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Differences In Player Load of Professional Basketball Players During a Competitive Season

The International Journal of Strength and Conditioning is the world's first in S&C and Sport Science to be 'Diamond' Open Access. We have recently published a new article by Wellm, D., Willberg, C., & Zentgraf, K. titled, "Differences In Player Load Of Professional Basketball Players As A Function Of Distance To The Game Day During A Competitive Season"

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the dynamics of external training load (eTL), internal training load (iTL), and well-being status, during a regular season week with one game, and to examine the differential workloads of players depending on their distance from game day during a competitive season. Method: Subjects were 10 full-time professional basketball players (24.6 ± 4.9 years old; 204.2 ± 16.8 cm; 97.9 ± 10.4 kg). Workload was recorded and classified as total duration training and duration of full game during a competitive season. A wearable tracking system collected eTL via Player Load (PL) and Player Load per minute (PL/min). Training sessions were classified based on days before a match (four days before the match day = MD-4, MD-3, MD-2, and MD-1), and MD. Session rate of perceived exertion (sRPE) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were used for iTL. In addition, the Hooper index (HI) was used for well-being. Results: A significant difference was found between MD-1 and MD workload, MD workload being the highest of all variables: RPE (p < .001), PL/min (p <.001), PL (p <.001), and sRPE (p <.001). Regarding Hooper’s categories, significant differences between training days and match were only found in soreness (p <.001). Conclusion: The results show that MD provides a unique stimulus in terms of volume and intensity. Consequently, coaches must incorporate specific training exercises to adapt players to the demands of competition. Finally, special attention should be paid to MD-2 and MD-1 in terms of potential accumulated fatigue and thus to ensure appropriate recovery time for athletes to adapt before the match.


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