The term skill-related fitness refers to a person's abilities in areas that are likely to improve performance in sports or certain work related activities. There are six areas, or components, of skill-related fitness including power, speed, reaction time, agility, balance, and coordination. These areas of fitness may have no direct effect on a person's health, but they tend to increase athletic aptitude, which may in turn enhance health. They are also useful for a multitude of other daily activities.
The power component of skill-related fitness is a combination of strength and speed. Power refers to the amount of strength a person is able to use during a movement, together with the speed of the motion. An example is the force and speed used to hit a baseball. Speed is also considered a separate skill-related component of fitness, referring simply to how fast a person is able to move. Speed can be how fast a person moves the entire body, such as running, or just a body part as in kicking a ball.
The component of skill-related fitness called reaction time is the amount of time it takes for a person to respond to a stimulus. The stimulus is often sight, sound, or touch. When measuring reaction time, the amount of time from presenting the stimulus to the first muscle movement afterward is recorded. An example is the elapsed time from the sound of a race starting gun to the runner starting to run.
The next three components, sometimes called the ABCs of skill-related fitness, are agility, balance, and coordination; they are all closely related. Agility is the ability to quickly change direction while in motion, and balance is the ability to maintain a position of the body while moving or still. Coordination is using the senses and muscles together to produce an appropriate movement in response to the input received. Examples of these skills can be found in American football, i.e. catching a pass and running towards the end zone with the ball while remaining upright and avoiding the opposing team's players.
The components of skill-related fitness may not have a direct effect on improving health, but often make a person more proficient in health-related fitness activities as well. For instance, power may enhance a person's endurance for cardiovascular activities with proven health benefits. They also tend to enhance a person's performance in sports and other general activities of daily living. Examples include the benefits of coordination and agility when playing basketball or the importance of reaction time in avoiding a potential accident while driving.