Purpose. This study estimates the contribution of reaction time and movement velocity to the reactive agility time while covering varied distances.
Methods. A total of 95 athletes of karate, hockeyball and soccer participated in a simple reaction, two choice reaction, step initiation and reactive agility test.
Results. Agility time was significantly better in karate-kumite than karate-kata practitioners when covering a distance of 0.8 m (8.2%, p = 0.045), better in hockeyball players than goalies when covering a distance of 1.6 m (10.9%, p = 0.028) and better in soccer players than goalies when covering a distance of 3.2 m (14.2%, p = 0.009). Movement velocity to agility time contributed to a lesser degree in the case of karate-kata competitors, hockeyball and soccer players (33.5%, 28.3%, and 19.9% respectively) than the karate-kumite competitors, hockeyball and soccer goalies (44.2%, 42.7%, and 39.4% respectively). Furthermore, both simple and two choice reaction times were highly related to the agility time when covering distances of 0.8 m, 1.6 m, and 3.2 m (r in range from 0.72 to 0.88). Movement velocity also significantly correlated with the agility time in the test with a distance of 0.8 m (r = 0.76) but not with longer movement distances of 1.6 (r = 0.61) and 3.2 m (r = 0.52).
Conclusions. Reaction time and movement velocity differentially contribute to the agility time in athletes of varied specializations. This reflects their specific demands on agility skills, and therefore should be addressed in agility testing in order to identify an athlete’s weakness.