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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 July-August;56(7-8):884-93


language: English

Agility performance in high-level junior basketball players: the predictive value of anthropometrics and power qualities

Nedim SISIC 1, Mario JELICIC 1, Miran PEHAR 2, Miodrag SPASIC 1, Damir SEKULIC 1

1 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia; 2 Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Education, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina


BACKGROUND: In basketball, anthropometric status is an important factor when identifying and selecting talents, while agility is one of the most vital motor performances. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the influence of anthropometric variables and power capacities on different preplanned agility performances.
METHODS: The participants were 92 high-level, junior-age basketball players (16-17 years of age; 187.6±8.72 cm in body height, 78.40±12.26 kg in body mass), randomly divided into a validation and cross-validation subsample. The predictors set consisted of 16 anthropometric variables, three tests of power-capacities (Sargent-jump, broad-jump and medicine-ball-throw) as predictors. The criteria were three tests of agility: a T-Shape-Test; a Zig-Zag-Test, and a test of running with a 180-degree turn (T180). Forward stepwise multiple regressions were calculated for validation subsamples and then cross-validated. Cross validation included correlations between observed and predicted scores, dependent samples t-test between predicted and observed scores; and Bland Altman graphics.
RESULTS: Analysis of the variance identified centres being advanced in most of the anthropometric indices, and medicine-ball-throw (all at P<0.05); with no significant between-position-differences for other studied motor performances. Multiple regression models originally calculated for the validation subsample were then cross-validated, and confirmed for Zig-zag-Test (R of 0.71 and 0.72 for the validation and cross-validation subsample, respectively). Anthropometrics were not strongly related to agility performance, but leg length is found to be negatively associated with performance in basketball-specific agility. Power capacities are confirmed to be an important factor in agility.
CONCLUSIONS: The results highlighted the importance of sport-specific tests when studying pre-planned agility performance in basketball. The improvement in power capacities will probably result in an improvement in agility in basketball athletes, while anthropometric indices should be used in order to identify those athletes who can achieve superior agility performance.

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