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Tag Archives: sprains

Basketball is a total-body sport that involves running, walking, sprinting, changes of direction, shuffling, and jumping. While it’s intended to be a non-contact sport, many injuries are related to contact. Regardless of whether it is men’s or women’s basketball, European or collegiate or high school, ankle injuries are the most common injuries seen in the sport, followed by knee and lower back injuries (Agel et al 2007, Kofotolis et al 2007, Mihata et al 2006, Stergioulas et al 2007). There are more injuries in games than practices and many of the ankle injuries result from contact.

Basketball is characterized by short bursts of high-intensity movement. The table below is from Abdelkrim et al (2010) and shows the distance and percentage of time devoted towards each type of movement pattern. In their article, the authors define the speeds at which each movement pattern takes place (for example, sprinting is in excess of 24 km/hour). The point is that very little time and distance is devoted to high-speed/intensity movements. Almost 63% of game time is devoted to walking or standing. This means that basketball athletes have to be conditioned for short bursts of speed and power.

However, as Taylor (2003) points out, though, this is going to change depending upon the personnel, level of play, coaching style/scheme, etc. So while the information below is useful, it should not be viewed as an absolute.

  Ttl Distance % Ttl Time
Total

7558

 
Walk

1720

30.98

Jog

1870

5.58

Run

928

4.54

Stride

406

2.37

Sprint

763

2.83

Sideways

218

1.89

LI Shuffle

606

8.54

MI Shuffle

691

6.48

HI Shuffle

169

3.1

Standing  

32.3

Jumping  

1.34

The sport has five major types of positions; shooting guards, point guards, small forwards, power forwards, and centers. As we’ll discuss in a future blog, each position has different physical characteristics that are necessary for success. Point guards are the main ball handlers and prepare the offense. Shooting guards are often the team’s best scorer. Small forwards tend to be well balanced in terms of skills and important for the defense. The power forward is important for defense and guards the basket. The center is generally the tallest player on the court, blocks shots, scores around the basket, and has a large rebounding responsibility. In the next post, where we discuss characteristics of the positions, the guards will be lumped together as will the forwards.

Abdelkrim, N.B., Castagna, C., Jabri, I., Battikh, T., Fazaa, S.E., and Ati, J.E. Activity profile and physiological requirements of junior elite basketball players in relation to aerobic-anaerobic fitness. J Strength Cond Re 24(9): 2330-2342, 2010.

Agel, J., Olson, D.E., Dick, R., Arendt, E.A., Marshall, S.W., and Sikka, R.S. Descriptive epidemiology of collegiate women’s basketball injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association injury surveillance system, 1988-1989 through 2003-2004. J Athl Training 42(2): 202-210, 2007.

Kofotolis, N. and Kellis, E. Ankle sprain injuries: A 2 year prospective cohort study in female Greek professional basketball players. J Athl Training 42(3): 388-394.

Mihata, L.C.S., Beutler, A.I., and Boden, B.P. Comparing the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injury in collegiate lacrosse, soccer, and basketball players: Implications for anterior cruciate ligament mechanism and prevention. Am J Sport Med 34: 899-904, 2006.

Stergioulas, A., Tripolitsioti, A., Kostopoulos, N., Gavriilidis, A., Sotiropoulos, D., and Baltopoulos, P. Amateur basketball injuries: A prospective study among male and female athletes. Biol Exercise 3: 35-45, 2007.

Taylor, J. Basketball: Applying time motion data to conditioning. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 25(2): 57-64, 2003.

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