Every particular sport is unique whether running, swimming, biking, boxing, basketball, football, soccer, gymnastics, badminton, tennis, or even aerobic dancing. You have to prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally before you enter into the sport you want. There is large variation in the physical demands required to compete in different sports. The event duration can vary greatly, from the explosive single action of the shot put, to ultra endurance events lasting many days.
It is always easy to be fit when you are at a particular sport with the right training to excel in it. Many may have tried different sports and have proven to be “good” at different sports but not basically the “best” that they could have been if they focused on one particular sport event. It is fun to be a “jack of all trades” in sports but you cannot be a “master” or an ‘’elite” if you do not build your body at its most efficient manner based on the demand of a particular sport. This is where fitness testing works. Do you really need to undergo fitness testing? Here are some of the major reasons why people or you should try fitness testing before going into a particular sport event. To highlight the strengths and weakness of an athlete enabling a training program to be devised which addresses the findings
- To evaluate a training program, to see if it is helping the athlete in achieving set goals
- To measure fitness levels following injury, illness or following the off season
- To assist in setting goals
- To determine health status (in the non-sporting population)
- Talent identification
- To aid motivation
There are these basic principles that determine what fitness testing works;
- Specificity: Fitness tests must assess an individual’s fitness for the activity or sport in question. With that, you’ll know what you have to work on to your body and develop it to be better for the sport. For example, there is little point in using a running endurance test to assess an athlete improvement in cycling endurance for they are totally different.
- Validity: There are different fitness test for a particular sport. Fitness tests must measure the component of fitness that they are supposed to. For example, is your sit and reach test measurement solely the flexibility of the hamstrings or are there other factors involved?
- Objectivity: Sometimes also known as inter-tester reliability. A test that is objective will produce the same results for the same individual, regardless of the tester, or technician administering the test.
- Reliability: A reliable test produces the same results if repeated. For example, an assessor trained in skin-fold measurements will produce the same result, when the same area is re-tested shortly after.
Having a fitness test will enable you to decide if you really have the guts to pursue or excel in the sport you wish to enter. This will tell you what you have to work on and how much effort you need to exert in it. Being able to excel on a particular sport is part of the motivation for you to keep going and live the life of fitness. Having that said, fitness testing will show you how to excel and be at your best with the sport you have chosen to pursue.