Sports Coach Logo Sports Coach Training Principles Fitness Components


Zig-Zag Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to consider factors influencing the results.


This test aims to monitor the athlete's speed and agility development.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • 5 cones
  • Flat non-slip surface
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to run around a series of cones as fast as possible.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant marks out a rectangle 10 by 16 feet with four cones and places a cone in the centre
  • The assistant gives the command "GO" and starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete commences the test at the Start & Finish cone and follows the grey route indicated in the diagram
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch and records the time when the athlete's torso crosses the Start & Finish cone
Zig zag


To evaluate the athlete's speed, enter the time and select the 'Calculate' button.

Time seconds     feet/sec mph m/sec Km/hr


Analysis of the test result compares it with the athlete's results of previous tests. It is expected that the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's agility and speed with appropriate training between each test.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring its intended measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides various factors influencing the results and test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • The athlete can administer the test
  • It can be conducted anywhere


  • Assistant required to administer the test

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2005) Zig-Zag Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Brian Mackenzie is a British Athletics level 4 performance coach and a coach tutor/assessor. He has coached sprint, middle distance, and combined event athletes for the past 30+ years and has 45+ years of experience as an endurance athlete.