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Sonja de Groot, Linda J. Valent, Richard Fickert, Babette M. Pluim and Han Houdijk

Purpose:

To determine the relationship between outcomes of the shuttle wheel test (SWT) and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) during that test and whether SWT and VO2peak can discriminate between different skill levels of wheelchair tennis players.

Methods:

Fifteen wheelchair tennis players performed an SWT on a tennis court while VO2 was measured continuously. Outcome measures were VO2peak and achieved stage. Relations between outcomes and Dutch wheelchair tennis ranking were calculated with Spearman correlation. Independent t tests were used to test for differences between national and international players.

Results:

Moderate correlations were found between VO2peak and SWT outcome (r = .40–.47). The tennis ranking correlated weakly with VO2peak (r = –.35) and strongly with SWT outcome (r = –.80). A significant difference was found between national and international players for achieved stage (P = .027) and VO2peak (P = .027).

Conclusions:

The SWT outcome only explained a small part of the variance in VO2peak among players, so it cannot be considered a valid test for aerobic capacity. However, SWT outcomes are related to the skill level of the player and give a good indication of the overall peak wheelchair performance.