Reproducibility of speed, agility and power assessments in elite academy footballers

Harsley, Paul and Bishop, Daniel and Gee, Thomas (2014) Reproducibility of speed, agility and power assessments in elite academy footballers. In: UKSCA 10th Annual Strength and Conditioning Conference, 19th - 20th July 2014, Warwickshire.

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Abstract

Purpose: Fitness testing is a visible part of many youth and senior football programs (Pyne et al. 2014). A high priority is given to physical assessments that relate to the demands of match performance (Rampinini et al. 2007). However somewhat surprisingly, the reproducibility of common assessments using elite football cohorts are not widely reported in the literature (Pyne et al. 2014). Field test assessments of speed, agility and power not only provide an indicator of sport-specific power producing ability but can also be used for diagnostic purposes to identify whether an athlete is suffering from fatigue, functional / non-functional overreaching or overtraining (Meeusen et al. 2013). The purpose of this study was to ascertain the reproducibility of testing protocols used to monitor speed, agility and power capabilities within elite academy footballers.

Methods: Ten male apprentice professional football players (mean ± SD: age = 17.1 ± 0.7 years, stature = 1.83 ± 0.09 m, mass: 77.8 ± 8.2 kg) participated in the study. All participants completed three separate identical trials with a day’s recovery interspersed between each trial. Each trial consisted of the following assessments; a countermovement jump test (CMJ), a seated medicine ball throw test (Throw), a 40 m run sprint test (40 m), which incorporated a 0-10 m assessed phase (10 m) and the arrowhead agility test (Agility).

Results: Findings from One-way ANOVA tests indicated that performance was unchanged across the three trials for all assessments (P > 0.05). Mean typical error as a percentage (TE %) [90 % confidence intervals (CI)] across the assessments indicated highly acceptable reproducibility; CMJ = 3.2% (2.5-4.7), Throw = 1.4% (1.0-2.0). 10 m = 1.6% (1.3-2.4), 40m = 1.4% (1.1-2.0), Agility = 0.9% (0.7-1.3).

Conclusion: Elite academy footballers were found to have consistent performance for assessments of speed, agility and power across three trials. Typical error was found to be low for all assessments indicating a high level of reproducibility across repeated trials (Hopkins et al. 2001). Therefore, these assessments can be confidently used in the physical fitness monitoring of elite academy footballers.

Keywords:reliability and validity, Sprint Performance, arrowhead agility, countermovement jump, seated medicine ball
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:16274
Deposited On:14 Dec 2014 18:55

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