Training and testing of 1v1 agility in Australian football

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Little is known of how agility events occur in the sport of Australian football (AF). As a result, appropriate training and testing methods are unknown. This thesis investigated 1v1 agility in AF to evaluate alternative methods for training and testing agility. The thesis was undertaken in three studies. Study one investigated if training and testing practices used in elite AF align with the demands of competition. A notational analysis revealed substantial variation in movement patterns used by, and the cognitive demands of, athletes in agility events. A survey of high-performance managers in the AFL revealed that a mixture of open and closed training methods are used in elite AF, and that subjective agility assessment is preferred to formal testing. Study two assessed the reliability and ecological validity of a field-based test of attacking and defending agility for AF. The text exhibited excellent inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, as well as moderate test-retest reliability. Characteristics of the test were compared to the notational analysis to assess the ecological validity of the test. While the test did not fully replicate the agility demands of AF, the test improved ecological validity when compared to previous tests described in the literature. Study three evaluated the effectiveness of a four-week 1v1 training intervention for improving attacking and defending agility in Australian footballers. In addition, the study assessed the crossover of attacking training to defending agility and defending training to attacking agility. Improvements in attacking agility were found which were greater for attacking-trained athletes. However, no improvements in defending agility were realised. This thesis indicates that 1v1 training and testing is suitable for assessing and developing agility in Australian footballers. However, 1v1 training may be more suitable for improving attacking agility. Further, agility is context-specific, and testing and training should consider the role of the athlete.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Federation University
  • Young, Warren B., Principal Supervisor, External person
  • Talpey, Scott, Co-Supervisor, External person
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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