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A comparison of linear speed, closed-skill agility, and open-skill agility qualities between backcourt and frontcourt adult semi-professional male basketball players
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Aaron ScanlanAaron Scanlan, Patrick TuckerPatrick Tucker, Vincent DalboVincent Dalbo
The measurement of fitness qualities relevant to playing position is necessary to inform basketball coaching and conditioning staff of role-related differences in playing groups. To date, sprinting and agility performance have not been compared between playing positions inadult male basketball players. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe and compare linear speed, closed-skill agility, and open-skill agility qualities between backcourt (point guard and shooting guard positions) and frontcourt (small forward, power forward, and center positions) semi-professional basketball players. Six backcourt (mean ± SD: age: 24.3 ± 7.9 yr; stature: 183.4 ± 4.0 cm; body mass: 85.5 ± 12.3 kg; VO2max: 51.9 ± 4.8 mL·kg-1·min-1) and six frontcourt (27.5 ± 5.5 yr; 194.4 ± 7.1 cm; 109.4 ± 8.8 kg; 47.1 ± 5.0 mL·kg-1·min-1) adult male basketball players completed 20-m sprint, closed-skill agility, and open-skill agility performance tests. Magnitude-based inferences revealed backcourt players (5-m, 1.048 ± 0.027 s; 10-m, 1.778 ± 0.048 s; 20-m, 3.075 ± 0.121 s) possessed likely quicker linear sprint times than frontcourt players (5-m, 1.095 ± 0.085 s; 10-m, 1.872 ± 0.127 s; 20-m, 3.242 ± 0.221 s). Conversely, frontcourt players (1.665 ± 0.096 s) held possible superior closed-skill agility performance than backcourt players (1.613 ± 0.111 s). In addition, unclear positional differences were apparent for open-skill agility qualities. These findings indicate linear and change of direction speed might be differently developed across playing positions. Furthermore, position-related functions might similarly depend on aspects of open-skill agility performance across backcourt and frontcourt players. Basketball coaching and conditioning staff should consider the development of position-targeted training drills to improve speed, agility, and cognitive qualities in players.