26/04/2016 at 00:49 #17840
I’m the head of sports science for Seattle Sounders FC Youth Academy. For the same reason’s mentioned above. I’ve always had a problem using closed skill activities to test agility.
That said finding a way to reliably and objectively test for improvements using an open-skill activity or setup is a challenge. By definition, for a test to be repeatable, it needs a degree of predictability.
A good compromise, I think, is using a quasi-closed skill activity or test. Modifying a T agility test, for example. Have the coach point out the direction to go (last second). Or use a combination of visual and auditory signals to direct a player?
B-11/05/2016 at 07:50 #17933
I’m a PhD student currently doing research in Agility for Australian Football. I think the big take-away, as Mladen mentioned, is to be very wary of drawing conclusions from closed change of direction tasks such as the T-test. There are a few tests which do incorporate a cognitive stimulus and may be of some use but it is important to use a sport specific stimulus rather than just pointing/ arrow/ flashing lights. A great article which discusses the importance of the sport-specific stimulus is this one here (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271794743_The_Importance_of_a_Sport-Specific_Stimulus_for_Training_Agility).
A new test which I have used recently, and may be of some interest is in this article (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299938871_Correlations_between_attacking_agility_defensive_agility_change_of_direction_speed_and_reactive_strength_in_Australian_Footballers?ev=prf_pub” title=”in this article). It is modified from this study (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301692324_Reliability_of_a_field_test_of_defending_and_attacking_agility_in_Australian_football_and_relationships_to_reactive_strength). Be wary though, it may be of limited use in a coaching setting as it takes a relatively long time and it’s impossible to create “benchmark” scores.
On another topic, I would be very interested in what drills you use at Seattle Sounders FC to train agility, as that is where my research is focused at the moment.
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