Agility - The ability to rapidly change directions without the loss of speed, balance, or body control. As with other fitness components, agility is specific to a particular movement pattern. One problem with agility training is that an athlete can learn to anticipate the next movement. Therefore, the athlete should be required to respond to a directional order.
There are five basic components Agility. In the most simplistic of terms to achieve this you require a combination of:
Balance / Stability - The ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the coordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive organs in our joints)
Fall Prevention - the benefits of balance training in older adults that cited the importance of maintaining strength and coordination for a long and healthy life. As people age, strength and flexibility often diminish. The elderly frequently experience hearing and vision loss which affects balance and coordination. Engaging in balance training helps prevent falls and reduce the incidence of injury.
Reduction In Athletic Ankle Injuries - Ankle injuries are a common problem for athletes, and depending on the severity of the injury, a twisted ankle can sideline you for a good portion of your season. Athletes who participated in balance training were significantly less likely to suffer an ankle injury than their untrained counterparts.
- Static Balance – ability to retain the centre of mass above the base of support in a stationary position
- Dynamic Balance – ability to maintain balance with body movement
Speed - the ability to move all or part of the body quickly
Strength - the ability of a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance
Co-ordination - the ability to control the movement of the body in co-operation with the body’s sensory functions e.g. catching a ball (ball, hand and eye co-ordination.
Recovery Management - Agility training increases an individual’s agility endurance. When the skeletal system is trained to handle longer durations of these types of activities, it allows athletes to perform at high levels for longer periods, both in single games or matches and throughout their athletic season.
Injury Prevention - With increased endurance created from agility training, an individual’s skeletal system is better equipped to handle longer durations of agility-types activities, thus decreasing chances of injuries due to fatigue.
Not Just for Athletes - Agility training is not only for athletes. It also improves the performance of non-athletes, when faced with situations where required to react, such as correcting and maintaining balance when faced with varying walking surfaces. Individuals can perform their day-to-day activities such as mowing the lawn or playing with a child at a higher level and more efficiently when they participate in agility training. Agility training requires energy. Agility training requires energy. A lot of it! Calories are units of energy!