Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Anthropometric and Fitness Profiles of Young Basketball Players According to Their Playing Position and Time

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Anthropometric and Fitness Profiles of Young Basketball Players According to Their Playing Position and Time

Article excerpt

Introduction

Basketball game is a physical contact sport that demands high levels of anthropometric and fitness characteristics for all the players. A high level of mental, technical and tactical skills, as well as anthropometric and fitness skills are required for a successful participation in this sport. Physical abilities (i.e. jumping) are very important predictors of performance (Tsunawake et al., 2003; Ziv & Lidor, 2009). Many studies address anthropometric (i.e. height, weight, body fat) or fitness (i.e. jump, endurance, VO2max, agility) differences among adult players of various sports (Apostolidis, Nassis, Bolatoglou, & Geladas, 2004; Bayios, Bergeles, Apostolidis, Noutsos, & Koskolou, 2006; Gaurav, Singh, & Singh, 2010). However there is a lack of research concerning fitness characteristics of young basketball players such as the balance ability. Limited research showed that dynamic balance, as part of the coordination ability, is associated with athletic performance and the rest of fitness characteristics (Bressel, Yonker, Kras, & Keath, 2007; Hobbs, 2008). Balance is the ability to maintain the center of gravity over a base of support while sitting, standing, bending, reaching, and lifting on one foot. It is divided in static balance, the ability to maintain a base of support with minimal movement, and dynamic balance, the ability to perform a task while maintaining a stable position (Ricotti, 2011). Somatosensory, visual and vestibular information determine the balance performance (Grigg, 1994). Balance also protects players of getting injured. Findings showed that specific balance training reduces the number of knee and hamstring injuries, ankle sprains, tendinopathies and rehabilitation time (Emery, Cassidy, Klassen, Rosychuk & Rowe, 2005; Kraemer & Knobloch, 2009; McGuine, Greene, Best & Leverson, 2000; McGuine & Keene, 2006). Many lower extremity injuries are frequently caused as a result of impaired stability and balance during landing after jumping (Griffin et al., 2000; Plisky, Rauh, Kaminski & Underwood, 2006; Wikstrom, Powers, & Tillman, 2004). Since basketball involves abrupt and intense direction changes, high frequencies of starting, stopping, and a physical contact game, there is a relationship between balance and basketball playing ability (Hobbs, 2008), as well as balance and technical ability (Kostopoulos, Bekris, Apostolidis, Kavroulakis, & Kostopoulos, 2012). Furthermore, in basketball, which is one of the most demanding sports in coordination training, coordination motor skills are considered as an important aspect of performance (Dembinski, 1997; Glasauer & Nieber, 2000; Kubaszczyk, 2001). Therefore, the significance of assessing the balance ability in basketball is double fold as it is linked to injuries' frequency and to coordination ability that are both related to performance. Based on the definition of balance and the required motor skills associated with high levels of performance, dynamic balance presents significant interest in basketball.

One factor that appears to differentiate players concerning their anthropometric and fitness characteristics is their playing position and time (Hobbs, 2008; Latin, Berg, & Baechle, 1994; Ostojic, Mazic, & Dikic, 2006). In basketball in contrast to other sports that players are placed in certain positions, it is very common for the players to change roles and responsibilities during the transition game. With all the players freely moving around the court in attack and defense, positions in basketball are very fluid. However, for tactical reasons players participate in certain positions with responsibilities regarding their physical, technical and physiological characteristics. The three most common positions are guards (G), forwards (F) and centers (C). Which characteristics differentiate basketball players regarding their position? Specifically, it has been found that guards are the shortest, lightest, with the lowest body fat percentage, while centers are the tallest, heaviest, with the highest body fat percentage. …

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