Higher Playing Times Accumulated Across Entire Games And Prior To Intense Passages Reduce The Peak Demands Reached By Elite, Junior, Male Basketball Players

Alonso Pérez-Chao E., Lorenzo A., Scanlan A., Lisboa P., Sosa C., Gómez M.Á.

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of different factors on the external peak demands (PD) encountered by elite, junior, male basketball players in games, including the (1) total playing time during games and (2) playing time accumulated directly prior to each PD episode. Workload variables included the PD for total distance, distance covered in different intensity zones, accelerations >2 m·s^-2 (ACC), decelerations <-2 m·s^-2 (DEC), and PlayerLoad. PD were calculated across different sample durations for each variable. Linear mixed models were used to identify differences in PD between groups based on playing times. PD for total distance (5-min window), high-speed running (>18 km·h^-1) distance (2-min window), and ACC (30-s, 45-s, 1-min, 2-min, and 5-min windows) were significantly (p < .05) higher for players who completed lower total playing times (16.6 ± 2.4 min) than players who completed higher total playing times (25.0 ± 3.4 min). The PD for total distance (30-s, 45-s, 1-min, and 2-min windows), high-speed running distance (30-s and 5-min windows), and PlayerLoad (1-min and 2-min windows) were significantly (p < .05) higher for players who accumulated lower playing times before each PD episode than players who accumulated higher playing times before each PD episode. Players who undertake less playing time overall and prior to each PD episode can reach higher peak external loads aggregated across varied time windows. These findings can inform tactical coaching decisions during games for high external loads to be accomplished during important passages of play.

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