Biomechanical effects of a 6-week change of direction speed and technique modification intervention: Implications for change of direction side step performance
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
National Strength and Conditioning Association
School of Medical and Health Sciences
The aim of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical effects of change of direction (COD) speed and technique modification training on COD performance (completion time, ground contact time [GCT], and exit velocity) during 45° (CUT45) and 90° (CUT90) side step cutting. A nonrandomized, controlled 6-week intervention study was administrated. Fifteen male, multidirectional, sport athletes (age, 23.5 ± 5.2 years; height, 1.80 ± 0.05 m; mass, 81.6 ± 11.4 kg) formed the intervention group (IG) who participated in two 30-minute COD speed and technique modification sessions per week, whereas 12 male, multidirectional, sport athletes (age, 22.2 ± 5.0 years; height, 1.76 ± 0.08 m; mass, 72.7 ± 12.4 kg) formed the control group (CG) and continued their normal training. All subjects performed 6 trials of the CUT45 and CUT90 task whereby pre-to-post intervention changes in lower-limb and trunk kinetics and kinematics were evaluated using 3-dimensional motion and ground reaction force analyses. Two-way mixed analysis of variances revealed significant main effects for time (pre-to-post changes) for CUT45 completion time, exit velocity, and CUT90 completion time (p ≤ 0.045; η2 = 0.152-0.539), and significant interaction effects of time and group were observed for CUT45 completion time, GCT, exit velocity, and CUT90 completion time (p ≤ 0.010; η2 = 0.239-0.483), with the IG displaying superior performance postintervention compared with the CG (p ≤ 0.109; g = 0.83-1.35). Improvements in cutting performance were moderately to very largely associated (p ≤ 0.078; r or ρ = 0.469-0.846) with increased velocity profiles, increased propulsive forces over shorter GCTs, and decreased knee flexion. Change of direction speed and technique modification is a simple, effective training method requiring minimal equipment that can enhance COD performance, which practitioners should consider incorporating into their pitch- or court-based training programs.