Once upon a time, you were the epitomy of athleticism. You didn't pull muscles, you were rangey, mobile, agile and strong for your size. You could play seemingly all day and not cramp up or have three day DOMS. Fun times!
If you don't remember these times of athletic ease, it may be because you were to young to remember your days as a toddler. Toddlers are the prototypical example of what athleticism really is.
I am currently staying with a friend who has a 15 month old daughter who is a ball of boundless energy affectionately nicknamed “Monkey”. Monkey is just learning to walk now but chooses not to most of the time. Instead, she speedily rolls, crawls and bounds around in a wide variety of ways. Unless she decides to pull herself up on an object and mimic jumping up and down, she never tires. She can go from any (awkward looking to most adults) position and transition smoothly to any other position or action with nothing but a smile. I think that's called agility!
How many sporty adults do you know who can do this? Sure, they may be able to do some of these actions but it tends to be much harder work for them. Sporty adults tend to build fitness to make them more able to endure their laborious movement. What would happen if they instead worked on removing the 'laborious' bit?
For most sports, we have to be fit but I suggest that easy movement should precede or at least coincide with fitness work if you truly want to be athletic. I will write a lot more about my rationale for this. Without that for now, trust me when I say that for investing in finding ways to move more easily, you will injure yourself less and perform better.
Check out the video (from about half way through) of this baby learning to roll. You can see her progressing through different skill levels to the point where she rolls with effortless control, doing it so easily it almost looks like she is being pulled by invisible strings.
I urge you to place yourself on the floor on your front or back and practise rolling in a way where you won't get tired. The best way to ensure this is to pay attention to your breathing. If you only move at slow speeds and in ways that allow your breathing to remain as it is at rest, you can't get tired doing this. Can you rediscover a quality of moving you haven't felt since you were that toddling athlete who didn't know sport; only play? Can you be more like the athlete you used to be?