Accelerometry in Basketball: Study of the External Load During Training

Sánchez Ballesta, A., Caparros, T., Abruñedo, J.

To observe the relationship between external load and the design of different training exercises in relation to levels of approach, space, opposition, and type of game, a prospective, observational, and descriptive study was conducted during 15 training sessions of a Copa Catalunya team in the competitive period of the 2017-2018 season. External load was recorded from each training session using accelerometry (Polar Pro Team), and the exercises performed (n=18) were analyzed with the following variables: level-1 accelerations (A-1, 0.5 to 0.99 m/s²), level-2 accelerations (A-2, 1 to 1.99 m/s²), level-3 accelerations (A-3, 2 to 2.99 m/s²), level-4 accelerations (A-4, 3 to 50 m/s²), level-1 decelerations (D-1, –0.5 to –0.99 m/s²), level-2 decelerations (D-2, –1 to –1.99 m/s²), level-3 decelerations (D-3, –2 to –2.99 m/s²), and level-4 decelerations (D-4, -3 to -50 m/s²).

Subsequently, a descriptive analysis of central tendency was conducted, and the external load variables were related to levels of approach, space, opposition, and type of game through Spearman’s Rho. Significant relationships were observed between level III of approach with Total A-D 3 (rho=–0.727, p=.001) and Total A-D 3-4 (rho=–0.727, p=.001). Trends were also found in the relationship between level III of approach and A-3, D-3, and for opposition with D-3, Total A-D 3, and A-D 3-4.

The results suggest, in this specific context, that levels of approach III and IV, as well as opposition, shooting exercises, and small games are related to the intensity (quality) and volume (quantity) of external load during practices. Control of external load by accelerometry can be a useful tool when designing and programming the training load and its intensity.

View this research