Agility is my least favorite task to measure but my absolute favorite to interpret. Coaching agility is the most complex component to athleticism as it applies strategy to explosiveness, speed, and muscular endurance. All of the prerequisite skills must co-exist, but any can compensate for deficits in the other when evaluated as a whole.
If vertical leap and broad jump are off the charts, then explosiveness is not a liability. When switching directions, explosiveness lets you get up to top speed quickly. To maximize explosiveness, look for or create micromovements that anticipate change of direction and showcase ‘natural’ athleticism.
Quickly hitting top speed in such a tight space requires maximizing available ground reaction forces. These forces are specific opportunistic moments that exist to leverage windows of acceleration for overall agility gains. Beware that
acceleration from a static and/or dynamic movement(s) is very different and can cause wide variations in performance.
How we bounce back from and/or manage massive peaks and valleys in our accelerations lets us maximize our overall speed maintenance. Important to understanding agility because neural and muscular fatigue negates any ‘natural’ athleticism. When fatigue sets in, technique falters and an exponential deterioration in performance occurs.
How does one evaluate and/or improve? Measure your baseline like Eric. Find a ‘pro’ baseline like Braxton Miller. Allow yourself a moment to lament how much better they are than you. Now get to work.
Remember 7-10 days to learn a skill. 14-21 days to build specific capacity in a task. 4-6 weeks to maximize performance automation under duress.
Strategy is your best friend when improving agility. Fastest gains will come from a better understanding of proper footwork, best positioning, and advanced tactics. Then by segmenting agility we can focus on micro improvements in explosiveness, speed, and endurance. Reassembled with specific intention we once again get to see how measured agility applies to functional, sport specific performance gains. Good luck!