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Agility is the ability to move and change the direction and position of the body quickly, effectively, and controlled in response to a stimulus. Agility requires rapid reflexes, coordination, balance, speed, and the ability to correctly respond to the changing situation by initiating and completing a decision-making process in a short time.

An "agile" athlete responds to what is happening around them, acquiring such information and translating it into a body positioning that allows them, while maintaining balance and control, to move to the best point to undertake the next action effectively.

Agility is thus one of the key components of performance and has been extensively studied and trained in situational sports in recent years, where it is crucial to manage primary stimuli (ball, opponent), secondary stimuli (fatigue, tactics, game evolution) simultaneously with rapid and continuous changes of direction. This skill is applied in team sports (soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, rugby, American football, etc.) as well as in individual sports (tennis, table tennis, fencing, boxing, skiing, etc.).

Despite the importance of agility identified almost four decades ago, the understanding of the subject is rather limited, especially when compared to other physical characteristics such as endurance, strength/power, and speed. This difference is probably due to the complexity of this quality, which involves various aspects, clearly outlined in the schema developed by Sheppard & Young in 2006 (see figure below).

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