Modifying the pro-agility test: is the change of direction deficit affected by a rolling start?

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Todd Davidson with Paul Jarvis, Thomas Dos'Santos, Anthony Turner and Chris Bishop

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the reliability of a modified version of the pro-agility test (MPA), as a means of assessing both static and rolling change of direction deficit (CODD), using solely one change of direction (COD) speed test. Sixteen male youth cricketers (age: 16 ± 1.6 years, height: 172 ± 9.7 cm, body mass: 72.0 ± 7.6 kg) performed both a 20m sprint, and a modified pro-agility (MPA) test (5-15-5m). The MPA required individuals to turn with both limbs, with the first and final 10m of each test compared to calculate a static and rolling CODD respectively. Paired samples t-tests revealed significant differences between static and rolling CODD, irrespective of whether the COD corresponding to the CODD calculation was performed off the fastest (p < 0.01, ES = 1.12), or slowest leg (p < 0.01, ES = 1.25). Additionally, large to very large correlations between 20m sprint time and overall completion time in the MPA were noted for both the fastest (r = 0.74, R2 = 54.76%, p < 0.001) and slowest (r = 0.63, R2 = 39.69%, p = 0.008) limbs. With this in mind, however, all MPA measures provided low relative reliability readings (ICC values < 0.7). The results of this study indicate that rolling starts (ie, an increased entrance velocity to the COD) exacerbate deficiencies in COD performance, both on the fastest and slowest limbs. However, practitioners should be cautious of adopting the MPA at this stage, given the low relative reliability denoted within the present study, and further research is warranted to better understand this. Instead, strength and conditioning coaches may wish to consider employing the traditional 505 test, and a modified version of this with no 10m approach, as a means of calculating both a rolling and static CODD respectively, as this method will better isolate the CODs within each test, and limit influence from a prior/ subsequent COD.

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