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Activity Profile and Physiological Requirements of Junior Elite Basketball Players in Relation to Aerobic-Anaerobic Fitness

Ben Abdelkrim, Nidhal1; Castagna, Carlo2; Jabri, Imed3; Battikh, Tahar3; El Fazaa, Saloua4; Ati, Jalila El5

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 9 - pp 2330-2342
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e381c1
Original Research

Ben Abdelkrim, N, Castagna, C, Jabri, I, Battikh, T, El Fazaa, S, and El Ati, J. Activity profile and physiological requirements of junior elite basketball players in relation to aerobic-anaerobic fitness. J Strength Cond Res 24(9): 2330-2342, 2010-The aim of this research was to examine the demands of competitive basketball games and to study the relationship between athletes' physical capability and game performance. Physical and physiological game demands and the association of relevant field test with game performance were examined in 18 male junior basketball players. Computerized time-motion analysis, heart rate (HR), and blood-lactate concentration [BL] measurements were performed during 6 basketball games. Players were also measured for explosive power, speed, agility, and maximal-strength and endurance performance. During the games, players covered 7,558 ± 575 m, of which 1,743 ± 317; 1,619 ± 280; and 2,477 ± 339 m were performed at high, moderate, and low intensities, respectively. The 19.3 ± 3.5 and 56.0 ± 6.3% of the playing time was spent above 95% and at 85-95% of maximal HR, respectively. Average and mean peak [BL] were 5.75 ± 1.25 and 6.22 ± 1.34 mmol·L−1, respectively. Distances covered at maximal- and high-speed running significantly (p < 0.01) decreased during the second half. Game maximal- and high-speed running were significantly correlated with endurance performance (r = 0.52, p < 0.05 and r = 0.49, p < 0.05, respectively). High-intensity shuffling distance resulted in being negatively related with agility (r = −0.68, p < 0.05). This study showed that basketball players experience fatigue as game time progresses and suggests the potential benefit of aerobic and agility conditioning in junior basketball.

1Institute of Sport and Physical Education, University of Mannouba, Ksar Said, Tunisia; 2School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Team Sports Department, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Tor Vergata University, Rome Italy; 3Higher School of Sciences and Techniques of Tunis, University of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia; 4Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of EL Manar, Tunis, Tunisia; and 5Department of Study and Planning, National Institute of Nutrition, Tunis, Tunisia

Address correspondence to Carlo Castagna,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association