Publication Date



This study aimed to assess the basketball ball-drills workload analyzing: (1) the effect of varying the number of players involved on physiological and technical demands; (2) the temporal changes in players’ responses across bouts; and (3) the relationship of players’ workload with their maturation status and training age. Twelve young male basketball players (mean ± SD; age 13.9 ± 0.7 years; height 1.76 ± 0.06 m; body mass 65.7 ± 12.5 kg; HRmax 202 ± 8 beat·min−1) completed three bouts of 4 min interspersed by 2 min of passive recovery of two vs. two and four vs. four ball-drills. The mean percentage of HRmax (%HRmax) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected. Technical actions (TAs) (dribbles, passes, shots, interceptions, steals, rebounds, and turnovers) were calculated through notational analysis. Players’ genitalia development (GD) and pubic hair (PH) growth were assessed using Tanner scale. Results showed a higher %HRmax (p = 0.018), RPE (p = 0.042), dribbles (p = 0.007), shots (p = 0.003), and rebounds (p = 0.006) in two vs. two compared to four vs. four condition. Furthermore, a statistical difference was found for %HRmax (p = 0.005) and number of passes (p = 0.020) between bouts. In addition, no correlation between GD, PH, and training age with %HRmax, RPE, and TAs was found. These findings suggest that variations of the number of players involved affect ball-drills workload and that ball-drills training intensity varies across bouts. Finally, ball-drills elicit an adequate training stimulus, regardless of players’ maturation status and training age.

Author Supplied Keywords

Small-sided games; Basketball conditioning; Basketball training; Maturation status


Basketball; Physical education and training





Document Type

Journal Article