BACKGROUND: The importance of agility in sport is well known, and since recently the significance of this quality is recognized in non-athletic population also. Two, relatively independent facets of agility are recognized, differentiating reactive agility (RAG), and change of direction speed (CODS). The CODS corresponds with performances when movement templates and changes of direction are performed according to pre-defined scenario, while the RAG is emphasized in circumstances when change of direction is performed as a response to some specific (outer) stimuli.
AIMS: The aims of this project are: (i) to develop RAG and CODS tests, (ii) to identify predictors of RAG and CODS, (iii) to define efficacy of training aimed at development of RAG and CODS; all in athletic- and non-athletic (clinical) participants.
METHODS: The sample of participants will comprise athletic and non-athletic participants. The athletic sample will consist of: handball players (n = 60; 50% females), futsal players (n = 60; 50% females), basketball players (n = 60; 50% females), and water polo players (n = 60; 50% females). All athletes will be older than 18 years and involved in their sports for more than 7 years. The non-athletic sample will consist of a clinical population; persons older than 50 years, involved in postoperative rehabilitation treatment after joint replacement, and knee arthroscopic surgery (approximately n = 100, 50% females). The newly developed tests of RAG and CODS will be observed as dependent variables (DV). The independent (IV) variables will comprise anthropometric/body composition indices (for all participants), sprinting-, power-, force-, and reactive-strength-capacities (for athletes). One set of statistical analyses will be used in order to define reliability and different types of validity of the applied tests. The second set of statistical analyses will include calculation of correlation models: either univariate (Pearson’s correlations) or multivariate (different models of multiple regression analysis). The third set of statistics will be used to identify the effects of applied training programs. For this purpose different models of analysis of variance (i.e. univariate, multivariate, factorial), and t-test statistics will be calculated.
IMPORTANCE: This investigation will be one of the first to systematically develop and validate RAG and CODS tests in different sports, and probably the first one where the problem of RAG and CODS will be studied in the clinical population. The conclusions of the study will have direct implications in sports training, as well as in postoperative rehabilitation of an investigated clinical sample.