    Mr. DiCicco is also the former Head Coach of the U.S. Women's National and Olympic Soccer Teams. In 1999, he led the U.S. National Team to a FIFA Women's World Cup Championship and in 1996 he coached the U.S. Women's Olympic Team to the first ever gold medal in Women's Soccer. In his return to international soccer, Mr. DiCicco coached the U.S. U20 National Team to the 2008 FIFA U20 World Cup Championship in Chile. After serving as National Team Head Coach with U.S. Soccer, Mr. DiCicco became the founding Commissioner of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) from 2000-2003.

    As the T4 Soccer Ambassador, Mr. DiCicco will introduce T4's soccer performance assessment testing capabilities to various influential governing bodies through his extensive network of high-level soccer contacts. He will also utilize his many peer relationships in many other sports to help identify and solicit additional T4 ambassadors as T4 moves into other sports arenas. Additionally, Mr. DiCicco will assist with the overall strategic planning of the T4 concept in soccer. In speaking about his new role with T4, Mr. DiCicco commented, T4 testing is a concept and service that is long overdue. Mixing soccer performance with scientific analysis to produce meaningful player data is a value to everyone… players, parents and coaches. Every player and team should be looking to sign-up for T4 performance tests.

    Mark Shearer, CEO of T4 Soccer stated, T4 is thrilled to have Mr. DiCicco as our soccer Ambassador. He is a well known and well respected soccer coach both nationally and internationally and his reputation is second to none. His endorsement of our performance assessment testing is the highest praise we could earn, and with Mr. DiCicco as our Ambassador, we believe that we'll generate substantial interest in our testing protocols among soccer clubs, teams, training camps, at every level and in every age group.

    About T4 Soccer, LLC

    T4 Soccer, LLC, founded in 2010, is a performance assessment company and soccer domain that enables organizations, teams and parents to test, analyze and compare the physical performance of soccer players through a battery of soccer-specific tests that evaluate speed, agility, power, and aerobic and anaerobic endurance. These tests were selected by a leading Applied Sports Scientist working closely with highly respected and internationally certified soccer coaches. T4 tests are supported by scientific research and they objectively evaluate a player's physical soccer performance. For additional information, visit the company's website at https://www.t4soccer.com.

  • Shaun Green, Host of The Coach Show, interviews Mark Shearer, T4 CEO, about the benefits of T4 Soccer Performance testing and website.
  • May. 24, 2011
  • SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE TESTING

    Being a soccer player requires power, speed and stamina in order to cope with the physical demands of the sport. Performance assessment is the cornerstone to finding a way to better athleticism. The T4 system provides you with the tools necessary to objectively evaluate your performance, identify strengths and limitations and improve your overall athletic ability.

    START USING T4 TO GET YOUR SCORES

    T4 Official Performance Assessment Tests are supervised by certified T4 Assessment Specialists, utilizing state-of-the-art electronic measuring equipment.

    Unofficial tests can easily be set up by parents and coaches following T4 downloadable instructions with minimal equipment and expense.

    EVALUATE AND IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE

    The T4 online system enables an individual to create a personal profile, track ongoing performance and compare how their scores rank within their team(s), age group, geographic and demographic areas. Coaches and clubs can monitor the progress of athletes and teams throughout the organization.

    Utilize the data to determine where you need to improve your soccer athleticism, participate in targeted training programs and monitor your ongoing improvement.

    For more information go to https://www.t4soccer.com

  • Dr. Jason Vescovi Touts Benefits of T4 Soccer Performance Assessment Testing
  • May. 24, 2011
  • - Renowned expert on developing and implementing sport-specific testing protocols authors feature article for Performance Conditioning Soccer Newsletter -

    Dr. Jason Vescovi, an applied sport scientist and expert on developing and implementing sport-specific testing protocols, recently authored an article on the benefits of the T4 Soccer, LLC soccer-specific performance assessment testing now widely available to individuals, clubs and teams.

    Dr. Vescovi, Head of Sport Science and Research for T4 Soccer, has more than 13 years of experience conducting laboratory and field-based physical performance assessments on athletes in a wide variety of sports, including soccer, volleyball, figure skating, lacrosse, ice hockey, field hockey, rowing, swimming, squash, and baseball.

    Additionally, Dr. Vescovi conducted performance assessments at the inaugural Women's Professional Soccer combines in 2008 and he has published the largest data set of physical performance scores on female soccer players ranging in age from 12-21 years. During the past 10 years, he has regularly tested youth teams up through professional clubs as part of his ongoing dedication to developing normative performance standards for athletes of all ages.

    T4 Soccer, LLC, founded in 2010, is a performance assessment company and soccer domain that enables organizations, teams and parents to test, analyze and compare the physical performance of soccer players. T4 has created a battery of soccer-specific tests that evaluate speed, agility, power, and aerobic and anaerobic endurance. T4 tests are supported by scientific research and they objectively evaluate a player's physical soccer performance.

    According to Vescovi, ""Being an athlete requires power, speed and stamina in order to comply with the physical demands of your sport. Performance assessment is the cornerstone to finding a way to better athleticism. The T4 system provides you with the tools necessary to objectively evaluate your performance, identify strengths and limitations, and improve your overall athletic ability."

    One of the principle benefits that T4 Soccer offers is the ability to turn athletes' testing scores into a source of knowledge for the athlete, coach or club. The T4 Soccer website allows individuals, teams or clubs to upload, store, maintain and access their performance data in one location. The website also provides a variety of options for club officials, directors of coaching, coaches, athletes and parents to view and track their test scores.

    About T4Soccer LLC

    T4 Soccer, LLC, founded in 2010, is a performance assessment company and soccer domain that enables organizations, teams and parents to test, analyze and compare the physical performance of soccer players through a battery of soccer-specific tests that evaluate speed, agility, power, and aerobic and anaerobic endurance. These tests were selected by a leading Applied Sports Scientist working closely with highly respected and internationally certified soccer coaches. T4 tests are supported by scientific research and they objectively evaluate a player's physical soccer performance. For additional information, visit the company's website at https://www.t4soccer.com.

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