Each day we have to move up, down, left, right, forward, and backward in order to make it through daily life. Therefore, it is time to focus on how we move in an agile way. We move in a controlled manner with actions that are not going to hurt or harm us. Agility is the ability to stop, start, and change the direction of the body or parts rapidly and in a controlled manner (Baechle, Thomas, and Earle, Roger, National Strength and Conditioning Association Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning). When looking at daily activities, agility plays a role in the kitchen for example catching a falling item from the counter top, to stumbling in the house and then quickly regaining balance without falling to the ground. In addition, grabbing an active child that moves around rapidly in the home takes agility. So, just looking at the few examples presented, let’s increase that intensity to a higher level.
The list goes on for sports that require agility from basketball, baseball, gymnastics, wresting, football, and soccer. Each one the sports listed demand that the athlete be in control for every aspect of the event in order to perform. One component of agility is the perceptual and decision-making capabilities of athletes in each given sport environment. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research investigated the ability to train the perceptual and decision-making component of agility by assessing response time and perception along with change of direction speed during pre and post intervention. The training intervention consisted of reacting to a video of an opposing player projected onto a large projection screen in a head to head situation requiring the participant to predict the direction in which the opponent would have to continue through physically changing direction. In this study, improvement in perception and response time was attributed to the player’s ability to react accordingly to the opponent’s movements (Serpell, Benjamin, Young, Warren, and Ford, Matthew. Are the Perceptual and Decision-Making Components of Agility Trainable? A Preliminary Investigation, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, May 2011, V.25, Is. 5, pp 1240-1248).
Moreover, agility is a skill that can be learned, trained, and enhanced in a specific training design. Fitness routines have been designed to challenge people and work on their agility. Whether you are doing step aerobics, Zumba or cardio kick-boxing, agility needs are there and very demanding. An example of a agility test is the T-Test where 4 cones are arranged to form a large T. The athlete must sprint 10 yards, then touch the base of the cone, then shuffle left for 5 yards and touch the base of the cone with the left hand, then shuffle 10 yards to the right, then touch the base of the cone with the right hand, then shuffle left for 5 yards then touch the base of that cone with the left hand, then run backwards past the starting cone. This test is scored based on the time of two trials. A special part about the staff at Git Right Sports Performance & Fitness is that they understand the needs of each sport and they are able to strategically design a program based on your needs. They execute sound technique to develop agility by making sure that the person is planting his/her foot properly under his or her center of gravity while minimizing deceleration forces, and ground support times. In other the words, they enhance your ability to move from one point to the other quickly, explosively, and under control to make you agile and mobile. To find out more, sign up for your free fitness assessment! See you soon.