Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Lateral Shuffle Test - An Effective Method of Assessing Lateral Speed & Range

Speed is always a physical characteristic that everyone would like to improve on.  In many instances linear speed is where emphasis is placed and assessed, but in many game situations its lateral range and speed where races are won.  There are many assessments available for agility, change of direction and linear speed, but one test that I have always used over the past 25 years is the lateral shuffle test.  It assess: foot quickness in the frontal plane, change of direction, allows you to see how the core reacts to frontal plane loads, and provides you with an accurate and reliable tool to assess this movement.  I have used this for many sports including hockey, football, and soccer.  Measure 2 lines, 12 feet apart, start on the inside of one of the markers and shuffle heel to heel (no crossovers) complete as many lengths as you can in 15 seconds and measure to the closest half length.  What I love about this test, is that you can see how much more ground you can cover in subsequent tests after training.  I.e. if you improve from 12 to 13.5 lengths, you have covered another 18 feet in the same amount of time.  This means you are racing after pucks or balls with greater lateral speed.  Good NHL skaters are getting 15-15.5 lengths per attempt....where do you score?