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Fitness Testing for Pickleball

You need great technique and court skills to be a great pickleball player, though all of that is no good unless you have the fitness to go with it. Pickleball requires all-round fitness, you need to have good speed, agility and endurance to become a champion pickleball player.

fitness for Pickleball fitness for Pickleball

It is important to conduct fitness testing for all athletes. One of the most important reasons is to establish the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete. From these results, appropriate training can be prescribed, and testing conducted to monitor the progress.

Here are some suggested tests for the different components of fitness that are important for pickleball players.


Running speed is critical for pickleball, as it dictates a player's ability to swiftly cover the court, reach the ball, and react promptly to their opponent's shots. A suitable speed fitness test would be the Sprint time over 20m, with split times over the 5m and 10m to look at acceleration ability too.


Agility is crucial for pickleball players as it enables quick changes in direction, swift movements, and rapid adjustments, allowing them to swiftly navigate the court and reach the ball. The 505 agility test measures the ability to change direction 180 degrees, such as when the player runs along the baseline in rallies. A 90-degree turn test would also be suitable for pickleball. The ability to turn in both the left and right direction may be different and should also be assessed.

Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic fitness is crucial for pickleball players as it enables them to sustain high-intensity rallies and matches without fatigue, and allows more rapid recovery between points. Improved aerobic capacity also supports faster on-court movement and agility, enhancing overall performance and reducing the risk of injury during extended play. An appropriate endurance fitness test is the 20m shuttle run (beep) test.. You can find information on many other aerobic tests here.

Strength and Power

Strength and power are vital for pickleball players as it enables more forceful serves and ground strokes, and quicker and more explosive movements around the court. Strength and power tests should be performed 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 movements should be conducted. A hand-grip strength test is also appropriate.


Flexibility is essential for pickleball players as it promotes a wide range of motion, enabling them to reach, stretch, and maneuver around the court effectively, reducing the likelihood of strains or injuries. The flexibility tests should be specific to the actions of pickleball. The sit and reach test can be done for lower back and hamstring flexibility. Other flexibility tests should also be performed.

Body Fat

Excess body fat should be monitored in pickleball players. Any extra weight that is carried would affect the pickleball player's ability to move freely around the court, and will increase fatigue. Body fat can be simply measured using the skinfold method. If this is not available, monitoring body weight changes would indicate body fat changes, assuming no change in muscle mass.

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