How to Dominate the Beep Test in Soccer (Setup and Tips)
For most soccer teams, the beep test will pop up during pre-season as a way to test each athlete’s level of fitness.
It consists of sprinting back and forth between two lines of cones making sure to cross the line before the sound of a beep.
This gives a good indication on each player’s speed, stamina, and will also prove which players are willing to push themselves to the limits of their fitness.
It’s rarely fun, but with a little preparation, you can give the test your best shot and walk away knowing that you’ve done your absolute best.
Below we’ll talk about what the beep test is, why it’s used, how to set it up, and I’ll also share a few tips and tricks you can use when preparing for it.
Let’s get started...
What is the Beep Test and Why is it Used?
The “Beep Test” involves two lines of cones set up 20 metres apart.
Athletes are required to run from one line to the other before the sound of the beep is heard.
As the beep test progresses to higher levels, the time between the beeps becomes shorter and shorter until players are sprinting to arrive at each line before the beep sounds out.
It’s is primarily used to test aerobic capacity and determine level of fitness.
This test has been around for decades as is a tried and tested method used by top soccer clubs.
And it’s not limited to soccer…
Various other sports, organisations, schools, and militaries from around the world use it to determine how fit people are.
Basically, the higher level you achieve on the beep test, the fitter you are.
But this isn’t always true because it tests more than just fitness and endurance…
It also tests determination and mental strength.
You’ll find out which players are willing to push themselves to the limit, which players will quit as soon as they’re tired, and who will keep going while others give up.
How to Set Up the Beep Test
Let’s go into more detail:
With modern technology, it’s now easier than ever to set up the beep test.
First, you’ll need to set up two lines of cones 20 metres apart.
These are the lines players will run to as the beeps are sounding out during the test.
Now all you need is the audio…
You can set this up old-school using a CD and a CD player, you can download an app on your phone to play it, and it’s also listed on Spotify as a song.
Or, you could even use this YouTube video:
Running the Beep Test
Now that you’re set up, here’s how to execute it…
When the first beep rings out, this signals time for players to run to the other line. They must get a foot over the line before the beep sounds.
In the beginning, the beeps will be slow and players will have plenty of time to get across.
The players then wait until the next beep sounds before they’re allowed to start running back to the first line where they must beat the next beep.
This continues as the intervals between beeps gradually decreases until players are sprinting back and forth attempting to keep up.
If a player narrowly misses one beep, they must get to the next beep on time.
When a player misses two consecutive beeps, they’re out.
8 Tips to Dominate the Beep Test
1. Fuel Your Body With Food and Water Prior to Testing
If you want to do your very best on the beep test, it’s important to put the right food into your body before taking the test.
Hydration is also critically important.
Read this post on pre-game nutrition and follow the same principles.
2. Improve Your Level of Fitness
This one is fairly obvious, isn’t it?
The higher your level of fitness, the better you’re going to do on the test.
Which is why it’s super important to stay in shape throughout the off-season since most beep tests will be used at the start of a new season.
You can stay in shape by completing this test regularly, or by going running consistently.
3. Warm Up Correctly
In order to prevent injury and to prepare your body for the beep test, make sure you’re taking the time to warm up your body.
Get to training early and perform a dynamic warm up along with a few stretches to loosen up your muscles and get the blood flowing.
4. Think About What’s Motivating You
Every player should take a moment to figure out why they want to do well.
Are they trying to lock in a spot on the team?
Do they want to get more minutes on the pitch?
To impress your coach and teammates?
Knowing what’s motivating you and thinking about it throughout the test can give you some added motivation to push through fatigue.
5. Pace Yourself
In the beginning, there will be long intervals between beeps.
This is an opportunity to conserve energy for later rounds by jogging between the two lines instead of sprinting at top speed (which many do).
Attempt to arrive at each line just before the sound of the beep, even if that means a slow jog towards the start of the test.
The beep test is a fantastic way to determine level of fitness and mental strength.
It’s also simple to set up and can be used by either a full team or just an individual player.
While it’s not exactly fun, it can be incredibly satisfying for players to smash their previous record after putting in hard work to improve their conditioning.
Before running it, remind your players that preparation and pacing themselves are the two keys to success when it comes to beep test success.