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Fitness Tests for Netball

As with most team sports, there are many components of fitness that are important for success. In netball, they are close in their relative importance.

Having a very good aerobic fitness level is a very important attribute, and on the other hand being very quick and agile is also very important. Player position also affects the importance of these components. These suggested tests reflect this all-round fitness requirement for netball.

Fitness Component example tests comments
Aerobic Fitness
  • The shuttle run (beep) test would usually be the most appropriate test for testing a basketball team. There are many others which are also suitable: you can find information on many other aerobic tests here.
Aerobic fitness is a very important component of fitness for netball. The test should be performed indoor on the same surface that the game is played on. 
Flexibility Flexibility is important in terms of being injury free and being able to move freely around the court. Flexibility tests of other body areas that used in the game would also be suitable.
Strength and Power Vertical jump ability is very critical for netball. Strength and power tests should also be done to determine strength levels and to monitor strength changes in conjunction with training programs. 
Speed Acceleration is very important in basketball. Most of the fast running in netball is conducted over a short distance. 
Body Fat
  • Body fat can be measured using the skinfold method. If this is not available, monitoring body weight changes would give an indication of body fat changes, assuming no change in muscle mass.
Excess body fat would affect the netball player's ability to jump vertically, move freely around the court, and the extra weight will increase fatigue during the game. 
Body Size
  • Body size measurements such as height and arm span are important for success in basketball.
With junior athletes, these measures can be used for talent identification
Agility
  • The 505 agility test measures the ability to change direction 180 degrees. A 90 degree turn test would also be suitable for netball.
The ability to quickly change direction is very important for netball. In addition to a simple agility test, you could also incorporate a ball into the testing, with the player having the change direction in response to a pass. Such additions to a test will decrease reliability but may increase validity.

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