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DEVELOPING BETTER ATHLETES ONE STRIDE AT A TIME

Over the past three weeks I have been filming athletes at a variety of sports academies in and around Edmonton performing two separate transitional agility skills. The idea was to gain a better understanding of the best way to perform a 180 degree change of direction. The two options were a tight turn around a pylon or a stop-start between two pylons. During the turn, the pylon was moved forwards 18 inches in order to allow the athletes to position their inside skate at the same position it would be during the completion of the stop. After filming 148 athletes (a reasonable sample size) and calculating their times to complete both skills the results are as follows:

Tight Turn - 26.4%
Stop-Start - 58.1%
Same Time - 15.5%

These results brought forward several questions to my researcher based mindset. Are athletes significantly better at performing a stop-start than a tight turn providing us with biased results? Is the stop-start that much better than the tight turn? If I changed the distance which the filming and times were based on would the results change significantly or would they be the same? My initial thought is that we need to focus significantly more on the development of our tight turns as many athletes are unable to control their body and speed during the turn which provided them with a significantly slower time.

Throughout the summer, I am hoping to get more answers to these questions with the groups which I will be working with. If you have a hypothesis or thought on this topic, please feel free to email them to me brian@makingstridz.com or tweet me @MakingStridz.

Thanks,
Brian