Aaron D. Heishman1,2, Ryan M. Miller1, Eduardo D.S. Freitas1, Brady S. Brown1,2, Bryce D. Daub2, Japneet Kaur1, and Michael G. Bemben1

1University of Oklahoma, Department of Health and Exercise Science, Norman, Oklahoma.

2University of Oklahoma, Department of Athletics, Basketball Strength and Performance, Norman, Oklahoma

External training load (TLE) is used to quantify the biomechanical load accrued during training. The countermovement (CMJ) jump is used to evaluate neuromuscular fatigue and recovery in response to TLE. However, limited research has coupled TLE parameters with changes in neuromuscular performance variables from the CMJ. PURPOSE: The purpose of this investigation was twofold: 1) to characterize TLE across the pre-season and 2) examine the differences in TLE per session and CMJ performance across the 5 weeks of preseason training in NCAA D1 basketball athletes. Additional analyses examined the influence of position and scholarship standings. METHODS: TLE was monitored in 14 male athletes during 22 basketball practice sessions over the course of the preseason. In addition, weekly CMJs were used as an indicator of neuromuscular fatigue and performance. A 3-way (2 X 2 X 5) Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance with Bonferroni post hoc analysis was used to examine differences in the average TLE per session each week and differences in the CMJ variables of Flight Time:Contraction Time (FT:CT) and Jump Height (JH) across time and between position (Guard vs. Forward/Center) and academics (Scholarship vs. Walk-on). Statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05) RESULTS: Player load per minute (PL; PL/min) was significantly higher during Week 1 and Week 2 compared to Week 3 (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for average PL, high inertial movement analysis (IMA), or Total Jumps per session across the 5 weeks of pre-season (p >0.05). A significant group X time interaction indicated Scholarship athletes had greater PL, PL/min, 2 Dimensional PL, High IMA, and Total Jumps compared to the Walk-on athletes. Player position did not influence TLE. No significant differences were observed in FT:CT or JH over the 5 weeks of preseason (p >0.05) or between groups (p >0.05). CONCLUSION: The present study characterizes the TLE demands in collegiate basketball during the pre-season. The average TLE per week did not vary across 5 weeks of training, while differences in intensity (PL/min) were evident. While no differences were observed between position groups, there was a significant difference in TLE between scholarship and walk-on athletes.

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