College Soccer Fitness Tests (Part I)

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In the summer of 2014 I was training for my final collegiate soccer season at Mercyhurst. During each summer, I began increasing running frequency and intensity about eight to ten weeks before the first day of pre-season. At Mercyhurst, our pre-season usually began in mid-august. Because of this, I started to run just after Memorial Day weekend.

Myself and my good friend and former teammate, Tom  would sometimes get bored of our running program and look to try something new. After stumbling upon the Stanford Men’s Soccer fitness test online, we decided to give it a go. We did manage to complete it a couple of times- but it was extremely challenging.

Here is the test format:

What is most interesting about this test is that it combines short and long distance runs within the same test. The majority of fitness tests will test one specific quality (speed, power, endurance), but within this test a blend of qualities are tested.

While 60 to 90 seconds may seem like a good amount of recovery between exercises, the reality is that the time passes by extremely fast. Don’t add an extra couple of seconds to each rest period- do your best to stick to the test format!

If running on a 400m track, a 1/2 mile works out to be 2 full laps of a track. If running around the perimeter of a soccer field, a 1/2 mile is about 2 1/4 laps of a soccer field.

The 6-18-60 yard shuffle is easy to work out if training on a lined field. The 6 is the goalkeeper’s box, the 18 is the penalty boundary, and the 60 yard mark is the half-way line on most fields.

The 1/4 mile is just over a full lap of a soccer field. When we used to perform this test, we would usually run a full lap plus about 40 yards.

The test is best performed outdoors, but if impossible, it may be performed on a treadmill. I have never attempted this test on a treadmill as I think it would be difficult to adjust speeds within a small time frame, but if you really must, here are the treadmill speeds that are required to meet the minimum required times;

  • 1/2 Mile = 10.9 MPH 
  • 6-18-60 yard Shuttle = 11.7 MPH 
  • 1/4 Mile = 12.0 MPH 
  • 6-18-60 yard Shuttle = 11.7 MPH
  • 6-18-60 yard Shuttle = 11.3 MPH
  • 1/4 Mile = 11.6 MPH
  • 6-18-60 yard Shuttle = 11.3 MPH  
  • 1/2 Mile = 10.5 MPH 

Also, add 1-1.5% grade to the treadmill setting for the duration of the test. While not exact, this will attempt to replicate outdoor conditions. However, do note that the test will seem easier on the treadmill as there is it impossible to cut or change direction (needed for the 6-18-60 yard shuffles).

With a very good level of fitness, myself and Tom could just about scrape these times. Try this test yourself to gauge your current fitness level- and comment with your times below!



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