Speed And Power Tests

Use these speed and power tests before you begin your training program and then at 6-8 week intervals.

Click here for details on how to put together a battery of physical fitness tests.

40 Yard Sprint – Short Term Power Test

This test measures your ability to accelerate to full speed quickly, as well as reaction time:

  1. Set out two markers 40 yards apart.
  2. On a signal of “Marks – Set – GO” sprint from one cone to the other as quickly as possible.
  3. Have a training partner record your time with a stop watch.
  4. Perform 2 trials and take the average time to the nearest 0.1 seconds.

Compare your results with the table below:

40 yard sprint scores

30m Sprint Fatigue – Power Maintenance Test

In many multi-sprint sports such basketball, hockey, rugby, soccer and so on, players often have to reproduce sprints in quick succession. The ability to recover between sprints and produce the same level of power over and over is a measure of sprint fatigue.

For this test you require 12 cones or markers and a stopwatch. Look at the diagram below to see how to set the cones out:

  1. Sprint from A to b between the cones deviating 5m sideways in the middle of the sprint. Have a training partner start you off and time your sprint from A to B.
  2. Jog slowly for 10 meters after point B and then back to the start taking 30 seconds to do so.
  3. As soon as you reach the start repeat the sprint.
  4. Complete a total of 10 sprints and have your training partner note down all the times.
  5. Subtract your fastest time from your slowest time. This is your sprint fatigue. For example if your slowest sprint was 7.8 seconds and your fastest sprint was 6.9 seconds your sprint fatigue is 0.9 (7.8 – 6.9).

Another useful tool to use with your results is to find the average speed of the first three trials and divide it by the average speed of the last three trials. So if your times were:

7.1s, 6.9s, 6.9s, 7.0s, 7.2s, 7.1s, 7.3s, 7.3s, 7.4s, 7.5s

The average of the first 3 times is 6.97s, the average of the last 3 times is 7.40s.

6.97 ; 7.40 = 0.94 X 100 = 94%

Compare you score with the table below:

Power Maintenance
Level Category % Top Speed Maintained
1 Excellent +90%
2 Good 85-89%
3 Average 80-84%
4 Poor <79%

Illinois Test – Agility

This test measures your ability to change direction quickly, or an athlete’s agility

You will require 8 cones and a stop watch. Look at the diagram below to see how to set the cones out:

  1. Sprint the course from start to finish and have your training partner record your time.
  2. Rest fully and repeat the test for a total of 3 trials. Take your quickest time and compare to the chart below:
Power Maintenance
Classification Males Females
Excellent <15.9 secs <17.5 secs
Good 15.9 – 16.7 secs 17.5 – 18.6 secs
Average 16.8 – 17.6 secs 18.7 – 22.4 secs
below Average 17.7 – 18.8 secs 22.5 – 23.4 secs
Poor >18.8 secs >23.4 secs

T-Test – Agility

T Test

The T-test is the standard test used to measure agility.

  1. Set out 4 cones according to the diagram below.
  2. Starting on cone A sprint to cone B touching the base.
  3. Turn left and shuffle to cone C also touching its base. Face forwards when shuffling (i.e. so the left foot leads) and do not cross your feet over one another.
  4. Shuffle right to cone D facing the same way (i.e. leading with right foot) and touch the base.
  5. Shuffle back to cone B (still facing the same way) and touch the base.
  6. Finally, run backwards to cone A and stop the clock.

Take the best time of two trials to the nearest 0.1 seconds. Compare your results to the chart below:

T Test scores

Standing Long Jump – Explosive Power

Along with the vertical jump, this power test is used to measure explosive power.

  1. Stand at a mark with your feet slightly apart.
  2. Taking off and landing with both feet, swing your arms and bend the knees to jump forward as far as possible.
  3. Measure the distance, rest fully and repeat a total of 3 times. Take the longest of the 3 trials as your score. Compare your results with the table below:
Standing Long Jump Test
Poor below average Average Good Excellent
Males <2.0m 2.3m 2.5m 2.7m >3.0m
Females <1.7m 1.9m 2.2m 2.5m >2.8m

Standing Vertical Jump – Explosive Power

This is a classic test for short-term explosive power and is particularly useful for any athlete that is required to jump.

  1. Chalk your hand and stand next to a wall. Reach up with your hand closest to the wall and make a mark. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor.
  2. From a standing start dip down quickly until your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground and then jump up as high as possible. Make a mark on the wall with your hand at the highest point. When dipping down prior to the jump, do NOT pause in a bent knee position. This reduces the amount power generated reducing the overall score. 3. Measure the distance between the two chalk marks. This is your score. 4. Complete three trials and take the best score to the nearest o.5 inches (1cm).

Compare your results to the tables below:

Vertical jump test scores
Vertical Jump Test
Poor Below average Average Good Excellent
Males <46cm 50cm 55cm 60cm >65cm
Females <36cm 40cm 45cm 50cm >55cm

Jump height can be converted into a power using the following formula:

Power = body mass(kg) x (4.9 x height jumped in meters)2

So for example if you weigh 80kg and jumped 50cm (0.5m) your score would be…

80 x (4.9 x 0.5)2

= 80 x 2.45 x 2.45

= 480kg-m

Hexagon Drill – Quickness

This drill was developed by the US Tennis Association as part of their player assessment program. It is useful for all kinds of athletes to measure their agility, quickness and co-ordination.

  1. Mark out a hexagon on the floor with tape or chalk. Each side should be 24 inches long with a 120 degree angle. Avoid hard surfaces such as concrete.
  2. Stand inside the hexagon opposite one of the sides. Keeping your feet together, jump across the side you are facing and then immediately back into the middle of the hexagon.
  3. As soon as you land jump over the next side of the hexagon. Continue until you have completed 3 full revolutions of the shape. You can go either clockwise or anticlockwise.
  4. Have someone time you. There is no data to compare this test to so keep a note of the time to beat on your next testing day.