BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to compare maximal-intensity exercise adaptations in young basketball players (who were strong individuals at baseline) participating in regular basketball training versus regular plus a volume-based plyometric training program in the pre-season period. METHODS: Young basketball players were recruited and assigned either to a plyometric with regular basketball training group (experimental group [EG]; N.=8), or a basketball training only group (control group [CG]; N.=8). The athletes in EG performed periodized (i.e., from 117 to 183 jumps per session) plyometric training for eight weeks. Before and after the intervention, players were assessed in vertical and broad jump, change of direction, maximal strength and a 60-meter sprint test. RESULTS: No significant improvements were found in the CG, while the EG improved vertical jump (effect size [ES] 2.8), broad jump (ES=2.4), agility T test (ES=2.2), Illinois agility test (ES=1.4), maximal strength (ES=1.8), and 60-m sprint (ES=1.6) (P<0.05) after intervention, and the improvements were greater compared to the CG (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Plyometric training in addition to regular basketball practice can lead to meaningful improvements in maximal-intensity exercise adaptations among young basketball players during the pre-season.
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