Testing and Improving Agility and Fitness in Sports
Agility in sports is the ability to change the direction and positioning of the body while in motion. To be agile, an athlete needs to respond to task-related cues quickly and effectively while maintaining control. To achieve this, the athlete needs to have excellent reflexes and a quick reaction time to respond to the changing situation. They also need to be fit and possess great balance and coordination skills to control these movements.
Essentially, agility is all about ensuring that your body and sports equipment (for instance, racket when playing tennis) are at the right position at the right time to execute the next action effectively.
Activities that Require Agility
Agility is a key ingredient for success as an athlete, and it’s valuable in most sports today. However, a vote of sports that require agility would have to include soccer, football, rugby, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and combat sports at the top of the list.
As with other athletic endeavors, agility can be improved. But before starting any agility improvement regimen, the athlete’s ability to change direction needs to be accessed first. This is necessary for tracking improvement and determining the ideal agility activities at different levels.
There are numerous agility tests online. Here are some that are argued to be the most reliable;
- i) Illinois Agility Test (IAT)- this test measures how fast an athlete can run while turning at different directions and angles.
- ii) T-test- this is an agility test for athletes that involves moving in a t-shaped pattern using forward, lateral, and backward movements.
iii) 5-10-5 shuttle- also known as pro-agility test, this is a relatively simple but popular test that involves making rapid directional changes between cones set up in a linear plane.
How to Improve Agility
Agility light pods led by Blazepod are increasingly becoming a popular method of improving agility. The Blazepod light agility training system has thoughtfully crafted sport-specific exercises. Whether you’re into soccer, basketball, racquet games, or boxing, Blazepod conditions your player’s mind and body to the unique demands of that particular sport.
Other non-tech sports tools and equipment that help in improving agility include; jump rope, ladders, poles, cones, hurdles, and medicine ball.