Three investigations (1-3) - see references below used agility (or reactive agility as it was called in those investigations) testing utilizing coaches’ cues to have the player react to a stimulus.
The tester started the timing with stepping forward (and off a timing mat) and then stepping onto one side, with either the left or the right foot up front. The player followed the movement as fast as possible and when direction was chosen, the player sprinted through timing gates to stop the time. Therefore, 4 possible scenarios were tested.
The tester stepped forward and then:
a) With the right foot to the left
b) With the right foot to the right
c) With the left foot to the left
d) With the right foot to the right
While Sheppard et al. (1) proposed the mentioned test above, Gabbet et al. (2-3) utilized used it for testing rugby players.
We believe that testing (and therefore training (4)) for agility is important, however, due to the more or less complicated measurement (such as different device needs to be synchronized and therefore a lot of equipment and manpower is needed) we never tested our players (with scientific standards) due to several reasons.
If coaches want to apply agility testing and training, they need to randomize their decision for "left or right". Therefore, the testing should officially use an uneven number, i.e. 5 and therefore 2 left and 3 right to ensure that players cannot guess the direction. However, only the average of two trials each direction will be recorded. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further questions.
1. Sheppard, J. M., Young, W.B., Doyle, T.L., Sheppard, T.A., and Newton,
R.U. An evaluation of a new test of reactive agility and its relationship to sprint speed and change of direction speed. J. Sci. Med. Sports. 9: 342-349, 2006.
2. Gabbett, T. J., Kelly, J. N. and J. M. Sheppard. Speed, change of direction
speed, and reactive agility of rugby league players. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 22(1): 174-181, 2008.
3. Gabbett, T. and Benton, D. Reactive agility of rugby league players. J. Sci.
Med. Sport. 12(1): 212-214, 2009.
4. Serpell, B. G., Young, W. B. and Ford, M. Are the perceptual and decision-
making components of agility trainable? A preliminary investigation. J. Strength. Cond. Res. 25(5): 1240-1248, 2011.