S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have identified three aspects of fitness that affect a person's ability to complete those everyday tasks of life effectively and efficiently:

  1. Physical Health

    With good physical health, a body can cope with the physical demands of everyday living.

  2. Mental Health

    Good mental health allows people to cope with the emotional demands of everyday life.

  3. Social Health

    Being socially healthy includes having friends and help from others, making a contribution to society and being valued by it.

There is a close relationship between health and fitness but sports-related fitness is much higher and more specific and can be divided into different components:


Speed is the ability to move the body and limbs quickly.


Stamina can be defined as the ability to keep going for long periods of time and can be sub-divided into two areas:

  1. Cardiovascular Stamina

    Cardiovascular endurance or stamina depends on the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to where it is needed.

    Together the heart and lungs are known as the cadiorespiratory system.

    The ability of these two systems to keep going for long periods of time under stress is known as cardiorespiratory endurance.

  2. Muscular Stamina and Endurance

    This is the ability of the muscles to contract over long periods of time.

    Both cardiovascular stamina and muscular stamina are interrelated, as the muscles need a good, constant supply of oxygen in order to produce the energy for contraction.


Strength is the ability to exert a force on an object as the muscles contract.

Dynamic strength is required to start and maintain a movement.

Explosive strength is required to move the body or an object quickly. It is also known as power, which is a combination of speed and strength.

Static strength is the strength applied by muscles to a fixed object.


Flexibility is the range of movement of a limb around its joint. It may also be referred to as mobility or suppleness.

There are five aspects of skill-related fitness.

  1. Agility

    The ability to change direction quickly and accurately.

  2. Balance

    Static balance is the ability to hold the body in a position of stillness.

    Dynamic balance is the ability to maintain a balanced position while moving.

  3. Co-ordination

    To perform many of the body action sequences in sport co-ordination of limbs and body in important.

  4. Reactions

    Reactions are measured in time taken to start the movement, that is, reaction time, and it is the time taken from receiving information to acting on it.

    There are two types of reaction time. They are simple reaction time and choice reaction time.

  5. Timing

    This is the ability to perform the skill at the exact moment it is needed.

Careful measurements of fitness can help to improve performance and ability.


To measure speed the time is taken to do a short sprint of between 30-50m.

Cardiovascular (CV) System:

Tests to measure cardiovascular fitness include The Harvard Step Test and the Multistage Fitness Test (Bleep Test). This test measures VO2 Max.


There are several tests for different parts of the body.

  1. The NCF sit up test measures abdominal strength.

  2. Grip strength is measured by a handgrip dynamometer.

  3. Explosive strength can be measured in one of two ways: the standing broad jump or the sargant jump.


The Sit and Reach Test measures the flexibility at the hip joint, which is generally restricted in movement by the hamstring in the back of the leg.

Other Tests

  1. The Illinois Agility Run is used to test a person's agility.

  2. The Stork Stand is used to test a person's balance.

  3. The Alternative Hand Wall Throw is used to test a person's co-ordination.

  4. The Ruler Drop Test is used to test a person's reaction time.

Food is the body's source of energy, enabling muscles movement, growth and repair. The food we eat should contain seven essential items:

  1. Carbohydrates:

    Carbohydrates, when broken down, provide the body with glucose and glycogen the main sources of energy.

    There are two types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates and Complex carbohydrates, which are starches found in vegetables, cereals, rice, pasta and bread.

  2. Fats:

    Fats can release high levels of energy but require large amounts of oxygen to do so.

    There are two types of fat: saturated fat, which contains cholesterol, and polyunsaturated fats. Fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol during digestion.

  3. Proteins:

    Proteins are made of amino acids and are the building blocks of the body repairing and replacing damaged tissue and building new tissue for growth.

    Some amino acids cannot be produced by the body and therefore have to be taken in the food eaten. These are known as essential amino acids.

    There are others that can be produced by the body known as non-essential amino acids.

  4. Vitamins:

    Vitamins are found as traces in food substances mainly fresh fruit and vegetables.

  5. Minerals:

    Are inorganic chemicals found in most fresh food.

  6. Fibre:

    Fibre plays an important part in the process of digestion and is the non-digestible part of fruit, vegetables and cereals.

  7. Water:

    Water makes up two thirds of our body contents and a constant loss of water throughout the day and this must be replaced to prevent dehydration.

Food is required by the body in correct proportions so that the essential elements are included. A good balanced diet will be 10% to 15% protein, 25% to 30% fat and 50% to 60% carbohydrate. This will give the necessary amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Diet and Energy

Energy for the body to function is acquired from the food eaten. Energy requirements differ between people due to their age, their sex and their lifestyle, active people need more energy.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):

This is the lowest level of energy required by the body for normal healthy living.

Physical Activity (PAL):

Any activity requires a further amount of energy. The higher the activity level, the higher the energy input and output needed.

Measuring Energy

Energy is measured in joules or kilojoules and the exact amount of energy available in food is usually marked on the packet.

Diet for Sport

A planned diet is essential for top sports people and is part of their training programme.

In endurance sports athletes increase the amount of carbohydrates they eat. This is known as carbohydrate loading.

A heavy meal should not be eaten within two hours of physical activity as blood is moved to the gut to aid digestion.

Drugs are chemical substances that can affect the body chemistry and how it works.

Since 1879 drugs have been reported for enhancing the performance of athletes. It is the performance enhancing drugs that concern sporting bodies throughout the world.

Athletes using such drugs are judged to be cheating, that is, they are performing outside the rule structure of the sport.

There are several categories and lists of band substances and this list is revised on an almost monthly basis as new drugs are developed.

Most performance enhancing drugs as with any other form of drug abuse produce armful side effects.


These raise the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system improving reaction times and making a person feel more confident in their ability.

Narcotic Analgesics:

These suppress pain allowing the athlete to train and perform when injured.

Anabolic Agents:

Generally known as anabolic steroids, they were developed to do the job of naturally occurring hormones in the body that build up soft tissue and muscles.

Beta Blockers:

Beta-blockers slow down the heart and breathing rates, counteracting the adrenaline release that occurs before an event.


Diuretics increase the amount of water in the urine.

Blood Doping:

Blood doping increases the number of red blood cells enabling more oxygen to be carried to the muscles.

Other Drugs:

Two drugs widely available to adults over 18 years of age are nicotine and alcohol.

Nicotine is taken into the bloodstream through smoking. It is a highly addictive drug, which raises the heart rate and blood pressure.

It is the chemical ethanol in the alcohol that can affect sports performance as it acts on the part of the brain responsible for balance, speech and co-ordination.

Drugs have no place in sport.

Apart from the fact that taking performance-enhancing drugs is cheating many of these drugs are illegal and produce harmful side effects.

International governing bodies of sport want to stop the use of drugs and in most sporting events there are procedures for checking athletes for drugs.