Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Skating Multistage Aerobic Test (SMAT)

Ice Hockey Player

The Skating Multistage Aerobic Test (SMAT) is a modified version of the standard 20m beep test designed specifically for ice hockey players. Created by Leone et al. (2007), this test aims to assess the aerobic endurance of hockey players on ice. By following an audible signal, players skate back and forth a distance of 45m while holding a hockey stick with their preferred hand. Unlike the standard beep test, the SMAT is conducted on ice and uses a 2:1 work to rest ratio.

Test Setup and Procedure

To conduct the SMAT, you will need an ice rink with a minimum length of 50m, hockey sticks, marker cones, a 50m measuring tape, and an audio recording (which can be customized using the Team BeepTest software). Here’s a step-by-step guide to the test:

  1. Pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the participants and perform a screening for health risks. Obtain informed consent and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, and gender. Prepare the necessary forms and conduct an appropriate warm-up.

  2. Test Course Setup: Set up the test course on the ice, placing marker cones 45m apart. Additionally, place markers at the midpoint to aid in pacing.

  3. Test Execution: Instruct the players to stand behind the end line with their front skate parallel to the line. When instructed by the audio signal, they start skating. If the second line is reached before the beep sounds, the player must wait until the beep sounds before continuing. The players skate back and forth for one minute, followed by a 30-second rest period. After the rest period, players glide or skate slowly to the closest end of the 45m course and wait for 30 seconds before starting the next stage. The initial velocity is set at 3.5 m/s, with increments of 0.2 m/s for every one-minute stage (speed increases every 1.5 minutes). The test continues until the player is unable to keep pace with the audio signal.

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Scoring and Interpretation

The player’s score is determined by the level and number of shuttles (45m) reached before they cannot keep up with the audio signal. Record the last level completed successfully, which may not necessarily be the level at which the player stopped. Additionally, a VO2max score can be calculated based on the maximal velocity achieved:

VO2max (ml·kg-1·min-1) = 18.07 × (maximal velocity in m·s-1) – 35.596 (r = 0.97, SEE = 3.01).

Target Population and Reliability

The SMAT is primarily designed for ice hockey players but may also apply to other sports conducted on ice. The reliability of the test depends on factors such as test administration, the skill level of the skaters, and the amount of practice allowed for participants.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The SMAT offers the following advantages:

  • It can be performed by large groups simultaneously.

However, it also has the following disadvantages:

  • Scores can be influenced by practice and motivation levels, making them subjective.
  • As the test is typically conducted in cold conditions, extreme temperatures may impact performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can the SMAT be used for sports other than ice hockey?
A: While the SMAT is designed specifically for ice hockey players, it may also be applicable to other sports conducted primarily on ice.

Q: How reliable is the beep test?
A: The reliability of the beep test depends on various factors such as test administration, the skill level of the participants, and the practice allowed for them.

Q: What are the advantages of the SMAT?
A: The SMAT allows for large groups to perform the test simultaneously.

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Conclusion

In a study conducted by Leone et al. (2007), the SMAT was found to be highly specific, valid, and reliable for predicting the VO2max of hockey players. Its modified design for ice hockey makes it an effective tool for assessing the aerobic endurance of players on ice.

For more information about the SMAT and other fitness tests, visit Auralpressure.