Evaluation of Basketball-Specific Agility: Applicability of Preplanned and Nonplanned Agility Performances for Differentiating Playing Positions and Playing Levels

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Sekulic, D, Pehar, M, Krolo, A, Spasic, M, Uljevic, O, Calleja-González, J, and Sattler, T. Evaluation of basketball-specific agility: applicability of preplanned and nonplanned agility performances for differentiating playing positions and playing levels. J Strength Cond Res 31(8): 2278–2288, 2017—The importance of agility in basketball is well known, but there is an evident lack of studies examining basketball-specific agility performances in high-level players. The aim of this study was to determine the reliability and discriminative validity of 1 standard agility test (test of preplanned agility [change-of-direction speed] over T course, T-TEST), and 4 newly developed basketball-specific agility tests, in defining playing positions and performance levels in basketball. The study comprised 110 high-level male basketball players (height: 194.92 ± 8.09 cm; body mass: 89.33 ± 10.91 kg; age: 21.58 ± 3.92 years). The variables included playing position (Guard, Forward, Center), performance level (first division vs. second division), anthropometrics (body height, body mass, and percentage of body fat), T-TEST, nonplanned basketball agility test performed on dominant (BBAGILdom) and nondominant sides (BBAGILnond), and a preplanned (change-of-direction speed) basketball agility test performed on dominant (BBCODSdom) and nondominant sides (BBCODSnond). The reliability of agility tests was high (intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.81–0.95). Forwards were most successful in the T-TEST (F test: 13.57; p = 0.01). Guards outperformed Centers in BBCODSdom, BBCODSndom, BBAGILdom, and BBAGILnond (F test: 5.06, p = 0.01; 6.57, 0.01; 6.26, 0.01; 3.37, 0.04, respectively). First division Guards achieved better results than second division Guards in BBCODSdom (t: 2.55; p = 0.02; moderate effect size differences), BBAGILdom, and BBAGILnond (t: 3.04 and 3.06, respectively; both p = 0.01 and moderate effect size differences). First division Centers outperformed second division Centers in BBAGILdom (t: 2.50; p = 0.02; moderate effect size differences). The developed basketball-specific agility tests are applicable when defining position-specific agility. Both preplanned and nonplanned agilities are important qualities in differentiating between Guards of 2 performance levels. The results confirmed the importance of testing basketball-specific nonplanned agility when evaluating the performance level of Centers.

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