Agility is the component of physical fitness that relates to the ability of rapidly changing the position of the entire body in space, with speed and accuracy. It is the capacity to change the course whilst controlling the direction and position of one’s body while maintaining momentum.
Agility is another pillar of the structure along with Endurance, Flexibility and Muscular strength on which physical fitness stands on. It plays a vital role in the life of a sportsman as an agile body is swift in movement which always proves to be an upper edge in any physical movement acquainted sport. An agile body is always sharp on reflexes, which may prove to be game changing in many situations as opponent wouldn’t be able to match your momentum and you could easily end up leaving them behind. This becomes especially important in all ball games or combat sports for e.g., a quick feint in Football/Basketball by
sudden change of direction in movement or a quick single run or converting a single into a
double run-in cricket, etc.
“Agility is the ability to adapt and respond to change, Agile enviornments view change as an opportunity & not threat " - Jim Highsmith
Apart from sports-specific training and benefits, an agile body is equally beneficial in
day-to-day life. Agility develops the ability of body to respond to any spontaneous movement
around body. It is a balance between the responses from central nervous system (CNS) and
respective body parts. However daily conditioning of body along with Agility training is
important to cope up with necessary fitness requirements. Because even highly skilled
athletes lose function rapidly if they get injured or fail to practice.
Agility is influenced by balance, strength, coordination and skill level. Balance levels
can be restored with simple exercises such as one-foot balance, cycling, headstands, etc.
Strength training in the form of body weight exercises viz, pushups, squats or muscle training
at Gym, etc. helps to achieve adequate strength. Coordination is the most important factor in
agility training as it focuses mainly on development of connection between physical and
psychological systems necessary to carry out complex multidirectional tasks. These become
important in response to stimulus with the aim of improving the mind-body connection when
responding to movements in surroundings. Contralateral and Ipsilateral movement exercises
will help grow the coordination between hand and eyes, hand and feet, etc. All these would
eventually result in developing the skill levels required for bettering the agility. Agility
testing for an athlete challenges his mental processing speed during sport-specific tasks and
reinforces reaction learning. It allows them to initiate movement faster and/or with the most
appropriate timing to achieve the best outcome.
Agility training is an equally important factor in recovery from any injury or discomfort as your mind to body connection is one which may get affected the most due to no movement or practice. All the coaches make athletes work on agility specifically while recovering as it requires a lot of practice to get back to the before injury levels.
Thus Agility being an important structural pillar for Physical fitness, development of
an agile body will always prove to be a difference maker in almost every sport. With the help
of practice and testing Agility can be developed and be used in everyday life as well.