How to pass the Basketball Physical Tests?

Passing the physical tests for basketball will allow you to have a super complete profile for recruiters.

2 options are possible to pass the tests:

By yourself

It’s free. You can pass the test alone and fill in your profile information with it.

Sport Combine's Session

You can pass the tests with Sport Combine’s team during one of our session.

We’ll communicate on the next coming sessions. If you want to organize a session with us it’s possible but you have to contact us first.

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You will find below all the informationss that you need to pass the tests.

Table of Contents


Fitness Component Exercise Comments
185 pound Bench Press
The maximum number of bench press repetitions at 185 pounds is recorded. This is a test of maximum strength and repetition (strength) endurance. The test also requires excellent bench press technique to maximize the athlete’s score.
Vertical Jump
The vertical jump is a test of an athlete’s explosive leg power. There are two versions of this test performed, the standard (no step) vertical jump and a running Max Vert.
¾ Court Sprint
Time to sprint over the distance of three quarters of the court is measured in seconds. Maximum running speed is important in basketball, though the acceleration or time over the first few steps is probably more important.
Lane Agility Drill
Agility is very important in basketball, and is measured using the lane agility test at the NBA camp. The Lane Agility test measures how fast a player moves laterally around the key.
Reactive Shuttle Run
A newer test which has been measured from at least 2010 is sometimes referred to as the reactive shuttle test. The players start in the middle of the key and run to each side of the key before returning to the center.
Body Size
Anthropometrical measurements that are taken include height with and without shoes, weight, wingspan and standing reach. Percent body fat has also been measured in the last few years.

Bench Press

Purpose: To measure maximum strength endurance of the chest muscle groups.

Equipment required: Bench with safety, standard Olympic bar, and various free weights
up to 225 lbs.

Bench Press Testweight: In the pre-season draft testing combines, the NBA uses 185 lbs, NHL 150 lbs, and the NFL 225 lbs. In the SPARQ rating system for football, the weight used is 185 lbs.

Procedure: An appropriate warm up procedure should be followed. For the NBA combine protocol, the warm up involves 10 push-ups, then after 60 seconds rest, 5 reps at 135 pounds, then after another 90 seconds attempt 185lbs as many times as possible. The bar is set to the appropriate weight, depending on the group to be tested. The athlete begins by lying in a supine position on the bench, with their feet flat on the floor and the upper and lower back in contact with the bench at all times. The bar is grasped at approximately 6 inches wider than shoulder width apart, so that the elbows are at right angles at the lowest point. A complete successful lift is counted from the starting position of the arms fully extended with the weight directly above the chest, to the weight just touching the chest, then returned to the starting position. The movement of the bar should be at a controlled speed and with a smooth motion, and the weight should remain in line with your nipples. The testing ends as soon as the athlete is unable to complete a repetition.

Scoring: The maximum number of full repetitions successfully completed is recorded.

Comments: For safety, a spotter should stand at the head of the bench throughout the test. The test results of this test may be specific to the equipment used (height of bench, variations in weights), so is best to use the same equipment for test-retest measures. If any variation in technique was allowed, this should be recorded on the results sheet for referral when the test is repeated.

Vertical Jump

Purpose: To measure the leg muscle power

Equipment required: Measuring tape or marked wall, chalk for marking wall (or Vertec or jump mat).

Procedure: The athlete stands side on to a wall and reaches up with the hand closest to the wall. Keeping the feet flat on the ground, the point of the fingertips is marked or recorded. This is called the standing reach height. The athlete then stands away from the wall, and leaps vertically as high as possible using both arms and legs to assist in projecting the body upwards. The jumping technique can or cannot use a countermovement (see vertical jump technique). Attempt to touch the wall at the highest point of the jump. The difference in distance between the standing reach height and the jump height is the score. The best of three attempts is recorded.

Variations: The vertical jump test can also be performed using a specialized apparatus called the Vertec. The procedure when using the Vertec is very similar to as described above. Jump height can also be measured using a jump mat which measures the displacement of the hips. To be accurate, you must ensure the feet land back on the mat with legs nearly fully extended. Vertical jump height can also be measured using a timing mat. The vertical jump test is usually performed with a counter movement, where there is bending of the knees immediately prior to the jump. The test can also be performed as a squat jump, starting from the position of knees being bent. Other test variations are to perform the test with no arm movement (one hand on hip, the other raised above the head) to isolate the leg muscles and reduce the effect of variations in coordination of the arm movements. The test can also be performed off one leg, with a step into the jump, or with a run-up off two feet or one foot, depending on the relevance to the sport involved. For more details see vertical jump technique.

Scoring: The jump height is usually recorded as a distance score. See the vertical jump norm table to rate scores. For more information, see a selection of vertical jump test results. It is also possible to convert jump height into a power or work score.

Comments: The jump height can be affected by how much you bend your knees before you jump, and the effective use of the arms. The test is also sometimes incorrectly spelled as the «Sergeant» or «Sargent» Test.

Max Vertical Jump

Purpose: To measure maximum jump reach height above the ground

Equipment required: Measuring tape or marked wall, chalk for marking wall or Vertec.

Test setup: The arms of the Vertec jump measuring device is adjusted to be a set distance off the floor, to eliminate the need for measuring standing reach. Or the athlete stands side on to a wall and reaches up with the hand closest to the wall. Keeping the feet flat on the ground, the point of the fingertips is marked or recorded. This is called the standing reach height. Markers are placed 15 feet away from the base of the vertec, enabling approaches from several different angles.

Procedure: The athlete stands 15 feet away from a Vertec or the wall. The athlete is given a significant amount of freedom in choosing how to jump: with one or two feet and any number of steps before the jump. As the athlete approaches the Vertec or the wall, they jump and touch the Vertec fingers or the wall that record the height of the jump. Record the ‘touch’ height above the court floor.

Scoring: The max jump height is recorded as a distance from the ground.

3/4 Court Sprint

Purpose: The aim of this test is to determine running speed over 3/4 court distance (75 feet, 22.86 meters).

Equipment required: marked basketball court, 4 cones, stopwatch or timing gates.

Test setup: Place two cones / timing gates at the baseline and free-throw lane lines, and two cones at the elbows of the opposite free-throw line (see diagram).

Procedure: A thorough warm up should be given, including some practice starts and accelerations (see warming up for sprint testing). Start from a stationary position behind the court baseline, with one foot up to the line (a two-point stance). The tester should provide hints to maximizing speed and encouragement to continue running hard past the finish markers. If using hand timing, the stopwatch should be started with the first movement.

Scoring: Two trials are allowed, and the best time is recorded to the nearest two decimal places.

Not all courts are the same length. Measure the court distance to confirm that the 3/4
distance is equal to 75 feet.

For safety, you may wish to place crash pads against the wall at the far end of the

Lane Agility

Purpose: This is a test of speed, body control and the ability to change direction (agility).

Equipment required: Stopwatch or timing gates, measuring tape, 6 marker cones, a basketball court.

Test layout: Set up the cones as illustrated in the diagram. The test is based on the pro-sized foul lane (16’ wide x 19’ deep). If using a High School sized court (lane width is only 12 feet) or other non-standard court dimensions, the markers may need to set outside the lane markings.

Procedure: Start with one foot behind the start line, no rocking movement allowed. Hand timing starts from first movement from the set position. Run forwards to the baseline. At the cone, change movement to a side shuffle, and move sideways to the right across the baseline. At the next cone back pedal up the lane to the foul line, then side shuffle left back towards the start line. Here the subject touches the floor at a point even with the starting cone, then reverses direction to return back around the course to complete another revolution. First side shuffle right, forward sprint, side shuffle left then back pedal to complete the test. Remain facing forwards towards the baseline throughout the test. Two trials are allowed.

Scoring: Record the best time to complete the test in seconds to the nearest two decimal places. A foul includes moving or knocking down a cone, cutting a corner of the drill, sprinting sideways instead of defensive-shuffling, crossing your feet, not
touching the change-of-direction line, or falling down. The table below lists expected
score ranges for players of different positions.

Shuttle Run

Purpose: This is a test of speed, body control and the ability to change direction (agility),
as well as reaction time.

Equipment required: stopwatch or timing gates, marked basketball court, 3 marker
cones or marking tape, reactive system.

Test setup: The marking of the standard NBA basketball court are used. The center of the key may need to be marked, and cones are also placed on the outside of the key. The key is 16 feet wide.

Procedure: The player starts by straddling the middle line. When indicated by the measuring system, the player runs either to the right or left direction, and places his foot on or over the sideline of the key. He then runs 16 feet back to the opposite line, then finally turns and finishes by running back through the start/finish line.

Scoring: The time to complete the test in seconds to the nearest two decimals is recorded. The score is the best time of three trials.

Comments: Turning technique and coordination is also a large factor in this test.


Purpose: The measurement of height, from the feet to the top of the head, is a standard component of most fitness assessments. Height (or lack of height) is an important attribute for many sports.

Equipment required: Stadiometer (or steel ruler or tape measure placed against a wall)

Procedure: Standing height is the measurement the maximum distance from the floor to the highest point of the head, when the subject is facing directly ahead. Shoes should be off, feet together, and arms by the sides. Heels, buttocks and upper back should also be in contact with the wall when the measurement is made.

Comments: Height measurement can vary throughout the day, usually being higher in the morning, so to ensure reliability height should be measured at the same time of day.


Purpose: Measuring body mass can be valuable for monitoring body fat or muscle mass changes, or for monitoring hydration level.

Equipment required: Scales, which should be calibrated for accuracy using weights authenticated by a government department of weights and measures.

Procedure: The person stands with minimal movement with hands by their side. Shoes
and excess clothing should be removed.

Scoring: The time to complete the test in seconds to the nearest two decimals is recorded. The score is the best time of three trials.

Comments: To improve reliability, weigh routinely in the morning (12 hours since eating). Body weight can be affected by fluid in the bladder (weigh after voiding the bladder). Other factors to consider are the amount of food recently eaten, hydration level, the amount of waste recently expelled from the body, recent exercise and clothing. If you are monitoring changes in body mass, try and weigh at the same time of day, under the same conditions, and preferably with no clothes on. Always compare using the same set of scales.


Purpose: To measure arm length, as long arms may be advantageous for some sports
which involve reaching and tackling.

Equipment required: Ruler or tape measure, wall or floor.

Procedure: Facing away from the wall, with back and buttocks touching the arms are stretched out horizontally. Measure from one furthermost finger tip to the other.

Comments: The arm length measures can be compared to the person’s height. On average, arm span should be about equal to height. By subtracting a measurement for shoulder width from this measurement you can get a measure of average
arm length. Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps may have a significant advantage due to his exceptional arm span measurement. His arm span was measured at 203cm, 10cm more than his stature. It is important for the subject to fully stretch to get the maximum reach, and that the arms are held exactly horizontally. To assist in keeping the outstretched arms horizontal, use a wall that has horizontal lines already on it such as a brick wall. Also measure out from a corner or wall protrusion so that one hand can be stable and all measurements are away from it.


Purpose: To measure the width and lenght of the hand

Equipment required: Flat surface and ruler or tape measure

Procedure: The hand is placed palm down on a flat surface. The fingers are outstretched as far as possible. Measure the linear distance between the outside of the thumb to the outside of the little finger. For the lenght just place your hand on a flat surface without outstretching your fingers. Measure the linear distance between the top of your fingers to the bottom of your hand


Bench Press Technique


  1. Begin by lying flat on a bench, with your feet flat on the floor and buttocks and shoulders touching the bench.
  2. Grasp the bar at slightly wider than shoulder width apart (so that the elbows are at right angles at the lowest point).
  3. Start with the arms fully extended, holding the weight directly above the chest.
  4. The weight is lowered at a controlled speed and with a smooth motion, to just touch the chest then returned to the starting position.

Key points to remember

  • Make sure that the back is not excessively arched, and that bar is not bounced on the chest.
  • The bar should be kept horizontal so no particular arm does more work.
  • You should not hold your breath during this exercise – breathe slowly in on the way down and out on the way up.
  • A spotter, standing behind the athlete’s head, should always be used.

Vertical Jump Techniques

Squat Jump or Static Jump

In its simplest form, the vertical jump test is performed as a squat jump or static jump. In this technique, the subject starts from a stationary semi-squatting position, or pauses at the lower level of the squat before jumping upwards. This removes the factor of the stretch-shortening cycle (pre-stretching of muscles) and the jump result will be smaller than other techniques described below. The difference in jump height is typically 3-6 cm without a countermovement.

Countermovement Technique

The vertical jump test is commonly performed with a counter movement, where there is bending of the knees immediately prior to the jump. The countermovement activates the stretch-shortening cycle in the muscles, resulting in greater power production in the legs. Without the use of the arms, it makes it difficult to use the traditional technique of reaching up and touching the wall. The eTID VJ protocol is a countermovement test performed with no arm swinging, though the test is performed with one hand on the hip and the other raised above the head so as to reach up the wall. The Bosco Countermovement Jump test is performed on a touch sensitive mat, so the arms can be left on the hips throughout the jump.

Using the Arms

Using the arms during a vertical jump test is not always desirable, as it add variations due to technique and coordination, though most vertical jump tests you will see performed allow the use of the arms to help propel the body upwards, as well as a countermovement. Greater jump heights can be achieved with this method. In fact some measurement techniques are hard to conduct without the arms swinging, as they require that the arm is extended upwards to mark the wall or the vanes of the vertec can be hit. See the general vertical jump test description which gives the procedure for this method. Also see the Abalakov Jump Test, an example of the vertical jump using both arm movement and countermovement using a jump mat.

Vertical Jump Norms

Vertical Jump Norm Table

The table below categorizes the vertical jump height in centimeters and inches for adult men and women. This ranking scale is based on my observations, and will give a general idea of what is a good score.

Male Female
> 28
> 70
> 24
> 60
Very Good
Above Average
Below Average
Very Poor
< 8
< 21
< 4
< 11

Warm up for speed testing

Example Warm Up

  • Jog 1-2 km
  • Stretches (lunges, quad stretch, calf stretch, side bend)
  • Run throughs over 30-40 meters at gradually increasing speeds.
  • Accelerations over 10-20 meters, including practicing taking off at maximum effort.


Feel free to modify this procedure as you see fit. Depending on the environmental conditions, you may wish to extend of reduce the amount of warm up. In warm conditions, the subjects may already be somewhat ‘warmed-up’, but should still do the stretches and run throughs. In cold conditions they will obviously need an extended warm up.

You can modify the distance of the run throughs and accelerations to match the distance over which speed will be tested. You may also need to modify the warm up depending on what facilities and the amount of time you have available.

Lane Agility Time Norms

Lane Agility Norm Table

The table below lists expected score ranges for players of different positions.

Position Male Female
10,2 - 10,9
13,0 - 14,5
11,0 - 11,4
14,6 - 15,5
11,5 - 12,3
14,6 - 15,5

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