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The Importance of a Sport-Specific Stimulus for Training Agility

Young, Warren PhD1; Farrow, Damian PhD2

Strength & Conditioning Journal: April 2013 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 - p 39–43
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e31828b6654
Article

ABSTRACT: THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO REVIEW RECENT EVIDENCE TO HELP GUIDE THE TRAINING OF AGILITY. AGILITY SKILL USUALLY INVOLVES REACTING TO A STIMULUS BEFORE PERFORMING A MOVEMENT WITH A CHANGE OF DIRECTION OR VELOCITY. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT BETTER PERFORMERS CAN BE DISTINGUISHED FROM LOWER SKILLED ATHLETES BY THE ABILITY TO QUICKLY AND ACCURATELY REACT TO OPPONENT’S MOVEMENTS, BUT NOT TO A GENERIC STIMULUS SUCH AS A FLASHING LIGHT. THEREFORE, TRAINING FOR AGILITY SHOULD INCLUDE A PERCEPTUAL AND DECISION-MAKING COMPONENT INVOLVING REACTING TO MOVEMENTS OF OTHERS, AND THIS MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH EVASIVE DRILLS OR SMALL-SIDED GAMES.

1School of Health Sciences, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Australia; and

2Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia and Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

Warren Young is an Associate Professor in Exercise and Sport Science with a lecturing and research specialization in physical preparation for sport.

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Damian Farrow holds a joint appointment as a Professor of Sports Science with Victoria University and the Australian Institute of Sport with research specialization in perceptual motor skill learning.

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© 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association