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Player Profiling and Monitoring in Basketball: A Delphi Study of the Most Important Non-Game Performance Indicators from the Perspective of Elite Athlete Coaches

Abstract

Background

Little is known about which indicators of performance elite athlete coaches (i.e., professional coaches who coach at the national or international levels) consider to be important for basketball.

Objective

Using a Delphi procedure, the aim of this study was to identify the non-game performance indicators elite athlete coaches consider to be important for the recruitment/selection of basketball players.

Methods

Ninety elite athlete coaches (basketball coaches (n = 71) and strength/conditioning coaches (n = 19) who coached men (n = 60), women (n = 23), or both (n = 7)), employed in 23 countries across six continents, participated in a three-round online Delphi survey. Round 1 asked coaches to identify the non-game performance indicators (i.e., measures other than game statistics) they currently used (or would like to use) for player recruitment/selection, with common indicators combined into single indicators. Round 2 asked coaches to rate the importance of each performance indicator using a Likert scale (range: 0 = no importance whatsoever to 10 = extremely important). Round 3 asked coaches to identify the single best test measure for each indicator rated ≥ 6 (i.e., important to extremely important) in Round 2. Results were reported descriptively.

Results

A total of 608 responses (344 after removal of duplicates) were reported in Round 1, which were collapsed into 35 indicators, all of which were rated as ‘important’ in Round 2. Psychological and game intelligence indicators were typically rated as very important to extremely important (i.e., median = 9), with physical fitness and movement skills typically rated as very important (i.e., median = 8). For most indicators, coach observation was identified as the best test measure, with unique objective performance/anthropometric tests identified for all physical fitness indicators.

Conclusion

This study identified a range of psychological, game intelligence, physical fitness, and movement skill indicators that were considered by elite athlete coaches to be important to extremely important for the recruitment/selection of basketball players. These findings may inform the development of a basketball-specific test battery for recruiting/selecting and monitoring players.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mr. David Ingham, Basketball SA High Performance Manager, for his supervision, and Basketball South Australia for funding this project. The authors thank all the expert athlete coach participants who participated in this study.

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Correspondence to Michael Rogers.

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Funding

The lead author was supported by a Basketball SA Doctoral scholarship.

Conflicts of interest

Michael Rogers, Alyson J. Crozier, Natasha K. Schranz, Roger G. Eston, and Grant R. Tomkinson declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to the contents of this article.

Ethics approval

Ethical approval for this study was granted by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee prior to data collection.

Consent to participate

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Not applicable.

Availability of data and material

The data analyzed in this study are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.

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Author contributions

MR, NKS, RGE, and GRT designed the study. MR and GRT were responsible for the ethics approval. MR collected, cleaned, and analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript with assistance from GRT. All authors contributed to the interpretation of results, editing and critical reviewing of the final manuscript for important intellectual content, approved the final manuscript as submitted, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, and agree with the order of presentation of the authors.

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Rogers, M., Crozier, A.J., Schranz, N.K. et al. Player Profiling and Monitoring in Basketball: A Delphi Study of the Most Important Non-Game Performance Indicators from the Perspective of Elite Athlete Coaches. Sports Med 52, 1175–1187 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01584-w

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