Agility

Original Editor - Manisha Shrestha Top Contributors - Manisha Shrestha

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

A boy performing agility test

Agility is one of the performance-related component of physical fitness.[1] It is defined as “a rapid whole-body movement with change of velocity or direction in response to a stimulus” by Shepperd and Young, 2005.[2]Agility has both movement and reactive elements. Meaning agility must involve a reaction to a stimulus, for example, a goalkeeper reacting and saving a penalty kick in football.[3]

Components of Agility[edit | edit source]

Broadly, agility is comprised of two subcomponents:

  • Change of direction (COD) speed and
  • A perceptual and decision-making component, which are in turn determined by many other factors.[2]

A comprehensive definition of agility would recognize the physical demands (strength and conditioning), cognitive processes (motor learning) and technical skills (biomechanics) involved in agility performance.[4]

This image shows the various sub-component of agility.[3]

Components of Agility

Variation in Terminology[edit | edit source]

Change of Direction (COD) ability[edit | edit source]

Agility involves both movement and reaction to the stimulus, whereas COD is the movement component of agility in isolation. Previously, the terms ‘agility’ and ‘change of direction ’ are often used interchangeably, and many researches have been done in COD thinking as agility. As a main example, the T-test, Illinois agility test, arrowhead agility test, and the pro-agility test have all historically been referred to as agility tests, simply because they require an athlete to complete a pre-planned course of directional changes as quickly as possible. But recent knowledge has distinctively separated these two terms and the tests mentioned above are the tests to assess COD instead of agility. [2]

Example of COD scenario, cricket batters can score more than a single run by performing a 180° turn at each end of the pitch. To perform this effectively, the player must visually target the crease, adjust the steps, and decelerate before stopping and reaccelerating in the opposite direction. It is a movement whereby the choice of technique that will be performed and the location and timing of the movement can be pre-planned.[2]

Agility testing is generally confined to tests of physical components such as change of direction speed, or cognitive components such as anticipation and pattern recognition. New tests of agility that combine physical and cognitive measures are encouraged and are lacking.[4]

Quickness[edit | edit source]

‘"Quickness’’ is seemingly used interchangeably for both agility and change of direction speed. Quickness has been identified as ‘‘a multi-planar or multi-directional skill that combines acceleration, explosiveness, and reactiveness’’ (Moreno, 1995). But it does not include deceleration or changing direction. [4]

Test to assess COD[edit | edit source]

Related Pages[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Pojskic H, Åslin E, Krolo A, Jukic I, Uljevic O, Spasic M, Sekulic D. Importance of reactive agility and change of direction speed in differentiating performance levels in junior soccer players: Reliability and validity of newly developed soccer-specific tests. Frontiers in physiology. 2018 May 15;9:506.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Young W, Rayner R, Talpey S. It’s time to change direction on agility research: A call to action. Sports Medicine-Open. 2021 Dec;7(1):1-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Science for Sports. Available from:https://www.scienceforsport.com/agility/ lasted accessed: 20th May 2022
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sheppard JM, Young WB. Agility literature review: Classifications, training and testing. Journal of sports sciences. 2006 Sep 1;24(9):919-32.