A Systematic Review of the External and Internal Workloads Experienced During Games-Based Drills in Basketball Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To systematically quantify the external and internal workloads reported during games-based drills in basketball and identify the effects of different modifiable factors on the workloads encountered. Methods: PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched for original research published up until January 2, 2019. The search included terms relevant to workload, games-based drills, and basketball. Studies were screened using predefined selection criteria, and methodological quality was assessed prior to data extraction. Results: The electronic search yielded 8,284 studies with 3,411 duplicates. A total of 17 studies met the inclusion criteria for this review, with quality scores ranging from 9 to 10 out of 11. Factors regularly modified during games-based drills among the included studies were team size, playing area, playing and rest time, and game alterations. Games-based drills containing smaller team sizes elicited greater external and internal workloads compared to larger team sizes. Furthermore, full-court games-based drills elicited greater external and internal workloads compared to half-court drills, while continuous games-based drills elicited greater internal workloads compared to intermittent drills. Conclusions: This review provides a comprehensive collation of data indicating the external and internal workloads reported during different games-based drills in various samples of basketball players. Furthermore, evidence is provided for basketball coaches to consider when prescribing games-based drills and modifying factors during drills across the season. Current literature suggests that smaller team sizes and full-court playing areas elicit greater external and internal workloads than larger team sizes and half-court drills, respectively. Furthermore, continuous games-based drills elicit greater internal workloads than intermittent drills.

The authors are with the School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences and the Human Exercise and Training Laboratory, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia.

O’Grady (c.ogrady@cqu.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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