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As a coach, how can I measure the aerobic fitness of my team?

The Harvard Step Test is a good option to obtain an overall fitness index of baseball or softball players. A good test to use to measure speed endurance is the multi-stage shuttle run test (the beep test) or a timed 1-mile run. Better conditioned players will show fewer effects of fatigue in a single game as well as over the course of a long season. Also, better conditioned players are less likely to suffer heat-related illnesses from playing outdoors during the warm summer months.

If you have training or knowledge of NASM’s cardio endurance training zone 1, 2, and 3, you will be able to effectively measure your team aerobic fitness.

When your players progress through cardio training zone 1, 2, and 3, you will be challenging their cardio threshold/heart rate. When challenging their cardio threshold/heart rate (for 10 to 60 seconds), you will be increasing their cardio endurance, improving their aerobic conditioning and cardio recovery. 

A good cardio measurement tool to indicate your players’ success is when after 60 seconds; their heart rate returns to normal zone 2 heart rate, after completing a 60 seconds zone 3 cardio training. 

If the player successfully complete that test, they can go back up to another round of 60 seconds zone 3 cardio training, then finish their cardio workout in zone 1 for 10 minutes.

If the player’s heart rate doesn’t drop during the minute break, assume the player is tired and maybe overtraining. Have the player finish their cardio workout in zone 1 for 10 minutes.

The 2 easiest and simplest forms are a YMCA Step test and a Rockport walk test. These will give you a basic idea of each athlete’s individual aerobic ability. There are more accurate tests out there but these usually require expensive equipment and trained individuals to run and interpret the tests outcome.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.