Evaluation of a specific reaction and action speed test for the goalkeeper

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J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Nov 17

Evaluation of a specific reaction and action speed (RAS) test for the soccer goalkeeper.
Knoop M, Fernandez-Fernandez J, Ferrauti A.
1Faculty of Sports Science; Department of Training and Exercise Science; Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.


ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a new test for the soccer goalkeeper that involved perceptual, and movement response components (i.e., sprint running, jumping, diving and direction changing). The evaluation consisted in measurements in different age (U19 (18.0 ± 0.9 years), n=21; U14 (14.1 ± 0.3 years), n=13) and performance (i.e., 1 goalkeepers and substitutes) groups of goalkeepers, including measures of test-retest reliability. Validity was assessed comparing the two groups of goalkeepers with different expertise level. Significant differences (P < 0.01) in performance were found between the different age groups, with U19 goalkeepers showing better results than U14 in all the tests performed. The test-retest correlations of the RAS test performance were significant in all single (ICC = 0.68-0.95; P < 0.01) and complex measurements (ICC = 0.91; P < 0.01). RAS single test performance was higher in older (U19) compared to younger (U14) players (P < 0.001), and they also showed better results in the RAS complex tests (P = 0.000), being significantly different between the 1st goalkeepers and their substitutes (P = 0.001). The major findings of the study were that the RAS test provided a reliable and valid method of assessing specific defensive agility in a group of youth soccer goalkeepers. Performance responses during the RAS test allow coaches to discriminate between age-matched goalkeepers, identify weaknesses (e.g., non-preferred side dive performance), and to design specific training tasks.



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