This study compared the neuromuscular, metabolic and hormonal profiles of trained prepubescent tennis players and an untrained group. The boys in the experimental group (n = 9; mean age +/- S.D. = 11.4 +/- 0.5 years) had participated in tennis training for 2.3 +/- 1.0 years and the boys in the control group (n = 9; mean age +/- S.D. = 10.9 +/- 0.4 years) were normal active volunteers. The tennis players were found to be physically more active than the controls when the comparison was made for either 1 year (4.9 +/- 1.8 vs 2.6 +/- 2.5 times per week; P less than 0.05) or for 1 week (3.4 +/- 1.2 vs 0.4 +/- 0.5 times; P less than 0.001) preceding the tests. Choice reaction time was significantly (P less than 0.01) shorter in the experimental group (258 +/- 16 ms) than in the control group (344 +/- 81 ms). Dropping height in the best drop jump was significantly (P less than 0.05) higher in the tennis players (0.46 +/- 0.19 m) than in the control boys (0.27 +/- 0.10 m). The tennis players had significantly lower oxygen consumption at the 'anaerobic threshold' than the controls (P less than 0.05). There were no significant differences between the groups in serum hormone levels. The small differences that existed may have been caused by active participation in sport by the tennis players.