Fatigue can prevent athletes from reaching their training goals or performing to the potential in competition.  Persistent fatigue that is not resolved by a period of rest and recovery or results in a decrease in performance may be pathological and a symptom of an underlying condition.

Elite athletes at the Train to Win stage experience fatigue about thirty percent of the time during competition and fifteen to twenty percent of the time out of competition.  Fatigue causes basketball players to exert less muscular force and lose focus.  For example, as players become more fatigued, shooting angle and velocity decline, resulting in a flatter and less accurate shot.

Symptoms of Fatigue

  • Long-term performance decline
  • Increased feeling of effort
  • Poor decision-making and concentration
  • Higher risk of severe injury
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Muscle soreness and pain
  • Low resistance to infections, colds and the flu
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Lack of enjoyment and increased stress

Causes of Fatigue

  • Hypoglycemia (low level of blood sugar)
  • Dehydration
  • Nutritional Deficiency
    • Eating disorders and disordered eating
    • Excessive restricted eating or exercise for weight loss
    • Lack of adaptation to higher energy needs during training
  • Allergies or Asthma
  • Overtraining (can lead to Immunodeficiency, injuries and acute infections)
  • Depression and Stress
  • Sleep Disorders

Monitor Fatigue

  • Understand what triggers fatigue so you can manage the signs and symptoms.
  • Consider keeping a daily log:
    • Training Regiment
    • Nutrition
    • Resting Heart Rate after Waking Up
    • Hours of Sleep
    • Fatigue Rating (out of 10)
  • Referring chronic fatigue to a physician may lead to the diagnosis of an underlying medical condition and better treatment

Enhance Nutrition

  • Chronic low intake of carbohydrate during training will gradually deplete glycogen stores.
  • Basketball players should consume 5-7 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight during moderate training and more during periods of intense training.
  • Consuming low glycemic index foods at regular times will consistently fuel and athlete throughout the day (whole grain bread, oatmeal, bran, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, legumes and sweet potatoes).
  • Minimize energy deficits by matching energy expended with what is consumed.
    • Athletes who consume 700 calories less than required will experience a ten percent performance decline.
  • Calculate sweat rate and consume plenty of fluids.

Raise Energy Levels

  • Help players give teammates energy with encouragement, physical contact and positive body language (instead of taking energy from others).
  • Deep breathing provides the body with oxygen to recover quickly and can also increase mindfulness and mental training.
  • Alternate between a mix of dynamic activities in practice so that athletes can perform numerous reps and receive plenty of feedback.
  • Acknowledge successes on and off the court and recognize everyone who contributes to the team.
    • Players can also thank and congratulate each other.

Plan to Succeed

All team members are accountable to manage themselves and their bodies so that they can play to their full potential when it matters.

Planning for Coaches

  • Periodize the season, including tapering, to prevent overtraining.
  • Develop the aerobic base because it will improve recovery after utilizing the ATP-PC and Anaerobic Lactic systems.
    • Interval Training is an effective way for basketball aerobic training.
  • Ensure practices and team activities are purposeful.
    • Include breaks of lower intensity refocus the group.
    • Diverse activities (which do not need to be basketball-related) can lighten the mood and re-energize the team.
  • Plan trips to include meal breaks and times for rest and recovery.

Planning for Athletes

  • Most adolescents require about nine hours of sleep but only fifteen percent reach that total.
  • Caffeine can provide a short energy boost but disrupts sleep patterns.
  • Planning each day and week helps student-athletes complete their academics and athletics and fit in enough nutrition and rest.

List of Resources