The purpose of the present study was to determine the responses of testosterone and cortisol, with special reference to playing positions, playing time and phase of the season. We carried out a follow-up study during four consecutive seasons to investigate the effects of playing time, positional role and phase of the season on anabolic-catabolic biomarkers (plasma total testosterone -TT- and cortisol -C-) on twenty professional male basketball players (27.0 +/- 4.2 y; 24.4 +/- 1.2 kg/m2). First blood samples were collected right after the off-season period and considered as baseline. Samples were taken periodically every 4 to 6 weeks, always after a 24-36h break following the last game played. Statistical procedures were non-parametric mainly. Hormonal status was playing position-dependent, power forwards showed the lowest TT values (med +/- IQR; PF: 18.1 +/- 4.9; nMol/l) and small forwards the highest ones of C (0.55 +/- 0.118 [micro]Mol/l). Players who played between 13 to 25-min per game showed the highest values of TT (22.8 +/- 6.9 nMol/l) and TT/C (47.1 +/- 21.2). March and April showed the most catabolic and/or stressed hormonal state (low TT/C values and high ones of C), and that is necessary to take into account according to playing time (>25-min per game) and specific playing position. Monitoring plasma TT and C is recommended to prevent excessive stress caused by professional basketball season requirements.
Copyright (C) 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.