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Agility time, Choice reaction time, Movement time
The study investigates the relationship between agility time and both two-choice reaction time and movement time in athletes of various specializations. Groups of 18 karate-kumite competitors, 12 tae-kwon-do competitors, 10 ball hockey players, 21 soccer players, and 27 physically active men performed two-choice reaction test, visually-triggered step initiation test, pre-planned and reactive agility tests with different traveling distances. Results showed a significant correlation between agility time and two-choice reaction time (r ranged from .94 to .92, P < .01), regardless of sports specialization of athletes or their previous experience with agility training. Agility time significantly correlated also with the movement time (r ranged from .78 to .75, P < .05), however only when traveling a short distance between mats. The strength of this relationship decreased with increasing traveling distances. Simple regresion analyses revealed that a 13% decrease in agility time was associated with shorter two-choice reaction time, whereas only 5% decrease in agility time was accompanied with shorter movement time. In addition, the coefficient of variation was higher for movement time than two-choice reaction time (9.7% and 5.2%, respectively). These findings indicate that both speed of decision making and change of direction speed contribute to the agility performance, although to a different extent. In the case of sprinting, it mainly depends on distance traveled. Greater variation in the movement time than two-choice reaction time also makes potentially meaningful differences among athletes (particularly among those of combat sports and sports games) and their differential contribution to the agility time. Therefore, sport-specific methods should be addressed in both agility testing and training.