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Development of Repeated Sprint Ability in Talented Youth Basketball Players

te Wierike, Sanne C.M.1; de Jong, Mark C.1; Tromp, Eveline J.Y.1; Vuijk, Pieter J.2; Lemmink, Koen A.P.M1,3; Malina, Robert M.4; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T.1,5; Visscher, Chris1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 928–934
doi: 10.1097/JSC.0000000000000223
Original Research

te Wierike, SCM, de Jong, MC, Tromp, EJY, Vuijk, PJ, Lemmink, KAPM, Malina, RM, Elferink-Gemser, MT, and Visscher, C. Development of repeated sprint ability in talented youth basketball players. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 928–934, 2014—Factors affecting repeated sprint ability (RSA) were evaluated in a mixed-longitudinal sample of 48 elite basketball players 14–19 years of age (16.1 ± 1.7 years). Players were observed on 6 occasions during the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. Three following basketball-specific field tests were administered on each occasion: the shuttle sprint test for RSA, the vertical jump for lower body explosive strength (power), and the interval shuttle run test for interval endurance capacity. Height and weight were measured; body composition was estimated (percent fat, lean body mass). Multilevel modeling of RSA development curve was used with 32 players (16.0 ± 1.7 years) who had 2 or more observations. The 16 players (16.1 ± 1.8 years) measured on only 1 occasion were used as a control group to evaluate the appropriateness of the model. Age, lower body explosive strength, and interval endurance capacity significantly contributed to RSA (p ≤ 0.05). Repeated sprint ability improved with age from 14 to 17 years (p ≤ 0.05) and reached a plateau at 17–19 years. Predicted RSA did not significantly differ from measured RSA in the control group (p ≥ 0.05). The results suggest a potentially important role for the training of lower body explosive strength and interval endurance capacity in the development of RSA among youth basketball players. Age-specific reference values for RSA of youth players may assist basketball coaches in setting appropriate goals for individual players.

1Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands;

2Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands;

3School for Sport Studies, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands;

4Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas; and

5Institute for Studies in Sports and Exercise, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Address correspondence to Sanne Cornelia Maria te Wierike,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.