E-27 Free Communication/Poster - Pediatric Exercise Physiology: JUNE 1,2007 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM ROOM: Hall E
PURPOSE: To determine gender differences, positional differences, and patterns of change in the performance of the basketball line-drill test for elite junior basketball players.
METHODS: Male (n= 93, 16.8 ± 1.1 y, mean ± SD) and female (n=95, 16.5 ± 1.0 y) basketball players undertook 516 repeat-effort basketball line-drill tests over a 5-y period. Players completed the manually timed test on 2.8 ± 2.4 occasions over 1.0 ± 1.2 y. Performance times were log-transformed and analysed using a mixed model that included quadratic within-subject fixed effects for time in the season and time in the program. Changes and differences were standardized for interpretation of magnitudes.
RESULTS: Mean line-drill run times were 28.0 ± 1.3 s for males and 30.4 ± 1.3 s for females. The mean pattern of change in performance within a season differed substantially between genders and playing positions: male guards and female centres showed moderate to very large improvements mid-season (1.1 % and 3.5% respectively; 90% confidence limits ±2.1% and ±3.0%), while female guards and male forwards showed large to very large decrements (−1.6, ±2.6%; −2.4, ±2.0% respectively). Over three years, males improved line-drill performance across all three playing positions by 1.4, ±1.3% and females by 2.9, ±1.4%. Males improve by 0.2, ±0.5%, while females decreased performance by 0.6, ±0.4% per year. For each year older at program entry, males and females were 0.4, ±0.9% and 0.9, ±0.7% faster respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The differing patterns of performance change between genders and positions within a season presumably reflect variations in training and competition loads in these basketball players. The challenge for coaches is to manage short-term fluctuations in performance within a season while promoting longer-term improvement.