Now that outdoor sports in England will resume, tennis courts and basketball courts will be officially open, we can get back to playing sports with our family and friends. If you’re competing at a non-elite level and you haven’t done much exercise then your technical and physical capabilities will be rusty. You might be lucky and not have to do a proper pre-season, however, if you go straight into a ninety-minute football match then you will feel the effects afterwards.
Running is an activity that we all hate to do. Most people just are tolerant of it which is the reason for their poor fitness levels. We will be naming positions in sports where you do a lot of running and that demand good fitness levels. Just to be clear of some of the rules, we are just including team sports. So physically demanding sports like boxing and tennis won’t be included as there is no position as you are the only person. Also, the list will be geared to sports that are fluid where there aren’t constant breaks, so American football positions won’t be included.
Full-Back in Football
For the most physically demanding position in football, it was a tough choice between centre midfielders and full-backs. If we are being honest you can make a case for both positions. However, I have picked full-back. The days where your full-backs rarely crossed the half-way line are gone. Most wingers are naturally playing like inside-forwards which means their boots haven’t got chalk on them. Full-backs have the responsibility of providing width for the team in possession.
They are constantly having to overlap the winger to provide crosses for the side. Crossing the ball has become an attribute that a full-back is judged heavily on. The likes of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold are two of the best crossers in the premier league. On the defensive side of the ball, when full-backs attack they leave space behind which can be taken advantage of. Full backs have to be able to cover their positions and also deal with some of the best 1v1 players in football. Not only that they have to stop crosses and get blocks in as well.
Point-Guard in Basketball
A Point Guard is so important in basketball as they are the people that control the offence of the team. They have responsibilities that include bringing the ball up the court, distributing the ball and being able to manage the game with their IQ. There has been increased importance of point guards being able to shoot the ball from distance. Shooting has become so important that centres are being replaced out of the starting five due to their inability to shoot.
Stephen Curry is an example of a point guard that puts in a lot of work. His dribbling and shooting are second to none, however, people forgot how many three-point shots he hits off screens. This means that he has to constantly run so he can get his shot off. The overall standard of point guards has improved offensively so the opposition point guard needs to be able to guard the other point guard. Teams have tried to hide their point guard on defence however teams begin noticing that and they will try and exploit it.
Second Row in Rugby Union
When you look at Rugby Union you notice the physicality of the sport. It is enough to put people off as you see the constant hits that players will receive. One position in rugby that requires a lot of physicalities is the second row in Rugby. These guys have to do a lot of running and are often very tall which means they are targets for lineouts.
Centre Midfielder in Football
The centre midfielder has been football’s original workhorse, especially in England. The 4-4-2 system was a formation that was very common in the ’80s and ’90s. The two midfielders were box to box midfielders and they would have the responsibility of helping support the strikers being able to pass the ball well and doing the dirty work.
Fitness was something that England focused on during these times, it probably cost them that bit of magic up the field to unlock a defence. However, a centre midfielder has to do a lot of running even now, whether you are a creative centre midfielder or a more defensive midfielder. Centre Midfielders have more roles to play in compared to forty years ago, but doing the dirty work like winning tackles and headers is something that is required.