Fitness Testing for Tennis

Apart from skill (which is a very important ability), the relative importance of the physiological parameters such as speed, agility and endurance differ in their contributions to making a champion tennis player.

The table below lists some suggested tests for the different categories of fitness that are important for tennis. See also a discussion on the components of fitness for tennis.tennis ball

 
Fitness Component example tests comments
Aerobic Fitness If testing large groups of players, the shuttle run (beep) test would usually be the most appropriate test. You can find information on many other aerobic tests here. This is an important component of fitness for tennis. 
Flexibility The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility. Other flexibility testsshould also be performed. The flexibility tests should be specific to the actions of tennis. 
Strength and Power The vertical jump test can be performed to measure leg power. Maximal strength tests for specific exercises should be conducted. A handgrip strength testis also suitable. Strength (and power tests) should also be done to determine strength levels and to monitor strength changes in conjunction with training programs. 
Speed Sprint time over 20m, with split times for the 5m and 10m distance should be done if possible. Running speed is very important in tennis in order to get to the ball.
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 tennis player's ability to move freely around the court, and the extra weight will increase fatigue. See more about anthropometry for tennis
Agility The 505 agility testmeasures the ability to change direction 180 degrees, such as when the player runs along the baseline in rallies. A 90 degree turn test would also be suitable for tennis. The ability to turn to both the left and right direction may be different and should also be assessed. The ability to quickly change direction is important for tennis. 

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