It seems that a total of four investigations (1-4) used video sequences to test players for agility and time for decision-making (in team sports and therefore not in football – unfortunately).
Players started to side shuffle for 4 meter, to the left, then 2 meters to the right, sprinted forward through the second timing gate, which triggered the video on the screen and then players had to decide (depending on the video) to sprint to left or right for another 4.1 m through another gate which stopped the time (3). Other researchers (1, 2, 4) used a similar approach, however skipped sidestepping in the beginning, had different distances and the sprint towards the left or right end-gate was in accordance to the video sequences that showed an attacker that was running to the left/right or passed a ball to either side.
The test seemed to be reliable (CV = 1.4%, ICC 0.81) and valid (2).
We believe that testing (and therefore training (4)) for reactive agility is important, however, due to the more or less complicated measurement (different device needs to be synchronized and therefore a lot of equipment and manpower is needed) we never tested players (with scientific standards) due to these reasons.
If coaches want to apply agility testing and training, the video should show randomly "left" or "right". Therefore, the testing should officially use an uneven number, i.e. 5 and therefore 2 left and 3 right to ensure that players cannot guess the direction. However, only the average of two trials each direction will be recorded.
1.Farrow, D.Y.W. and Bruce, L. The development of a test of reactive agility for netball: a new methodology. J.Sci. Med. Sports. 8: 52-60, 2005.
2.Henry, G., Dawson, B., Lay, B., and Young, W. Validity of a reactive agility test for Australian football. Int. J.Sports. Physiol. Perform. 6: 534-545, 2011.
3.Serpell, B.G., Ford, M., and Young, W.B. The development of a new test of agility for rugby league. J.
Strength. Cond. Res. 24: 3270-3277, 2010.
4.Serpell, B.G., Young, W.B., and Ford, M. Are the perceptual and decision-making components of agility
trainable? A preliminary investigation. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 25: 1240-1248, 2011.