Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020) | Viewed by 44384

Special Issue Editor

Directorate of Psychology and Sport, University of Salford, Salford M6 6PU, UK
Interests: assessment and development of strength, power, multidirectional speed; injury mitigation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agility (the ability to change direction, velocity or movement in response to sports-specific stimuli) is an important quality to develop for athletes involved in field and court based sports. Agility is underpinned by an individual’s perceptual–cognitive abilities and change of direction (COD) speed, with the latter dependent on muscle strength qualities and technique. Until the last decade, the ability to assess COD speed and agility has been poorly understood. Furthermore, recent research is providing a better understanding of the physical and biomechanical requirements of COD. The aim of this Special Issue is to expand the growing body of research regarding the assessment and development of COD speed and agility, and welcomes research articles pertaining to; the assessment of both qualities, underpinning biomechanics of COD (or related phases), the role of muscle strength qualities in COD and various interventions to enhance both agility and COD speed.

Dr. Paul Jones
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Cutting
  • Pivoting
  • Deceleration
  • Maneuverability
  • Biomechanics
  • Technique
  • Muscle Strength Qualities
  • Perceptual-cognitive
  • Change of Direction Deficit
  • Injury Risk

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 615 KiB  
Article
Reliability of Change of Direction and Agility Assessments in Youth Soccer Players
Sports 2020, 8(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8040051 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5479
Abstract
Considering the vast physical and neural developments experienced throughout adolescence, the reliability of physical performance may vary in youth populations. This study aimed to examine the reliability of change of direction (COD) and agility tests in youth soccer players. Altogether, 86 youth soccer [...] Read more.
Considering the vast physical and neural developments experienced throughout adolescence, the reliability of physical performance may vary in youth populations. This study aimed to examine the reliability of change of direction (COD) and agility tests in youth soccer players. Altogether, 86 youth soccer players, aged 13.6 ± 2.0 years, volunteered to participate. Data were collected from a modified 505 COD test (m505COD) and the Y-sprint drill in both pre-planned (Y-SprintPRE) and reactive (Y-SprintREACT) conditions during 2 sessions, 7 days apart. Anthropometric data including body mass, standing stature, and sitting height were also collected. COD and agility tests demonstrated good reliability (ICC = 0.81–0.91; CV = 1.2–2.0; d = 0.00–0.31; p < 0.01) for our entire sample. However, we observed a small negative relationship between age and intersession differences for the Y-SprintPRE (r = −0.28; p = 0.04), and moderate negative relationships between both age (r = −0.41; p < 0.01), and maturity offset (r = −0.39; p < 0.01) for the Y-SprintREACT. Although the COD and agility tests adopted within this study possess good intersession reliability, we observed greater intersession differences for younger and less mature individuals. We suggest that while COD and agility tests may provide meaningful objective data for monitoring the development of youth soccer players, these tests should be used with caution when evaluating younger, more immature athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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13 pages, 1111 KiB  
Article
Relationship of Performance Measures and Muscle Activity between a 180° Change of Direction Task and Different Countermovement Jumps
Sports 2020, 8(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8040047 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4560
Abstract
The ability to rapidly perform change of direction (COD) is crucial for performance in Soccer. COD speed is thought to share similarities with countermovement jumps in kinematics and muscle activation. Thus, the objective of the current study was to investigate the relationship between [...] Read more.
The ability to rapidly perform change of direction (COD) is crucial for performance in Soccer. COD speed is thought to share similarities with countermovement jumps in kinematics and muscle activation. Thus, the objective of the current study was to investigate the relationship between muscle activities in performance measures of a modified 505-agility test and different countermovement jumps. Twenty-one experienced soccer players performed a COD test including the 505-agility test and uni- and bi-lateral horizontal and vertical countermovement jumps. The main findings were that the vertical bilateral and horizontal unilateral countermovement jump were able to predict total time to complete the COD, but not 505-agility time. Muscle activity in the COD and countermovement jumps was only distinguished by a higher peak muscle activity for the adductor longus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris in the COD to stabilize the hip and decelerate knee joint movements when turning compared with the jumps. Conclusively, the relationship between performance in countermovement jumps and total time to complete the COD test was due to longer sprint distances, which makes the distinction between performances bigger. Peak muscle activity of most muscles is similar between the jumps and the COD step, indicating similar muscular demands between these activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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9 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
The Reliability of Using a Laser Device to Assess Deceleration Ability
Sports 2019, 7(8), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7080191 - 09 Aug 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3948
Abstract
An important component of change of direction speed is the ability to decelerate. Objective methods to examine this quality have been rarely reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to investigate the within- and between-session reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), [...] Read more.
An important component of change of direction speed is the ability to decelerate. Objective methods to examine this quality have been rarely reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to investigate the within- and between-session reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), coefficient of variation (CV), standard error of measurement (SEM) and smallest detectable difference (SDD)) of using a laser Doppler device (LAVEG—LAser VElocity Guard) to quantify deceleration ability in 20 amateur rugby union players. Each player performed one familiarisation and two experimental sessions (seven days apart) consisting of three maximal 15 m sprints from a standing start, with an immediate deceleration to a complete stop upon hearing an audible cue at the 15 m mark. Deceleration was evaluated by determining the distance required to decelerate to 75%, 50%, 25% and 0% (‘stopping distance’) of the velocity achieved at 15 m of the maximal sprint. Within-session relative reliability was moderate to good (ICC = 0.64–0.83) with borderline acceptable variation (CVs = 10.51%–16.71%) across all variables. Between-session reliability reported good to excellent relative reliability (ICC = 0.79–0.93) with acceptable absolute reliability, particularly for stopping distance (SEM: 6.54%; SDD: 9.11%). The assessment shows promise as a method to quantify deceleration ability in athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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11 pages, 1905 KiB  
Article
The Acceleration and Deceleration Profiles of U-18 Women’s Basketball Players during Competitive Matches
Sports 2019, 7(7), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7070165 - 05 Jul 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3908
Abstract
The ability of a player to perform high-intensity actions can be linked to common requirements of team sports, and the ability to accelerate can be an important factor in successfully facing the opponent. The aim of this study was to determine the acceleration [...] Read more.
The ability of a player to perform high-intensity actions can be linked to common requirements of team sports, and the ability to accelerate can be an important factor in successfully facing the opponent. The aim of this study was to determine the acceleration and deceleration profiles of U-18 women’s basketball players during competitive matches. This study categorized accelerations and decelerations by playing position and quarter. Forty-eight U-18 female basketball players from the same Spanish league participated in this study. Each player was equipped with a WimuProTM inertial device. Accelerations/decelerations were recorded. The number of accelerations and decelerations, intensity category, and type were recorded. These variables varied between quarters (first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, and fourth quarter) and playing positions (Guard, Forward and Center). The shorter but more intense accelerations took place in the last quarter, due to the tight results of the matches. Besides, players in the Guard positions performed more accelerations and their intensity was greater than that of other positions. An acceleration profile was established for the quarters of a basketball game, and was shown to depend on the playing position, being different for Guards, Forwards and Centers in U-18 women’s basketball players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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13 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
Physical Qualities Pertaining to Shorter and Longer Change-of-Direction Speed Test Performance in Men and Women
Sports 2019, 7(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7020045 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 8275
Abstract
This study investigated relationships between shorter (505, change-of-direction (COD) deficit as a derived physical quality) and longer (Illinois agility test; IAT) COD tests with linear speed, lower-body power (multidirectional jumping), and strength in recreationally-trained individuals. Twenty-one males and 22 females (similar to collegiate [...] Read more.
This study investigated relationships between shorter (505, change-of-direction (COD) deficit as a derived physical quality) and longer (Illinois agility test; IAT) COD tests with linear speed, lower-body power (multidirectional jumping), and strength in recreationally-trained individuals. Twenty-one males and 22 females (similar to collegiate club-sport and tactical athletes) were assessed in: 505 and COD deficit from each leg; IAT; 20 m sprint; vertical jump (VJ height, peak anaerobic power measured in watts (PAPw), power-to-body mass ratio); standing broad jump; lateral jump (LJ) from each leg; and absolute and relative isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) strength. Partial correlations calculated sex-determined relationships between the COD and performance tests, with regression equations calculated (p < 0.05). The 505 and IAT correlated with all tests except PAPw and absolute IMTP (r = ±0.43–0.71). COD deficit correlated with the LJ (r = −0.34–0.60). Left- and right-leg 505 was predicted by sex, 20 m sprint, and left-leg LJ (70–77% explained variance). Right-leg COD deficit was predicted by sex and left-leg LJ (27% explained variance). IAT was predicted by sex, 20 m sprint, right-leg LJ, and relative IMTP (84% explained variance). For individuals with limited training time, improving linear speed, and relative lower-body power and strength, could enhance shorter and longer COD performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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12 pages, 1465 KiB  
Article
Change of Direction Deficit in National Team Rugby Union Players: Is There an Influence of Playing Position?
Sports 2019, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010002 - 21 Dec 2018
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5776
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the change of direction (COD) ability and deficits of elite rugby union players, discriminating between position (backs and forwards), and between “faster and slower players”, in multiple COD tasks. Twenty-four male rugby union players from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the change of direction (COD) ability and deficits of elite rugby union players, discriminating between position (backs and forwards), and between “faster and slower players”, in multiple COD tasks. Twenty-four male rugby union players from the Brazilian senior National team completed the following assessments: Squat and countermovement jumps; drop jump; standing long jump, horizontal triple jumps; 40-m linear sprint; Pro-agility, L-Drill, and Zig-zag COD tests; and squat 1-repetition maximum. The differences between backs and forwards and between faster and slower performers were examined using magnitude-based inferences. Backs were faster (in both linear and COD speed tests) and jumped higher than forwards. Moreover, they generated an inferior sprint momentum. No differences were found in COD deficit between playing positions. However, when dividing the sample by median split, faster players outperformed their slower counterparts in all power–speed variables and presented higher COD deficits. These results suggest that separating rugby players by playing position might not discriminate players with different COD skills and that the median split analysis is more sensitive to identifying these differences. Furthermore, the present data indicate that faster rugby players are less efficient at changing direction and tolerating higher approach velocities in COD maneuvers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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15 pages, 1361 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Change of Direction Speed Performance and Asymmetries between Team-Sport Athletes: Application of Change of Direction Deficit
Sports 2018, 6(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports6040174 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 6409
Abstract
The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine differences in change of direction (COD) performance and asymmetries between team-sports while considering the effects of sex and sport; (2) to evaluate the relationship between linear speed, COD completion time, and COD deficit. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to examine differences in change of direction (COD) performance and asymmetries between team-sports while considering the effects of sex and sport; (2) to evaluate the relationship between linear speed, COD completion time, and COD deficit. A total of 115 (56 males, 59 females) athletes active in cricket, soccer, netball, and basketball performed the 505 for both left and right limbs and a 10-m sprint test. All team-sports displayed directional dominance (i.e., faster turning performance/shorter COD deficits towards a direction) (p ≤ 0.001, g = −0.62 to −0.96, −11.0% to −28.4%) with, male cricketers tending to demonstrate the greatest COD deficit asymmetries between directions compared to other team-sports (28.4 ± 26.5%, g = 0.19–0.85), while female netballers displayed the lowest asymmetries (11.0 ± 10.1%, g = 0.14–0.86). Differences in sprint and COD performance were observed between sexes and sports, with males demonstrating faster 10-m sprint times, and 505 times compared to females of the same sport. Male soccer and male cricketers displayed shorter COD deficits compared to females of the same sport; however, female court athletes demonstrated shorter COD deficits compared to male court athletes. Large significant associations (ρ = 0.631–0.643, p < 0.001) between 505 time and COD deficit were revealed, while trivial, non-significant associations (ρ ≤ −0.094, p ≥ 0.320) between COD deficit and 10-m sprint times were observed. In conclusion, male and female team-sport athletes display significant asymmetries and directional dominance during a high approach velocity 180° turning task. Coaches and practitioners are advised to apply the COD deficit for a more isolated measure of COD ability (i.e., not biased towards athletes with superior acceleration and linear speed) and perform COD speed assessments from both directions to establish directional dominance and create a COD symmetry profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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12 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
Relationships between Unilateral Muscle Strength Qualities and Change of Direction in Adolescent Team-Sport Athletes
Sports 2018, 6(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports6030083 - 20 Aug 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5082
Abstract
Previous studies have reported an association between global measures of bilateral strength and change of direction (COD) ability. Yet, little is known about the association between unilateral muscle strength qualities and COD ability. The aim of this study was to explore the associations [...] Read more.
Previous studies have reported an association between global measures of bilateral strength and change of direction (COD) ability. Yet, little is known about the association between unilateral muscle strength qualities and COD ability. The aim of this study was to explore the associations between unilateral muscle strength qualities and COD measures (COD speed (CODS) and COD deficit) when matched limb-for-limb (i.e., right limb vs. right limb, left limb vs. left limb) in adolescent team-sport athletes. One hundred and fifteen athletes (56 males, 59 females) active in cricket, netball, and basketball participated in this investigation. Each player performed trials of countermovement jump (CMJ), single-leg hop (SLH), isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) and eccentric knee extensor torque (ECC-EXT) to assess muscle strength qualities and 505 and modified 505 (505mod) to evaluate COD ability. Moderate-to-large correlations were observed between SLH and CODS (r = −0.43 to −0.67). Another important finding was that CMJ measures demonstrated moderate-to-large correlations with CODS (r = −0.38 to −0.69) and small-to-moderate correlations with COD deficit (r = −0.24 to −0.45). COD is underpinned by distinct muscle strength qualities and each contribute to specific phases of a COD task. It is therefore likely that such connections exist between muscle strength qualities and COD, with all qualities contributing to overall COD ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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