A specific field test for the assessment of endurance in tennis players: heart rate response and technical efficiency in competitive players

Ernest Baiget Vidal

Xavier Iglesias

Ferran A. Rodríguez

*Corresponding author: Ernest Baiget ernest.baiget@uvic.cat

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Baiget, E., Iglesias, X., & Rodríguez, F. A. (2008). A specific field test for the assessment of endurance in tennis players: heart rate response and technical efficiency in competitive players. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 93, 19-28.

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Abstract

Even if specific endurance has a direct influence on tennis performance, an intermittent sport of long duration, physiological tests do not usually include motor tasks similar to real play and can be considered of low specificity. The aim of the present study was to develop a field test for the assessment of specific tennis endurance (Specific Endurance Tennis Test, SET-Test), based on the analysis of heart rate (HR) and technical efficiency parameters (TE), in order to examine a possible relationship between both parameters, and between them and competitive performance. Seven male tennis players were tested using an incremental, continuous, maximal test driven by a ball throwing machine, during which HR and TE parameters (precision and power) were recorded, the last by assessing the percentage of goals and errors. A HR deflection point (HRDP) was observed in 86% of the subjects, previous or coincident with a decrease in technical efficiency (TEDP). These two points measured simultaneously through the incremental test appeared to be related with competitive performance. We conclude that the proposed test appears to be a specific, valid method for the assessment of specific tennis endurance and aerobic fitness in tennis players, although further studies must be undertaken in order to confirm these hypotheses, as well as the external validity of the test.

Keywords: Field Test, Heart Rate Deflection Point, Physiological Testing, Technical Efficiency, Tennis.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Published: July 01, 2008