Ricardo V. Guerra and Christian J. Thompson
University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Agility is the ability to change directions rapidly while maintaining balance and is a vital skill necessary for successful performance in soccer where a player performs short sprints, rapid accelerations/decelerations, turns, jumps, kicks and tackles. Oftentimes, these tasks are completed while the athlete is in possession of the soccer ball. To provide guidance for training, agility assessments are often used by soccer coaches to quantify an athlete’s skill and dexterity. Yet, agility assessments are commonly conducted without the inclusion of a soccer ball and therefore may not fully represent the task demands of the sport.

PURPOSE: To determine the strength of association between trials of two validated agility tests in ball (B) and no-ball (NB) conditions.

METHODS: Twenty male NCAA Division I players [age (19.64 ± 0.8 yrs), height (176.98 ± 6.1 cm), weight (71.56 ± 6.7 kg)] performed both the Arrowhead Agility Test (AAT) and the Illinois Agility Test (IAT) on a grass soccer field. The courses were set side by side on the field and players completed both tests in a randomized order. Each player performed B and NB trials of each test in a random order. Additionally, six players completed a second trial of the Illinois Agility Test with a soccer ball to determine test-retest reliability of the assessment. Data were analyzed for significant differences using paired T-Test and association using Pearson correlation.

RESULTS: A weak positive correlation was observed between B and NB trials in the IAT (r=0.33). A moderate positive correlation was observed between B and NB trials of the Left Arrowhead Agility Test (LAAT) (r=0.49). No correlation was observed between B and NB trials of the Right Arrowhead Agility Test (RAAT) (r=0.15). Thus, performance on these agility tests without a soccer ball is not a strong predictor of performance with a soccer ball. Additionally, significant differences existed between B and NB trials, with NB trials being significantly slower in the IAT (T=-18.48, P=0.00), the RAAT (T=-17.67, P=0.00), and the LAAT (T=-25.71, P=0.00). Test-retest reliability of the IAT using a soccer ball was strong (r=0.63) and no significant differences existed between trials (T=-1.94, P=0.21), indicating that performing the IAT with a soccer ball yields reliable results. 

CONCLUSIONS: Performance on common validated agility tests yielded significantly different values when performed in B versus NB conditions. Additionally, low correlations were found in performance during B versus NB conditions.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: These data suggest that agility assessment in soccer should include both ball and no-ball trials to best represent the task demands of the sport. Results of these assessments may be of great value to both the head coach who is responsible for developing technical skills and the strength coach who is responsible for developing the conditioning regimen. For example, if an athlete performs poorly in an agility protocol with the ball relative to his teammates, then the head coach may implement additional drills to be performed with the ball to improve the athlete’s ball handling skills. Conversely, if an athlete performs poorly in an agility protocol without the ball relative to his teammates, then the conditioning coach may implement speed work and agility drills to improve the athlete’s dexterity. Progress can then be monitored by regular assessment of athletes throughout the training season.



Article : Having a Winning Mindset : The yet unconquerable sport statistic
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—18/02/2012
• Euro Weekly News(Spain)—05/01/2012

Article : A Look into the Future
• Euro Weekly News(Spain)—11/10/2011

Article : Marathon Running, Cholesterol – Reducing drugs and Muscle Damage
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—23/10/2011
• Euro Weekly News(Spain)—23/10/2011
• Daily News Egypt(Egypt)—20/10/2011

Article : Saving The Beautiful Game
• Al Arabiya News Channel (Saudi Arabia)—07/07/2011
• The Daily News Egypt (Egypt)—01/06/2011
• Today’s Zaman (Turkey)—Maio 10 e 12, 2011
• Euro Weekly News(spain)—Julho 2, 2011
• Soccer International (Australia) —Edição de Agosto
• SoccerLens (United Kingdom)—14/05/2011
• Al Ahram Weekly(Egypt)—18/05/2011

• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—26/06/2011
• Kuwait Times (Kuwait)—

Article : The Human Element in SuperBowl Teams
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—17/02/2012

Article : The Human Element in a Champion Team
• Kuwait Times (Kuwait)—31/07/2011
• Soccer America (USA)—4/08/2011
• Al Ahram Weekly(Egypt)—11/08/2011
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—29/07/2011
• Euro Weekly News(Spain)—5/08/2011
• Daily News Egypt—(Egypt)—11/08/2011

Article : “Traffic Jam” Problem Threatens the Beautiful Game
• Soccer America (USA)—7/07/2011

Article : Flying to the Marathon
• Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)—27/05/2011
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—15/05/2011
• The Daily News (Egypt)—01/06/2011

Article : The Challenge to Recover to the Semifinals
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—18/07/2011

Article : The Cholesterol – Statin Conundrum
• The Daily News Egypt(Egypt)—13/07/2010

Article : The Missing Piece in Egyptian Football
• The Daily News Egypt—14/12/2009

Article : The Psychological edge
• The Daily News Egypt(Egypt)—01/12/2009

Article : In Defense of Dunga (Part 1 and Part 2)
• The Daily News Egypt(Egypt)—12/07/2010 e 13/07/2010

Article : Brazil, the Press, Dunga and the Beautiful game
• The Daily News Egypt(Egypt)—21/06/2010

Article : The World Cup, Paraguay, Recovery and Exercise Physiology
• The Daily News Egypt(Egypt)—2/07/2010

Article : Defibrillator was not used in Morosini’s rescue effort
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—15/05/2012

Article : Unanswered Questions in Morosini’s Death
• Today’s Zaman(Turkey)—19/04/2012

Article : Chaos in Morosini’s Rescue Effort
• Al Arabiya News Channel (Saudi Arabia)—19/04/2012

Article : Muamba’s Medical Mystery
• Al Arabiya News Channel (Saudi Arabia)—02/04/2012

Article : Runners Should Avoid Prescription Drugs
• Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)—7/10/2011

Article : The Pills You Pop
• Al Ahram Weekly(Egypt)—6/10/2011


Article : Marathon, triathlon, Ironman : quand le sport peut devenir une menace pour la santé
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —11/05/2012

Article : Morosini s’ effondre en plain match de foot : sa mort aurait-elle pu être évitee?
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —18/04/2012

Article: Fabrice Muamba: porquoi il faut faire la lumiere sur la cause de son arret cardiaquee
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —12/04/2012

Article: Faire l’amour avant un match diminue les performances du sportif ? C’est presque vrai
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —24/03/2012

Article : Article Cult de athletes stars quan le sport est miné par des joueurs narcissiques
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —15/02/2012

Article : Pour sauver le Beautiful Game
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —21/08/2011

Article : Foot : avec des joueurs toujours plus forts, il est temps de changer les règles
• Le Nouvel Observateur (France) —14/10/2011

Article : Pour sauver le Beautiful Game
• L’Inter (Ivory Coast) —22/08/2011


Interview with CBN (Brazil National Radio Station)

Article : Quando o exercício vira risco para a saúde
• Estadão (Brasil)—07/05/2012

Article : Erro Fatal: Desfibrilador não foi acionado no atendimento ao jogador Morosini
• Estadão (Brasil)—26/04/2012

Article : Cada Jogador Merece a Mesma Chance de Sobreviver
• Estadão (Brasil)—17/04/2012

Article : Tragédia na Italia Jogador do Livorno Morre apos Sofrer Parada Cardíaca
• Estadão (Brasil)—14/04/2012

Article : Muamba Não Foi Salvo Por um Milagre
• Estadão (Brasil)—11/04/2012

Article : Mistério no Caso do Jogador Fabrice Muamba
• Estadão (Brasil)—02/04/2012

Article : Sexo Antes da Partida Prejudica os Jogadores?
• Estadão (Brasil)—19/03/2012

Article : Maior Técnico de Atletismo do Mundo fala sobre o esporte no Brasil e as Olimpíadas
• Estadão (Brasil)—07/03/2012

Article : O Desafio para equipes de futebol que jogam dois campeonatos ao mesmo tempo
• Estadão (Brasil))—28/02/2012

Article : Os Maratonistas, as drogas contra o colesterol e a destruição muscular
• Estadão (Brasil))—17/02/2012

Article : O Futebol Precisa de Novas Regras: O que você acha?
• Estadão (Brasil))—11/02/2012

Article : O Futebol e a Maior Capacidade Física: O que vai acontecer no futuro?
• Estadão (Brasil))—07/02/2012

Interview : Qual e o seu problema : drogas para baixar colesterol prejudicam rendimento na corrida
• O Globo(Brasil) —09/12/2011

Article : Artigo : Jogo Bonito
• O Globo(Brasil) —24/05/2012

Article : Resgatando o Jogo Bonito
• Placar(Brasil)—25/05/2011
• Hoje Macau (Macau)—19/05/2011
• Jornal dos Desportos (Angola)—21/05/2011 e 24/05/2011

Article : Jogo Bonito e Capacidade Física dos Futebolistas
• Record(Portugal)—17/07/2011

Article : Jogo Bonito e a Maior Capacidade Física: o que vai acontecer no futuro ?
• Hoje Macau (Macau)—19/05/2011

Article : A Seleção, a imprensa, Dunga e o jogo bonito
• Jornal do Brasil (Brasil))—24/06/2010


Article : Al Rescate del ‘Jogo Bonito’
• (Espanha, Barcelona) —3/07/2011 (Al Rescate del ‘Jogo Bonito’)
• Hoy (Ecuador) — 5/05/2011 (Rescate de ‘Jogo Bonito’)
• La Nacion (Costa Rica) —10/06/2011 (Rescate de Juego Bonito)
• Diario de Mallorca (Spain) —13/06/2011 (Rescate del Juego Bonito)
• La Opinion de Malaga (Spain) —12/06/2011 (Rescate del Juego Bonito)
• La Razon (Bolivia) —06/06/2011 — (Al Rescate del Juego Bonito)
• Mural (Mexico) —04/06/2011 (Rescatando el Juego Bonito)
• La Prensa (Nicaragua)—10/08/2011(Rescate del Juego Bonito)
• El Ciudadano (Argentina) —24/06/2011 (El futbol y los Cambios)

Article : El Reto de la Recuperacion Para Las Semifinales
• ABC Color (Paraguay) —19/07/2011

Article : Juego Bonito, Mayor Capacidad Física : Que va a pasar en el futuro ?
• Hoy (Ecuador) —4/07/2011
• La Opinion de Malaga (Spain) —14/08/2011


Article : Abseits bald nur noch im Strafraum
• 20minuten(Switzerland) —28/07/2011

Article : Cholesterinsenker fur geschundene Muskeln
• 20minuten(Switzerland) —22/10/2011

Article : Wunsch nach einer radikalen Revision der Fussballregeln
• DIE SÜDOSTSCHWEIZ(Switzerland) —11/08/2011