agility vs. strength

April 12, 2010
By michael stamati BRONZE, Naples, Florida
michael stamati BRONZE, Naples, Florida
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

What is the leading source of entertainment all over the world? What is the most popular physical activity in the planet Earth? Sports. Athletics are a part of every human being’s life. People use sports for exercise to stay healthy, keep happiness, to pleasure in citizens in every country and to spark competition between rivals who don’t feel like separating their differences through a battle to the death. Sports were played since the beginning of mankind and have only changed in technology but the basis of each sport is still the same. A few sports to name are soccer, football, basketball, lacrosse, dancing, horseback riding, tennis, golf, swimming, ice-skating, or volleyball. From the most brutal contact sports to the most elegant and graceful, all sports require two major components, agility and strength. Agility is the speed, endurance, and ability to get from point A to point B no matter what obstacle. Strength is power, intimidation, and pure raw muscles. Although both of these aspects are needed to be a top performing athlete, agility is an aspect that is more important and more required in athletics rather than strength.
Agility can be trained for starting at younger ages while strength is more trained for when the athlete is older. Athletes aren’t born they’re made. But how long does it take to make an athlete? Sports are started at any age, but there are special young kids who are trained for their sport and at such a young age they cannot be tested in strength yet, but in agility. To build strength resistance training is needed, resistance training is the use of weights and resistance in constant repetitions and sets. Resistance training can also cause stunting of muscle growth if used at a young age. To replace the inability to resistance train, young athletes train for agility.
To be dexterous, flexible and faster is more important than how much a person can bench or power clean. Agility is the aspect that is trained for the most in all athletes; amateur or professional, agility is always needed more. There are limited amounts of exercises to strengthen muscles but there are countless numbers of exercises to train for agility. The concept in resistance training is overloading to build muscle and to get stronger. The concept for agility is to be faster, to have a faster reaction time, a better hand-eye coordination, explosion, an overall stronger body and to specialize movement for the specific sport the athlete participates in. Have you ever been in an agility work out or trained for agility? If you’ve said yes to that question then I have another question for you. Have you ever been in a strength conditioning program or work out to build muscle? If you have said yes to both those questions then think about this. Which program made you sweat more?
Agility is better for all major sports like football, basketball, and soccer. In football strength is used and needed in the linemen and mostly on the defensive side but agility in the running backs is needed to score and to lead the team to victory. In basketball strength is needed in the centers to rebound and defend the basket but it’s the shooters or the quickness and dexterity of the guards to pull off the game winning points. In soccer endurance is a major component in the sport. Endurance is a part of agility and it is the most needed aspect in soccer.
Kobe Bryant is faster and not that strong and has better overall statistics than Shaquille O’neal. Kobe Bryant has a greater points per game, assists per game, free throw percentage and 3-point percentage than Shaquille O’neal. All of these statistics are aspects that help teams win and draw more public attention to. Kobe Bryant is known to be the greatest Los Angeles Laker of all atime, he is known as the “The Black Mamba.” Shaquille O’neal is normally called Shaq, he was once known as a “Wilt for the nineties” and he’s seven foot one inch of raw power and experience. Kobe is only six foot six inches but his speed makes up for his lack of height. His shooting ability is pronounced as “silky smooth” and his scoring ability leaves defenders with broken ankles. Shaq overpowers every opponent he’s faced but there is one disadvantage in his strength over agility imbalance.
A disadvantage between a basketball player that chooses strength over agility is a higher risk of injury. Centers are generally the tallest player on the team, the strongest position out of the five, and who are also generally slow with little endurance. The biggest battle in basketball is the fight for the boards. Any player can get a rebound but the centers have the biggest advantage with their height and strength. In their battles for the rebounds they jump in the air as high as they can but the landing is the most important part. In the air the center might get pushed and the motion of his body could change for the worst. Imagine a seven-foot monster in the air but no matter how small his opponent is his strength or weight doesn’t account for the motion of his body in the air. One simple push can lead the center to slanting his body and when he lands the ankle would roll over and that’s when a sprain ankle occurs. The sprained ankle is the most common injury in basketball and it is most common among centers.
An advantage to training for agility is that during the exercises they combine the exercising of the leg muscles with pre-habilitation. Pre-habilitation is the exercising of joints and muscles to prevent injuries. The guards of each team are supposed to be the fastest players on the team and with their quickness comes the strength in joints to prevent injury. Statistics show that shooting-guards and point-guards are the least injured players out of a general team. The pre-habilitation exercises performed with agility building exercises in a formula for gaining speed, dexterity, and injury prevention is an advantage for all guards in basketball.
My point is that agility is more useful and better for an athlete than strength. It shows through basketball that a more flexible quicker player can outscore a powerful center. Agility also helps a player be less prone to injury which will help in not only sports but in the life outside of the athlete’s sports realm. Agility is an aspect that is used for scoring points and winning championships and that’s one of the many reasons why agility is more important than strength.

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