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Fitness Testing for AFL

Most senior AFL players are in great physical condition. The attributes required for AFL include good physical size, running speed and agility and aerobic capacity (see this poll on fitness components for AFL).

At each year end the AFL conducts a draft camp in which prospective players are put through a battery of fitness, physical and psychomotor tests. More details of these tests and the results can be followed on the AFL Draft Camp.

Here are some recommended fitness tests for assessing AFL players. Many of these are the same as used in the AFL Draft Camp.

  • BODY SIZE: anthropometric measures - height, hand span, arm length, body mass & skinfolds
  • STRENGTH: grip strength, 1RM Bench Press
  • POWER: vertical jump test (there is also a AFL specific running vertical jump test)
  • SPEED: 20 meter sprint
  • AGILITY: AFL agility test
  • ANAEROBIC CAPACITY : anaerobic sprint-recovery test
  • ENDURANCE: shuttle run (beep) test and the three kilometer time-trial
  • FLEXIBILITY: sit and reach test
  • SKILL TESTS: kicking efficiency and clean hands handball


Overall Football Ability

An article about the AFL draft from 2005 listed these 14 key performance indicators that AFL talent scouts used to rank players. Some of these are physical abilities, but there are also many other non-measurable aspects of the game. This list may or may not be used today by the talent scouts, but either way they provide an insight into what the AFL considers the important characteristics of the elite AFL players.

  • Kicking ability
  • Marking ability
  • Handpassing/vision-awareness
  • Clean hands
  • Ball-winning ability
  • Pace
  • Endurance
  • Recovery and agility
  • Durability
  • Leadership and self-discipline
  • Aggression, intensity and second efforts
  • Football character
  • Competitiveness
  • Football smarts



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