Program Design Project Research Paper

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Sport: Basketball

More sport and physiological testing has become increasingly common as the interaction between scientists and coaches (tanner & Gore, 2013). When it comes to popular sports that are watched al over the world, team games like basketball generally have a heightened game tempo, a tougher body game and a more acute variability in the techniques and methods used (Singh & Deol, 2012). "An increased performance level can only be achieved by working and training of all major components i.e. technique, coordination, tactics, physical fitness, physiological qualities and psychological qualities. Basketball is one of the most popular team-based sports played and watched throughout the world" (Singh & Deol, 2012). This puts the aspect of physiological testing as an extreme priority for a variety of reasons. "Physiological exercise testing is important in basketball to help identify potential talent but also to provide the players, trainers and coaching staff with some profiles for the players and a measure for evaluating training programs" (Singh & Deol, 2012). This demonstrates the dual nature of physiological testing: it is both something which can be used to identify talent, such as star players in the making and it is also something which can be used to identify key areas in player ability -- areas that need work, as well as areas where there is natural talent and can be better harnessed.

Given the fact that physiological testing in basketball can achieve a range of objectives and given the fact that technology has advanced so dramatically, this specific form of testing has become more rigorous in recent times (Singh & Deol, 2012). Even though there has been such remarkable advancement in technology there still needs to be more critical appraisal of some of the tests which are used for assess basketball skill, as not all of the tests most commonly used are comprehensive in assessing all aspects and all energy systems used that are involved in the sport (Sing & Deol, 2012). A range of physiological factors need to be looked at and examined such as the player's muscle balance, core stability, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, strength, agility, reaction time and a host of other skills.

"Performance of an athlete in top-sport depends on the athlete's technical, tactical, physiological, and psychological/social characteristics. These elements are closely linked to each other, e.g., the technical quality of an athlete may not be utilized if the athlete's tactical knowledge is low" (Bangsbo, 2006). This means that an athlete's success depends on a variety of factors, which professionals in the field already know; however, this also indicates that the bulk of those factors are inter-related. Even though they are inter-connected, they often have to be tested for in a separate manner and developed in a separate manner.

When things are ideal, the rigors of a sport are linked strongly to the athlete's own physical abilities, which fall into the following categories: "(i) the ability to perform prolonged exercise (endurance); (ii) the ability to exercise at high intensity; (iii) the ability to sprint; and (iv) the ability to develop a high power output (force) in single actions during competition such as kicking in soccer and jumping in basketball" (Bangsbo, 2006). The actions and capabilities within these classifications are founded on the traits present within the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, the muscles in the individual's body, along with the give and take of the nervous system.

Designated Objectives for Athletic Improvement

For a point guard position in basketball, this player needs both improved speed and reaction time as well as increased strength to adequately handle himself with other players.

Four Physiological Tests for an Elite Basketball Player

Yo-Yo Testing

An ideal test for a basketball player is the yo-yo endurance tests. Basketball is truly a game of endurance in that it involves tremendous amounts of stopping and starting, like many team sports, and it also revolves around the need for the best players to go from moments if high intense energy to periods of rest and back again. The yo-yo tests are ideal in the manner that assess and evaluate physical activity in a forthright and clear manner. "Two markers are positioned at a distance of 20 m. A CD is placed in a CD player and the test is performed. The participant runs like a Yo-Yo back and forth between the markers at given speeds that are controlled by the CD. The speed is regularly increased, and the test ends when the individual can no longer maintain the speed. The test result is determined as the distance covered during the test" (Bangsbo, 2006). Using a Yo-Yo endurance test would be ideal for basketball players because it focuses on determining how well they can work without stopping for elongated periods of time (Bangsbo, 2006). This test is also ideal because it acts as a suitable compliment to endurance training.

Another relevant type of endurance test is the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes where athletes exercise full-on for portions of a minute and then rest for five seconds. This particular test really scrutinizes if an individual is able to perform running intervals repeatedly over an elongated period of time (Bangsbo, 2006). Another Yo-Yo test, known as the intermittent recovery test, determines how well an athlete can recover from taxing exercise. This test is so important for basketball players because in basketball winning a game can depend on an athlete's ability to engage in intensive exercise after abbreviated recovery periods.

Vertical Jump Test

Basketball isn't the only sport which is dependent on players being skilled and confident at making a vertical jump; however, it is a sport where the vertical jump is extremely crucial for success in each game and for success in the profession at large. "One of the dominant requirements for success in basketball is explosive power. For the lower body, this is perhaps best exemplified by the vertical jump. During vertical jumping, the muscles about the hips, knees, and ankles act rapidly and with great force in an attempt to produce the greatest possible velocity for the body as it leaves the ground" (Fattorini, 2005). The jump height achieved isn't something which is connected to luck or good fortune, nor is it something which can be considered a fluke: it's directly related to the takeoff velocity of the athlete (Fattorini, 2005). This is generally typical as most jumps in basketball are related to engaging in a counter-movement where the muscles are first stretched quickly and then the body is shot upwards (Fattorini, 2005).

Before the Vertical Jump Test, subjects would be given a multi-faceted warm up where they would have to do squats, lunges, quad stretches and 20, 30, and 40 yard runs. The basketball player chalks the end of his fingertips and stands to the side of the wall and then reaches as high as possible with one chalked hand, marking the wall with his chalked fingers (Changela & Bhatt, 2012). This is M1 (Mark one). The player then jumps as high as he can, marking the wall again with M2 (Mark two). The coach measures and notes down the difference between the two marks, and the player repeats this process three more times (Changela & Bhatt, 2012). Each time the coach records the scores and uses these numbers to determine the top performance scores of the player.

"Powerpeak (W) = [78.6 VJ (cm)] + [60.3 BM (kg)] -- [15.3 ht (cm)] -1,308

Poweravg (W) = [43.8 VJ (cm)] + [32.7 BM (kg)] -- [16.8 ht (cm)] + 431

Where: VJ = Vertical Jump BM = Body Mass (Weight) ht = Height" (Changela & Bhatt, 2012).

The vertical jump test is ideal because it gives the coach or trainer the opportunity to see where the athlete actually is in his or her training through obvious visual cues. In addition, the coach is able to document the actual numbers and statistics of the performance which has occurred, creating a record of the performance.

The Wingate Anerobic Test (WAnt)

This test isn't commonly used to determine the physiological specifics of basketball players even though it's one of the most common tests of anaerobic fitness, but this should not be the case. It's designed to measure peak power (PP), mean power (MP), and percent fatigue (Changela & Bhatt, 2012). While certain critics question fitting the muscle pattern specificity of this test is for basketball players, it's still an exam which offers athletes and their trainers a strong benchmark and snapshot of their cardiovascular activity. "The subjects warmed up for 5 minutes at a pedaling rate of 60 -- 70 rpm against a resistance equal to 20% of that calculated for the subsequent WAnT. Two unloaded 5-second sprints were performed at the end of the third and ?fth minutes of the warm-up period. The maximal pedaling rate (RPMmax) attained during the sprints was recorded" (Changela, & Bhatt, 2012). A one minute rest ensues, and the subjects are instructed to pedal as hard as they possibly can while…[continue]

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