- Definition -

Reaction time is the interval between stimulation and response. It is the time it takes the body to react to an external stimulus and initiate a response. When there is only one possible response, the reaction time is lower compared to if there was two or more responses.

- Factors effecting reaction time -

When combined with decision-making, reaction time time increases. Distractions (such a s a crowd) can also increase the reaction time. If you increase both the number of distractions and alternative responses, the reaction time increases even more.

For example; when sprinting, the response to the stimulus is to accelerate out of the blocks as quickly as possible. However, in AFL there are far more responses to consider when the player receives the ball, as well as the the distraction of environmental factors, the crowd, noise and their oppositions.

- Health or skill related? -

Even though reaction time is a skill related fitness component, studies have shown that reaction time improves with moderate exercise levels. These moderately training athletes are able to respond more quickly and without decreasing accuracy to an external stimulus

- Sports / events that require a high competency in reaction time -

- Improving reaction time : training methods -

Improving Your Reaction Time | Fit for the 500 | IU Health Sports Performance

Detecting relevant cues

Goalkeeper's learning to analyse body language at penalties. This enables them to predict where they may need to position their body in order to stop the ball the easiest.

- 4-cone Agility drill -

  1. Place four cones on the ground so that they form a square, 4 meters long on each side.
  2. Have your training partner randomly point to cones, moving as quickly as possible to them.
  3. As soon as a different cone is indicated, change direction accordingly regardless of whether or not the previous cone was reached.
  4. Utilise proper cutting angles, acceleration, crossover, and shuffling skills.

- Testing reaction time -