When assessing performance of speed and agility in athletes, there might be an interesting new way in which to determine what (and to what extent) an athlete needs to work on during training. A study in the JOSCR (vol. 26, number 9, September 2012, pg 2328) the authors looked at repeated sprint ability and repeated change of direction ability. They looked at the relationship between these two and then created an index number and norms from which a coach might be able to determine what type of training should be implemented (speed or agility).
This index is really just the speed value divided by the agility value (repeated speed / repeated agility), but when we began plugging in numbers from other tests of speed and agility, we found some similarities between their index standard of .60 and how we typically rank our players and slot them into training categories. To keep a balance between a players ability to accelerate (20 yd dash) and his ability to change direction (20 yd shuttle) we just might be able to use this .60 index number.
“…If a player runs a 2.70 sec 20 yd dash and a 4.65 second 20 yd shuttle, their index would be .58 (below the standard of .60).”
If a player scores below .60 they have an oblivious weakness in their ability to efficiently change directions. For instance, if a player runs a 2.70 sec 20 yd dash and a 4.65 second 20 yd shuttle, their index would be .58 (below the standard of .60). Now before we can take this idea and use it, we want to test it with our players and see if it holds up. At first glance this looks good, but I could actually see us raising the index a few points (maybe to .62) but only time will tell. Also, as the researchers stated, there should be a standard to determine what is acceptable speed and agility numbers. For instance if a player’s index number was acceptable but his speed was below the standard or group average, then he would still be placed in a “needs improvement” category.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and discuss the potential training options that might stem from this research.