Every successful sports team possesses essential elements: excellent planning, superior coaching, skilled, disciplined and well-trained players, team spirit, fitness, and a lack of injuries. In an effort to produce trained and fit players, the use of periodization, a training system that assists in preventing overtraining and reducing the risk of injuries, has adequately supported teams’ successes. With this exercise and preparation system, the chances of injury and overtraining are lowered as a design strategy that calls for progressive and deliberate moves is employed. There are also systematic variations in the intensity, volume and specificity of training.
Periodization consists of long-term structuring of training and practice in cycles to maximize performance in critical competitions. This periodization training is divided into three phases:
- The pre-season or preparation phase
- The competition phase
- The post-season or transition phase.
Sub-phases can also be divided to define the kinds, range, and intensity of activities that need to be performed to reach the established goals of basketball.
The Pre-Season Phase
During the pre-season of a sport such as basketball, preparations for the athletic season are made. Athletic directors and coaches consider all aspects of the training program–mental attitudes, physical conditioning, and technical needs–and make them the foundation for the season. This training increases in intensity over time. Tactical elements are limited at this stage though, as psychological conditioning, physical endurance, and strength are the primary focus.
The Competition Phase
This phase begins shortly before the start of the competitive season. During this period, the team works on physical fitness. Each member of the team has a goal of reaching a physical peak close to the post-season so that the intensity of the team as a whole will come when it is needed most. Psychological, technical, and tactical training is included.
The Post-Season or Transitional Phase
This phase follows directly after the season or tournament season has ended. During this time, athletes may be involved in therapeutic recovery from injuries or in individualized training programs. Those who are not seniors may participate in another seasonal program. Senior athletes may work on new individual or technical skills if they wish to go further in sports.