The Shark skill test is a performance test designed to measure lower body agility, muscle control and single leg functional balance.
It is a progression from single-leg squat assessments and may not be suitable for all individuals especially for those that have experienced knee or leg injuries.
Why is it called the 'Shark' skill test? Honestly, I have no idea... maybe it's because sharks are so agile?? Having said that the following evidence suggests they may not be as agile as you think...
Shark Skill Test Setup
This test requires a grid to arranged on the floor. You can do this very simply with or chalk. The box should be a 3x3 pattern as shown below with 9 boxes. Each box should be 12 inches square.
You will hop from box to box following a variety of patterns.
To perform the Shark skill test you’ll need a friend or a way to record yourself.
Starting the Shark Skill Test
Prior to performing the timed test, you can do a practice run on each foot.
When you are ready to start, stand in the centre of the grid on one leg with your hands placed on your hips.
Hop to each box following the designated pattern and returning to the centre box each time. Patterns can be entirely made up but be sure to remain consistent for measurement. Many people simply perform a clockwise pattern for ease.
Following the designated pattern, perform the test twice on each foot, alternating after each one.
Start recording your time as soon as you jump from the centre square into the 1st square in the sequence.
Count your mistakes and add 1 tenth of a second to your time for each time you:
- Touch the ground with the other foot
- Remove your hands from your hips
- Hop into the wrong square
- Don’t return to the center square
The pros of The Shark Skill test
As there is minimal equipment required (just some tape to mark out the grid) this is easy to setup.
Results give a assessment of agility and muscular control of the lower extremities
The Cons Of The Shark Skill Test
The test isn't suitable for everyone. If you are suffering from injuries to the knee or ankle for example, you might want to avoid this test due to the pressure placed on these joints when jumping around.
There is potential for errors in recording of the timings as this is manual and prone to some human error