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Generic and sport-specific reactive agility tests assess different qualities in court-based team sport athletes
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Aaron Scanlan, Neal Wen, Andrew Kidcaff, D Berkelmans, Patrick Tucker, Vincent Dalbo
AIM: Comparisons between reactive agility tests incorporating generic and sport-specific stimuli have been performed only in field-based team sports. The aim of this study was to compare generic (lightbased) and sport-specific (live opponent) reactive agility tests in courtbased team sport athletes. METHODS: Twelve semi-professional male basketball players (age: 25.9 ± 6.7 yr; stature: 188.9 ± 7.9 cm; body mass: 97.4 ± 16.1 kg; predicted maximal oxygen uptake: 49.5 ± 5.3 mL∙kg1∙min1) completed multiple trials of a Reactive Agility Test containing lightbased (RATLight) and opponentbased stimuli (RAT-Opponent). Multiple outcome measures were collected during the RATLight (agility time and total time) and RAT-Opponent (decision time and total time). RESULTS: Mean performance times during the RATLight (2.233 ± 0.224 s) were significantly (P < 0.001) slower than during the RAT-Opponent (1.726 ± 0.178 s). Further, a small relationship was observed between RATLight agility time and RAT-Opponent decision time (r10 = 0.20), while a trivial relationship was apparent between total performance times across tests (r10 = 0.02). Low commonality was observed between comparable measures across tests (R2 = 0-4%). CONCLUSION: Reactive agility tests containing light-based and live opponent stimuli appear to measure different qualities in courtbased team sport athletes. Court-based team sport coaches and conditioning professionals should not use generic and sportspecific reactive agility tests interchangeably during athlete assessments.