How to Measure Greatness?

Do you want to know who is the greatest athlete or the fittest sport? You can discuss this all you like, but the scientist in me says that you need to measure!

The components of fitness are relatively easy to assess, such as endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility and hand-eye coordination. There are a large range of fitness tests that can be conducted to assess the all round ability of an athlete in a range of fitness capacities.

However, a great athlete has much more than just great physical abilities. In addition, there are psychological factors, then many more minor factors which aid in making a successful athlete, including supply of equipment, opportunity for training, expertise in coaching and skill teaching, nutritional status, a good support network, funding plus much more.

List of Important Attributes

Of the many attributes that make a successful sports person, some are more important that others. Here are a few examples of lists of the most important attributes to success in sports.

Assessing Skill (and more?)

To assess a great individual athlete, you need to also measure their skill levels, though there are limited standardized tests that can be used for doing this. The Superstars and other TV based athlete assessments have incorporated skill based testing as well as physical tests in their assessment of the greatest athletes.

And that may not be all. There seems to be another factor called 'star quality', the combination of abilities and the way they interact to make a champion, that may be impossible to measure.

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Testing Extra

We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer. To keep up with the latest in sport science and this website, subscribe to our newsletter. We are also on facebook and twitter.

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