Physical Fitness Tests are groups of tests that seek to represent the various physiological demands posed by certain sports or events. Part of the test should involve breaking down the sport into different components. For certain sports, such as the one hundred meter sprint, this can be quite a straight forward process. However, for other sports, like basketball, rugby, and volleyball, the process can be more complicated. One of the most complex sports to test is soccer. This sport is a blend of aerobic and anerobic endurance, strength, power, speed, and agility. Tests for this sport should involve tests that measure each of these various components.
Testing and sport
Using soccer as an example, it might not be advisable to undergo a Rockport test. This test requires one to walk a mile as quickly as possible, and might not be sport specific to soccer. Taking twenty meter sprinting bursts in each direction is more realistic and specific when it comes to soccer. With this in mind, it is vital that one replicates the energy and movement required by a specific sport. Thus, one should choose physical fitness tests that are specific to the sport. Testing should thus take the following criteria.
Tests should first of all be valid. This can be straight forward. For example, a long distance run would not be a good way to measure ones explosive power. Further to this, the distinction is not always this clear. Does a particular test measure ultra short-term power rather than short-term power, for example.The testing should also be reliable. With this in mind, tests should be able to be performed consistently and repeatedly. It is thus important that a test should show the same results if the athlete has made no change in athletic ability.
Tests should not test any variables other than the one to which it is designed to measure. Reliability is less straight forward to measure than validity. A test can be made less reliable as a result of the use of different examiners, poor technical examination standards, and environmental conditions. In order to standardize a testing process, it is necessary to warm up thoroughly, prioritize short explosive tests, keep the same order of tests, and to use the same equipment each time the test is performed. It is also important to try and perform the tests at the same time of the day. The same examiner should be used to take the measurements each time.