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Maria C. Madueno, Vincent J. Dalbo, Joshua H. Guy, Kate E. Giamarelos, Tania Spiteri, and Aaron T. Scanlan

Purpose: To investigate the physiological and performance effects of active and passive recovery between repeated-change-of-direction sprints. Methods: Eight semiprofessional basketball players (age: 19.9 [1.5] y; stature: 183.0 [9.6] cm; body mass: 77.7 [16.9] kg; body fat: 11.8% [6.3%]; and peak oxygen consumption: 46.1 [7.6] mL·kg−1·min−1) completed 12 × 20-m repeated-change-of-direction sprints (Agility 5-0-5 tests) interspersed with 20 seconds of active (50% maximal aerobic speed) or passive recovery in a randomized crossover design. Physiological and perceptual measures included heart rate, oxygen consumption, blood lactate concentration, and rating of perceived exertion. Change-of-direction speed was measured during each sprint using the change-of-direction deficit (CODD), with summed CODD time and CODD decrement calculated as performance measures. Results: Average heart rate (7.3 [6.4] beats·min−1; P = .010; effect size (ES) = 1.09; very likely) and oxygen consumption (4.4 [5.0] mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .12; ES = 0.77; unclear) were moderately greater with active recovery compared with passive recovery across sprints. Summed CODD time (0.87 [1.01] s; P = .07; ES = 0.76, moderate; likely) and CODD decrement (8.1% [3.7%]; P < .01; ES = 1.94, large; almost certainly) were higher with active compared with passive recovery. Trivial–small differences were evident for rating of perceived exertion (P = .516; ES = 0.19; unclear) and posttest blood lactate concentration (P = .29; ES = 0.40; unclear) between recovery modes. Conclusions: Passive recovery between repeated-change-of-direction sprints may reduce the physiological stress and fatigue encountered compared with active recovery in basketball players.

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Aaron T. Scanlan, Neal Wen, Joshua H. Guy, Nathan Elsworthy, Michele Lastella, David B. Pyne, Daniele Conte, and Vincent J. Dalbo

Purpose: To examine correlations between peak force and impulse measures attained during the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) and basketball-specific sprint and jump tests. Methods: Male, adolescent basketball players (N = 24) completed a battery of basketball-specific performance tests. Testing consisted of the IMTP (absolute and normalized peak force and impulse at 100 and 250 ms); 20-m sprint (time across 5, 10, and 20 m); countermovement jump (CMJ; absolute and normalized peak force and jump height); standing long jump (distance); and repeated lateral bound (distance). Correlation and regression analyses were conducted between IMTP measures and other attributes. Results: An almost perfect correlation was evident between absolute peak force attained during the IMTP and CMJ (r = .94, R 2 = 56%, P < .05). Moderate to very large correlations (P < .05) were observed between IMTP normalized peak force and 5-m sprint time (r = −.44, R 2 = 19%), 10-m sprint time (r = −.45, R 2 = 20%), absolute (r = .57, R 2 = 33%), normalized (r = .86, R 2 = 73%) CMJ peak force, and standing long-jump distance (r = .51, R 2 = 26%). Moderate to very large correlations were evident between impulse measures during the IMTP and 5-m sprint time (100 ms, r = −.40, R 2 = 16%, P > .05) and CMJ absolute peak force (100 ms, r = .73, R 2 = 54%; 250 ms, r = .68, R 2 = 47%; P < .05). Conclusions: The IMTP may be used to assess maximal and rapid force expression important across a range of basketball-specific movements.

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Aaron T. Scanlan, Vincent J. Dalbo, Daniele Conte, Emilija Stojanović, Nenad Stojiljković, Ratko Stanković, Vladimir Antić, and Zoran Milanović

Purpose: To examine the effect of caffeine supplementation on dribbling speed in elite female and male basketball players. Methods: A double-blind, counterbalanced, randomized, crossover design was used. Elite basketball players (N = 21; 10 female, 11 male; age 18.3 [3.3] y) completed placebo (3 mg·kg−1 of body mass of dextrose) and caffeine (3 mg·kg−1 of body mass) trials 1 wk apart during the in-season phase. During each trial, players completed 20-m linear sprints with and without dribbling a basketball. Performance times were recorded at 5-, 10-, and 20-m splits. Dribbling speed was measured using traditional (total performance time) and novel (dribble deficit) methods. Dribble deficit isolates the added time taken to complete a task when dribbling compared with a nondribbling version of the same task. Comparisons between placebo and caffeine conditions were conducted at group and individual levels. Results: Nonsignificant (P > .05), trivial to small (effect size = 0.04–0.42) differences in dribbling speed were observed between conditions. The majority (20 out of 21) of players were classified as nonresponders to caffeine, with 1 player identified as a negative responder using dribble-deficit measures. Conclusions: Results indicate that caffeine offers no ergogenic benefit to dribbling speed in elite basketball players. The negative response to caffeine in 1 player indicates that caffeine supplementation may be detrimental to dribbling speed in specific cases and emphasizes the need for individualized analyses in nutrition-based sport-science research.

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Markus N.C. Williams, Neal Wen, David B. Pyne, Davide Ferioli, Daniele Conte, Vincent J. Dalbo, and Aaron T. Scanlan

Purpose: To compare anthropometric and power-related attributes between competition levels in under-19-year-old (U19) male basketball players. Methods: National-level (n = 7; age: 17.7 [0.5] y), first-division state-level (n = 8; 17.4 [0.4] y), and second-division state-level (n = 8; 17.1 [0.4] y) players from Australian basketball programs participated in this pilot study. Players had various anthropometric attributes (height, standing reach height, wingspan, and body mass) and power-related attributes (isometric midthigh pull, linear sprint, countermovement jump, 1-step vertical jump, standing long jump, repeated lateral bound, and Modified Agility T Test) measured in the preseason. Differences between groups were assessed using 1-way analyses of variance with Tukey post hoc tests and effect sizes (ES) interpreted as trivial, <0.20; small, 0.20 to 0.59; moderate, 0.60 to 1.19; large, 1.20 to 1.99; and very large, ≥2.00. Results: Regarding anthropometric attributes, national-level players possessed greater (P < .05, large-very large) height (ES = 2.09), standing reach height (ES = 1.54), wingspan (ES = 1.45), and body mass (ES = 1.77) than second-division state-level players. For power-related attributes, national-level players possessed greater (P < .05, large-very large) isometric midthigh-pull peak force (ES = 1.46–2.57), sprint momentum (ES = 1.17–2.18), and countermovement jump peak force (ES = 1.73–2.01) than state-level players. Moreover, national-level players demonstrated greater (P < .05) 1-step vertical jump height (ES = 1.95, large) than second division state-level players. Conclusions: Specific anthropometric and power-related attributes clearly differ between competition levels in U19 male basketball players. This information can inform development of testing protocols, reference ranges, and training programs in practice. Further research is encouraged on this topic to confirm our findings across larger samples of basketball players.

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Mohamad S. Motevalli, Vincent J. Dalbo, Reza S. Attarzadeh, Amir Rashidlamir, Patrick S. Tucker, and Aaron T. Scanlan

Purpose:

To evaluate anthropometric measures and serum markers of myostatin-pathway activity after different weight-reduction protocols in wrestlers.

Methods:

Subjects were randomly assigned to a gradual-weight-reduction (GWR) or rapid-weight-reduction (RWR) group. Food logs were collected for the duration of the study. Anthropometric measurements and serum samples were collected after an 8-h fast at baseline and after the weight-reduction intervention. Subjects reduced body mass by 4%. The GWR group restricted calories over 12 d, while the RWR group restricted calories over 2 d. A series of 2 × 5 repeated-measures (RM) ANOVAs was conducted to examine differences in nutrient consumption, while separate 2 × 2 RM ANOVAs were conducted to examine differences in anthropometric measures and serum markers. When applicable, Tukey post hoc comparisons were conducted. Significance for all tests was set at P < .05.

Results:

There were no between-groups differences for any anthropometric measure (P > .05). Subjects in both groups experienced a significant reduction in body mass, fat mass, lean mass, and percent body fat (P < .05). There were no between-groups differences in serum markers of myostatin-pathway activity (P > .05), but subjects in the RWR condition experienced a significant increase in serum myostatin (P < .01), a decrease in follistatin (P < .01), and an increase in myostatin-to-follistatin ratio (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Although there were no between-groups differences for any outcome variables, the serum myostatin-to-follistatin ratio was significantly increased in the RWR group, possibly signaling the early stages of skeletal-muscle catabolism.