By Zoe and Amy

Victoria Police - Illinois Agility Test

What is agility?

Agility is defined as 'a rapid, whole-body movement with change in velocity or direction in response to a stimulus.' (Shepard and young)

  • necessary cues are recognised and decisions are made on how to move
  • involves acceleration, deceleration, changes in direction in evading an opponent
  • involves sprinting, changes of direction when intercepting a ball or player

Factors that affect agility

Strength: strength is a fundamental basis of all athletic movement. If you aren't strong, you will struggle to be fast, jump high or move laterally quickly.

Power: Power is the ability to take a weight or move it as fast as possible. Thereby restricting the use of power restricts optimum power for agility.

Flexibility: If you are restricted in a joint or muscle, you will be able to place your body in the most advantageous positions to perform. Muscles may not be allowed to fully activate when there are flexibility deficits.

Technique: Understanding technique surrounding agility will keep you to refine your agility training and take you to new heights.

Sport or events that require agility

Agility is the ability to change direction rapidly and accurately. Some examples of sports that require agility as a skill are field and court sports like hockey, soccer and basketball.

All these sports require:

  • Fast change in direction
  • Whole-body movement and rapid acceleration or deceleration
  • Involve physical and cognitive components, such as recognition of a stimulus, reaction or execution of a physical response.

Illinois and SEMO agility tests

Illinois agility test


  1. Begin by laying in a prone position behind the start line with your hands near your shoulder and head behind the line.
  2. On the command go, jump up and run through the course (refer to Illinois agility test imagine below)


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SEMO agility test


1. The cones are placed in the corners of the square that you are required to run in. Each cone labelled A,B,C and

2. The participant stands at A with their back to the square

3. When the timing begins the participant side steps from A to B, participant cannot use crossover step

4. Backpedal's to D, in this backpedal participants must keep their back perpendicular to the imaginary lines connecting the corner cones

5. Sprints forwards to A

6. Backpedals to C

7. Sprints to B

8. Side steps to A, always passing around the outside of the cones. If completed incorrectly it should be time trialled until the participant gets it correct two times.


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Training Methods

The ladder drill:

Ladder drills will improve your side-to-side agility.

1. Stand at one end of the ladder, off to the left, for the lateral feet drill.

2. Step your left foot into the first opening and then step your right foot into the opening beside it.

3. Cross your left foot over your right and step your left foot out of the opening first, just to the right of the first opening; then step your right foot out, beside it.

4. Next, step your left foot into the second opening of the ladder and step your right foot into the opening beside it.

5. Cross your right foot over your left foot to step to the outside of the ladder on the left and then step your left foot out beside it.

Then continue the sequence for the rest of the ladder. When your agility and side-to-side agility has improved you can increase your speed.

The tire drill:

1. Line up 10 tires in a 2-by-5 configuration.

2. Sprint through the tires by putting your feet in the holes in the center of the tires. Try not to hit, kick or trip over the inner edges of the tires.

When finished, go back to the starting point and run three more routes through the tires.