Association of Speed of Decision Making and Change of Direction Speed With The Agility Performance

Main Article Content

Erika Zemková
Dušan Hamar

Keywords

Agility time, Choice reaction time, Movement time

Abstract

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.

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