Performance results from a combination of physical, biomotoric, physiological, and technical characteristics. For this reason, it is difficult to attribute performance only to one criterion because there are many internal and external factors affecting performance (34). A remarkable development in sport performance has been seen during the last 50 years (26). It can be said that this development has been built on detailed investigation of all the relevant performance factors and the coordination of all these factors to create effective training programs. This has served both to maintain the performance of elite athletes at a high level and to allow other athletes to reach their maximum potential performance. Consequently, it is important to define the performance level of an athlete before a training program is designed (7). Inadequate physique (12), physiological capacity, and other characteristics determining the athlete's performance will prevent the attainment of desired values. When implementing a short-term training period, emphasizing only one characteristic may frustrate the development of the other characteristics affecting performance.
In basketball, there is no single reason for success. Rather, there are many important factors affecting the game situation such as physique, physiological capacity, psychological state, biomotoric characteristics, technical ability, tactical intelligence, team discipline, and coaching. Ball games require comprehensive ability including physical, technical, mental, and tactical abilities (39).
Optimal performance now requires a combination of technical and tactical abilities as well as a high degree of physical fitness (37). The physique of basketball players may be one of the essential factors that has contributed to the success of national basketball teams in international competition (32). Aspects such as experience, body composition, endurance, and balance between anaerobic power and aerobic power, among other factors, are of primary importance in evaluating elite players (33).
These factors are important as a whole and in relation to each other. When maximum performance is expected, multiple performance analysis of basketball players should be applied. It is important for a training program to be designed according to data obtained from multiple analyses. A few researchers have applied multiple performance analysis to basketball players (6,23,36). They have found that evaluation of physical, physiological, and biomotoric characteristics gives valuable information about ability (3). Although basketball is a team sport, individual characteristics are also important because giving shape to a team depends on individual differences. For this reason, performance differences of players according to their game position should be considered (2,9,10).
Certain biomotoric features such as endurance, power, and speed are important (30). Together with a high physiological capacity, suitability of physique for the type of sport is necessary to achieve high performance (16). However, the effects of intensive combined training programs on their physical, physiological, biomotoric, and technical features have not been known and should be investigated.
The purpose of the current study was the investigation of the effects of an intensive combined training program based on the pretest scores of a university women's basketball team on their physical, physiological, biomotoric, and technical features.
Experimental Approach to the Problem
The purpose of this study was the investigation of the effects of an intensive combined training program based on the pretest scores of a university women's basketball team on their physical, physiological, biomotoric, and technical features. For this purpose, we tried to determine the effects of an intensive combined training program on the athletes' physical, physiological, biomotoric, and technical parameters. All dependent variables were assessed before and after the 10-week training period, which took place between September and November 2005. The volunteers were all university students, basketball and control group members, whose pretest results were given in tables. They participated in this study after a 3-month summer resting period.
Twenty-four university volunteers were equally divided into two groups: an experiment group (intensive combined training group) and a control (technical training) group.
Tests were performed on the experimental and control groups as a pretest before the preparation period of the season and as a posttest before the competition period of the season. Subjects were tested while wearing standard sports wear (sport shoes, shorts, and T-shirt), 2-3 hours after their usual breakfast and lunch. Physical and physiological tests were performed at 10:00 am, and biomotoric and shooting tests were performed at 3:00 pm. Pretests and posttests in both groups were performed at the same time and in the same sport hall. The athletes did stretching and warm-up exercises before the biomotoric tests. There was no training when the pretests and posttests were performed. The training program lasted 10 weeks, and each week had four training days, with each training session lasting 2 hours. The intensity and range of the sessions were adjusted according to the pretest results of the athletes. In the present study, the psychological and socioeconomic conditions of athletes were not assessed.
Skinfold Measurements: Triceps, biceps, subscapula, pectoral, suprailiac, abdomen, and quadriceps muscles were measured according to a standard anthropometric measurement protocol using skinfold calipers calibrated to 10 g·mm−2 (Holtain Ltd., Crymycn, UK) (41).
The formula, (biceps + triceps + subscapula + pectoral + suprailiac + quadriceps) × 0.097 + 3.64, was used to determine body fat percentage (1).
Girth Measurements: An Aptamil (Aptamil Company) inflexible 7-mm-wide measuring tape was used. Measured body parts were the shoulder, waist, hip, arm (full extension and elbow at 90° contraction), forearm (full extension and elbow at 90° contraction), thigh (at full extension and contraction), and calf (at full extension and contraction).
Vital capacity (VC), forced vital capacity (FVC), and percentage of forced expiration volume in 1 second (FEV1 %) were measured by a Cosmed (Cosmed, Rome, Italy) manual spirometer according to the application protocol (10). Each athlete blew strongly into the adult-size mouthpiece after a deep breath in a resting and standing position with the nose closed by a nose peg. Each athlete's VC, FVC, and FEV1 % scores displayed on the Cosmed monitor were recorded.
Countermovement Jump Test: A Takei Physical Fitness Test Jump (T.K.K. 5106 model) jump meter was used to measure each athlete's jump height. Each athlete jumped vertically twice with her hands on her waist. The best score was recorded in centimeters.
Dynamic Vertical Jump Test: Each athlete jumped alternately right and left over a 30-cm-high hurdle for 30 seconds. Each jump was counted as one number to give a total score (items per second) (24).
Sit-Ups Test: Each athlete lay down on her back with the sides of her elbows touching the floor and her knees bent. The athlete straightened up from this position until her forehead came between her knees. This was repeated for 30 seconds. Each approach to the knees was counted as one number, to give a total score (items per second).
Push-Ups Test: Each athlete lay down in a prone position with her arms open at shoulder width. The subject lifted her body from the ground until her elbows were extended before returning to the starting position, and she repeated this for 30 seconds. These two movements were counted as one number to give a total score (items per second).
Hand Grip Test: A Grip Strength Dynamometer (T.K.K. 5101 model) was used. Each athlete gripped the dynamometer with both hands. They performed this two times, and the best score was registered as a number (8).
Bench Press Test: The score for a one-repetition maximum (1-RM) was recorded in kilograms. (13,15).
Hack Squat Test: The score for a 1-RM was recorded in kilograms (28).
Behind-the-Neck-Press Test: The score for a 1-RM was recorded in kilograms.
Hyperextension Test: The subject joined her hands behind her neck on a backward sit-up table. She bent until her body came to a 90° angle to the table and then lifted her body back to the start position. The athlete repeated this for 30 seconds. Each two movements were counted as one number to give a total score (items per second).
20-m Sprint Test: The 20-m sprint test was timed electronically. The test was performed with a high start method in a sports hall, and the scores were recorded as second-split second.
Sit-Reach Flexibility Test: The test was performed according to the Eurofit test battery protocol, and the scores were recorded in centimeters (19).
1500-m Endurance Test: The test was performed according to the endurance classification, midtime endurance (1500 m) test. The test was performed with a high start method in a sports field, and the scores were recorded in minutes and seconds.
Shooting Test: The athletes attempted a total of 25 stop jump shots from three regions (Figure 1): five free shots inside 6.25 m, and a total of 25 stop jump shots from three regions outside 6.25 m (Figure 2). Successful shots (baskets) were recorded as a number.
Intensive Combined Training Plan
The training program in Figure 3 consisted of two periods, 2.5 months, 10 weeks, 38 training days, 62 training sessions, 5 training matches, 25 resting days, and 124 total training hours. Two medical examinations were provided before the pretest and posttest. Note that the loading intensity in Table 1 represents average values. For example, the average loading intensity of the fourth week of the first period was 70% (60% on the first day, 60% on the second day, 75% on the third day, and 85% on the fifth day). The weekly loading intensity was increased gradually until the competition period. The intensity of each weekday was increased in the same way. Figure 3 shows that as part of the loading intensity of days, the pretest and posttest were performed on the 2nd and 37th days. The purpose of scheduling four consecutive training sessions was to mimic the match system that would occur during the subsequent championship competition. Thus the loading intensity was increased on weekdays to enable adaptation to the demands of semifinal and final games.
Instead of focusing on only one characteristic, a combined training method was preferred to develop all the necessary performance characteristics (physiological, biomotoric, technical, and tactical) by changing the ratio of loading intensity. For instance, on the first week of the first period on Table 1, combined training was planned as 20% strength, 10% sprint, 50% endurance, 10% technical, and 10% tactic.
On double training days, technical and tactical training were performed in a sports hall in the morning, and strength training-which was set separately for each athlete-was performed in a fitness center in the afternoon. The athletes were trained according to their fatigue levels in microplanning. In other words, on the days the athletes felt tired, loading intensity was decreased (18).
The training program of the control group was shown in Table 1, and it consisted of two periods, 2.5 months, 10 weeks, 38 training days, 62 training sessions, 5 training matches, 25 resting days, and 124 total training hours. Two medical examinations were provided before the pretest and posttest. Technical features were performed in the unit training of the control group, including shooting, passing, dribbling, attacks, and defense.
Strength Training Plan
In the experimental (combined training) group, the loading intensity of each athlete was identified according to maximal unit values measured before training. These values were bench press (1-RM), hack squat (1-RM), push-ups (items per second), sit-ups (items per second), plyometric (items per second), behind-the-neck press (1-RM), and hyperextension test (items per second). Training sessions were based on microplanning and individual characteristics. Plyometric exercises were preferred because they contribute to vertical jump and anaerobic power development (21,29). Plyometric training sessions were suggested 3 days weekly and three sets daily (38). Strength training in the control group was performed at an equal intensity and at the same time as the experimental group.
Sprint Training Plan
Figure 4 shows an example drill used for the combined sprint training and shooting technique. Sprint training sessions consisted of five sets of four repetitions. Each repetition was performed at a maximal loading intensity, and one set lasted 15 minutes. During the recovery time, the athletes performed free shooting practice. Sprint training in the control group was performed using the same numbers of sets and repetitions as the experimental group without the other technical features.
Endurance Training Plan
The values in Table 2, based on the results of tests before training, were designed to develop aerobic endurance. The test was performed on court to mimic the basketball game characteristics. When the basketball players ran 1500 m at 100% capacity before training, the average time of the team was 8 minutes (480 seconds). Accordingly, one lap in the sports hall was 60 m, so 1500 m means 25 laps (the width of the sports hall was 15 m, and the length was approximately 28 m). If there was endurance training in the daily training program, then this was performed together with technical training. For instance, if a technical session was planned together with endurance training in the same practice, then the basketball players ran 25 laps in 7.5-8 minutes (one lap = going + returning). Figure 5 shows how endurance and technical practice (shooting or lay-ups) was combined into the same drill. Endurance training in the control group was performed using the same load intensity as the experimental group.
Shooting Training Plan
Each athlete attempted a total of 125 inner shots from the area shown in Figure 6. Twenty-five of them were from the inner and outer shooting areas (five sets), plus five free shots (five sets). Each athlete also attempted 125 outer shots and 25 free shots. The same shooting program was performed in the experimental and control groups.
All results are expressed as mean ± SD. p Values ≤ 0.05 were regarded as significant. Differences in the mean values between the pretest and posttest were examined using paired samples and independent t-tests (p ≤ 0.05 was regarded as significant). Data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical program (version 9.05, SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois).
Pretest and posttest girth measurement values for the experimental and control groups are shown in Table 3. There was a statistically significance (p < 0.05) in pretest and posttest girth measurement values between the experimental and control groups. There were significant pre-posttest girth differences in shoulder, waist, hip, extended arm, flexed arm, extended thigh, flexed thigh, and calf measurements, and arm contraction, thigh contraction, calf extension, and calf contraction in the pretests were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the control group than in the experiment group. In addition, arm contraction and tight contraction in the posttest were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the control group than in the experiment group.
Pretest and posttest skinfold measurement findings of the experimental and control groups are shown in Table 4. There were significant pre-posttest skinfold and percent body fat differences (fat %), and pectoral values in the pretest were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the control group than in the experimental group, although biceps, pectoral, and subscapula values in the posttest were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the control group than in the experiment group.
Pretest and posttest lung function results for the control and experimental groups are shown in Table 5. Forced vital capacity values in the posttest were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the control group than in the experiment group.
Pretest and posttest biomotoric test values for the experimental and control groups are shown in Table 6. There were significant changes in left hand grip, push-ups, sit-ups, hyperextension, bench press, and hack squat in the pretest, and the countermovement jump values were significantly lower in the control group than in the experiment group. Left hand grip, push-ups, sit-ups, hyperextension dynamic vertical jump, and countermovement jump in the posttest were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in the control group than in the experiment group.
Pretest and posttest shooting test values of the experimental and control groups were shown in Table 7. There were changes in inside shooting and outside shooting values, and inside shooting in the pretest was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the control group than in the experiment group. Outside shooting in the posttest was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the control group than in the experiment group.
In a study of elite basketball players, it is reported that anthropometric construction is effective on performance for 41.3% of females (38) and 3% of males (23). Carter et al. had a similar study of female basketball players who participated in the World Basketball Championship in 1994. In their study, there were 64 guards (mean ± SD; age 25.4 ± 3.3 years, height 1.72 ± 0.06 m, mass 66.1 ± 6.2 kg), 57 forwards (age 25.2 ± 3.8 years, height 1.81 ± 0.06 m, mass 73.3 ± 5.9 kg), and 47 centers (age 24.1 ± 3.1 years, height 1.90 ± 0.06 m, mass 82.6 ± 8.2 kg) (10). Also, Tsunawake et al. report the girth measurements of female basketball players in their study as arm 24.5 ± 1.22 cm, waist 64.8 ± 3.35 cm, hip 90.9 ± 3.29 cm, thigh 53.9 ± 2.44 cm, calf 35.7 ± 1.63 cm, and percent body fat 15.7 ± 5.05% (39). The results indicate that the highest relationships existed between estimates of regional muscle mass (arm circumference, arm muscle cross-sectional area, and thigh circumference) and lifting performance (31). They have shown that there is a relation between cardiovascular and respiration values of basketball players, and these kinds of tests will give important information about the physical capacity of basketball players (20). Women student-athletes seemed to have positive attitudes toward weight training and thought that it was important to the development of women athletes (35).
Hakkinen report in a similar study that significant (p < 0.05) increases occurred during the season both in the average power output during the first 15 seconds of work in an anaerobic jumping test and in the maximal vertical jumping heights in the countermovement jump (from 21.7 ± 2.3 to 24.2 ± 2.4 cm) and in the countermovement jump (from 24.9 ± 2.6 to 26.3 ± 2.9 cm). A considerable change also occurred in the shape of the isometric force-time curve of the leg extensor muscles, such that the times to produce submaximal force levels shortened (p < 0.05) (22). Woolstenhulme and Bailey found the vertical jump values of female basketball players in their study to be 49.5 ± 4.8 and 49.0 ± 4.8 cm (40). Apostolidis et al. obtained half-squat values for female basketball players of 40.1 ± 3.7 cm and squat vertical jump values for female basketball players of 39.8 ± 4.0 cm in their study (4). In our study, the countermovement jump value after training was found as 52.7 ± 5.3 cm. This shows that plyometric trainings that are part of combined training programs are effective. Woolstenhulme and Bailey determined in their study that shooting accuracy was more than 60 seconds (21.5 ± 3.8 and 21.3 ± 4.1 points per minute) (40). Balabinis et al. decided that combined endurance and strength training was more effective than specific endurance and strength training for basketball players (5). As a result of the similar training models of the other researchers, it can be said that combined training programs affect the performance of basketball players positively. In addition, Hakkinen has reported that the individual changes during the competitive season, both in power output and in the times of rapid force production, correlated negatively (p < 0.05) with the individual initial values recorded before the season (22). On the other hand, Jelicic et al. (25) have specified that further investigations are necessary to assess potential changes in the status of these parameters when the participants reach the age of senior players and afterwards, as well as to determine relations between anthropometric status and skill-related variables.
Surveys are an effective method of determining contemporary strength and conditioning practices. They have been used to examine strength and conditioning programs of college and professional athletes and coaches (11,14,17,27). The intensive combined training, which was based on pretraining performance data and applied to the university women basketball players in this study, was effective in developing the players' performance across a range of physical, physiological, biomotoric, and technical parameters. The results of this study suggest that adapting a basketball training program according to pretest performance levels of individual athletes was an important factor in developing a successful intensive combined training program. In addition, planning the training program on the basis of specific basketball-related characteristics is important. This study suggests that, with careful planning, these characteristics can successfully be trained at the same time in combination, rather than focusing on only one characteristic. This requires arranging the loading intensities proportionally, along with careful consideration of athletes' individual differences.
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Keywords:© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association
basketball; combined training; performance