Apart from skill (which is a very important ability), the relative importance of the physiological parameters such as reaction, speed, agility and endurance differ in their contributions to making a champion squash player. Here is a list of fitness tests that would be suitable for a squash player. You should consider the relative importance of the test components when interpreting the results.
The table below lists some suggested tests for the different categories of fitness that are important for squash - aerobic fitness, flexibility, reaction time, strength and power, speed, agility and body fat level. See also a discussion on the components of fitness for Squash.
Aerobic fitness is one of the most important fitness components for squash. If testing large groups of players, the shuttle run (beep) test would usually be the most appropriate test of aerobic fitness. You can find information on many other aerobic tests here.
The flexibility tests should be specific to the actions of squash, so hip flexion and shoulder flexibility should be tested. The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility. Here is a list of flexibility tests that could be performed.
Having a quick reaction time is important in this fast-paced sport. There are a few reaction time tests available on this site.
Strength and Power
Strength (and power tests) should also be done to determine strength levels and to monitor strength changes in conjunction with training programs. The vertical jump test can be performed to measure leg power. Maximal strength tests for specific exercises should be conducted. A handgrip strength test is also suitable.
Straight line running speed is very important in squash in order to move quickly around the court and get to the ball. Sprint time over 20m, with split times for the 5m and 10m distance should be done if possible.
The ability to quickly change direction is very important for squash. The 505 agility test measures the ability to change direction 180 degrees. A 90-degree turn test would also be suitable for Squash. The ability to turn to both the left and right direction may be different and should also be assessed.
Excess body fat would affect the squash player's ability to move freely around the court, and the extra weight will increase fatigue. 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.
- Discussion of the Fitness Components for Squash
- Poll about the factors of success for Squash
- All about fitness testing