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Read the full-length article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Agility is required for most field sports, yet it is still unclear as to the most effective way to train agility. One component of agility is the perceptual and decision-making capabilities of players in the sporting context.
A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research investigated the trainability of the perceptual and decision-making component of agility. Perception and response time along with change of direction speed were assessed during pre- and post-intervention. The training intervention consisted of reacting to a video of an opposing player that was projected onto a large screen.
The projection was occluded at critical points throughout a head-to-head situation, requiring the participant to predict the direction in which the opponent would have continued through physically changing direction.
Substantial improvements in mean perception and response time were reported following the training intervention when compared to the control group. However, no substantial improvements in change of direction speed were observed following the intervention. Improvements in perception and response times were attributed to players’ ability to identify advanced kinematic cues and react accordingly.
This study supports the notion that the perceptual and decision-making components of agility are in fact trainable qualities, and therefore, agility performance can be improved with this sort of training intervention.
Read the full article!
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the NSCA's scientific journal. This monthly publication prints original research information important to strength and conditioning practitioners. Many educational institutions, researchers, and professionals retain this journal as a valuable reference.
Serpell, BG, Young, WB, and Ford, M. Are the perceptual and decision-making components of agility trainable? A preliminary investigation. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1240-1248, 2011.