How to Perform the T Test: NSCA Speed and Agility Testing

Sep 18, 2022

By: Danielle Abel, MSN, FNMS, CSCS(c)

If you're looking to test your athlete's speed and agility, the T-Test is a great tool for you to use. In this article, we'll cover testing parameters, how the test should be run, and normative data. 

The T-Test is great for athletes that require change of direction & lateral movements, lacrosse, baseball, soccer, football, or even volleyball. 

Testing Process

The course should be laid out in a T-format:

  • 4 different cones
    • 1 in the middle of the course where the athlete will start
    • 1 cone straight ahead of the starting cone that is 10 yards ahead
      • and 1 to the left and 1 to the right
        • The cone to the left is 5 yards to the left of the middle forward cone
        • The cone to the right is 5 years to the right of the middle forward cone

The athlete will start at the bottom of the T and will sprint forward to the cone that's 10 yards ahead and touch the forward cone. Then they will shuffle to the left cone 5 yards (but keep in mind their feet cannot cross!) and touch the left cone with their hand.

Then, they will shuffle 10 yards to the right (again, feet cannot cross) and touch the right cone with their hand. Then they will shuffle back 5 yards to the center cone and touch the center cone again before backpedaling the 10 yards back to the center starting cone. 

Normative Data

So you might be thinking, "what's a good score for this test?" 

  • For men, a good score is around 10 seconds - but it is athlete specific; but if their score is 14-15 seconds, they probably need to work on their agility
  • For women, a good score is 10-12 seconds, and again will be athlete specific but as times increase, the athlete likely needs work on their agility

Other Considerations

The T-test ran traditionally is a planned course, but if you want to improve an athlete's reactive ability, you can run the test with visual or auditory cues to improve the athlete's reactivity which more closely aligns with sport-specific demands. 

  • Point in the direction that you want the athlete to go
  • Audibly tell the athlete which direction you want them to go
  • Have different color cones on the left and right
  • Toss a ball in the direction that you want the athlete to go

Keep in mind that the T-test ran via the textbook is mostly a change of direction drill. Still, you can easily make it into a more reactive, agility-based drill by combining reactive components, which can also help your athletes stay motivated and excited about running these drills. 


Support & Courses Available

Ready for more support to help you prep for the CSCS exam? Join our Facebook Group, “Strength and Conditioning Study Group,” here. Ready for even more? Our 24-module CSCS Prep Course has athlete testing completely laid out for you with even more content than what we’ve provided here, plus chapter quizzes to help you pass the NSCA exam; click the link here to check it out.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.