Quantifying Training and Game Demands of a National Basketball Association Season.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Front Psychol, 2021, 12, pp. 793216
Issue Date:
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Purpose: There are currently no data describing combined practice and game load demands throughout a National Basketball Association (NBA) season. The primary objective of this study was to integrate external load data garnered from all on-court activity throughout an NBA season, according to different activity and player characteristics. Methods: Data from 14 professional male basketball players (mean ± SD; age, 27.3 ± 4.8 years; height, 201.0 ± 7.2 cm; body mass, 104.9 ± 10.6 kg) playing for the same club during the 2017-2018 NBA season were retrospectively analyzed. Game and training data were integrated to create a consolidated external load measure, which was termed integrated load. Players were categorized by years of NBA experience (1-2y, 3-5y, 6-9y, and 10 + y), position (frontcourt and backcourt), and playing rotation status (starter, rotation, and bench). Results: Total weekly duration was significantly different (p < 0.001) between years of NBA playing experience, with duration highest in 3-5 year players, compared with 6-9 (d = 0.46) and 10+ (d = 0.78) year players. Starters experienced the highest integrated load, compared with bench (d = 0.77) players. There were no significant differences in integrated load or duration between positions. Conclusion: This is the first study to describe the seasonal training loads of NBA players for an entire season and shows that a most training load is accumulated in non-game activities. This study highlights the need for integrated and unobtrusive training load monitoring, with engagement of all stakeholders to develop well-informed individualized training prescription to optimize preparation of NBA players.
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