Orlando City field players took part yesterday in a multi-stage fitness test more commonly known as the "beep test." The beep test is a fitness test that helps coaches and trainers ascertain the fitness level of their players and find out who came into camp fit and who needs some extra work. Orlando City waited a few days into camp before springing the test on the players, whereas other teams--like Sporting KC--performed the test on the first day.
What is the Beep Test?
The beep test was created to measure maximum oxygen uptake. This test has been used by soccer teams across the globe, including the United States National Teams. The test basically has a participant running between two points 20 meters apart. The runner must get to from one point to another before they hear a beep. The beeps begin with a long interval and start to pick up in frequency as the test goes on. In most cases, players get a warning if they don't make an interval. However, if the player misses a second consecutive gate he is out. This is up to the coach, but most professional teams give one warning and, after that, any miss means your test is over.
Depending on position--and age--a coach may have a particular number of beeps they expect from each player. For example, a player like Kaká may have a different target number than Harrison Heath. This is a great opportunity to see who has been working hard in the off-season and who has been slacking. It is also great for the rookies to show what they can do. A rookie can really boost his favor with a coach by coming in fit and ready to compete for a position.
The best part about the beep test is that it's competitive. Players are working to get the best number possible, and when you get a group of professionals competing it's always going to be interesting. As a former player who took this test multiple times, I will tell you it pushes your body to the limit. At the beginning of the test you are jogging from one point to another. Towards the end of the test you are sprinting to get to each gate and your legs and lungs start to feel heavy.
The test is a lot better when competing against others, as no one wants to be the first one out nor do they want the extra fitness work.
The video first shows the team getting some 40 meter times. Next is the dreaded beep test.
Orlando City Results
Looks fun right? Now that you know what the test is all about, let's check out how some of our Orlando City players did. First, the good: Kevin Molino was the last person to drop out. Many people will say this isn't a big deal, as all he could do is keep his fitness after last season's season-ending knee surgery, and while I agree, any win for him will be great for his confidence. The surprise for me was Adrian Winter, who dropped out just before Kevin Molino. Something that people were worried about regarding Winter was his fitness, which clearly seems like it's a non-issue now.
Rounding out the top five were Harrison Heath, Servando Carrasco, and Tyler Turner. The middle-of-the-road guys included Kaká and Brek Shea, which shouldn't surprise many as they both have a lot of miles on their legs. Cristian Higuita was nursing a minor injury, so he was the first to be eliminated from the testing.
The disappointing result has to come from rookie Hadji Barry. Barry dropped out shortly after Higuita and did not impress during the fitness test. As a rookie, you always want to impress the first team coach whenever possible and being the second out of a fitness test is not the way to do that.
Why is it important?
The test is a baseline of how much the coach and trainers can push the players in the different training activities. Players that finished below the mark will more than likely get extra fitness after their training session is complete. The goal of the test is to get results and to push the players to their limit. Orlando's climate certainly isn't easy to play in, and the players need to be the most fit in MLS. We will see in the coming months the hard work paying off in the dog days of summer.
Do you think you could do better than any of the Lions? Let us know in the comments below!