Fitness Tests for Hockey

(note: This information applies to field hockey, though it is not too dissimilar to ice hockey in its physical demands)

As with most team sports, there are many components of fitness that are important for success. Aerobic fitness would be one of the most important attributes, closely followed by anaerobic fitness and running speed and agility.

Further information and discussions on the components of fitness for hockey can be found here.

Fitness Component example tests comments
Aerobic Fitness The shuttle run (beep) test would usually be the most appropriate test for testing a hockey team. You can find information on many other aerobic tests here. Aerobic fitness is a very important component of fitness for hockey. 
Flexibility The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility.  Good hamstring and lower back flexibility is important for hockey players to play the ball. Back injuries are common in this sport.
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 40m, with a split time for the first 10m should be done. Maximum running speed and acceleration are very important in hockey. 
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 hockey player's ability to move freely around the field, and the extra weight will increase fatigue. See more about anthropometry for hockey.
Agility The 505 agility testmeasures the ability to change direction 180 degrees. A 90 degree turn test would also be suitable for hockey. The ability to quickly change direction is important for hockey. 


The Goal Keeper

The goalkeeper has very specific fitness demands. Tests for the goalkeeper should concentrate on explosive power and flexibility. Some type of reaction test can also be incorporated.


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