PAB Newsletter #13 – Benefits of a personal recovery backpack

Jan 31, 2022 | Home News, Media

Authors: Julio Calleja-González, Francesco Cuzzolin, Igor Jukic, Baris Kocaoglu, Sergej M. Ostojic, Mar Rovira, Jaime Sampaio.

Current competition scenario

Basketball players are increasingly required to travel domestically and internationally, often resulting in travel fatigue and jet lag. Despite considerable consensus that travel fatigue and jet lag can cause real and impactful issues regarding performance, risk of illness and injury, evidence on optimal assessment and management is still lacking (Dina C Janse van Rensburg et al. 2021).

From season to season, the elite basketball players in Euroleague compete more frequently and are required to more traveling and to more periods of high-density of competition. It is becoming quite usual to play several competitive matches with insufficient recovery time. Anecdotal reports are describing that being tired is becoming the norm for an elite basketball player. Therefore, improving the recovery strategies is becoming a great focus of attention (Calleja-González, 2018a). In fact, being able to guarantee an adequate recovery with the hygiene of the circadian rhythm is of vital importance throughout the season (Calleja-González, 2018b, Kellman et al. 2018). This is evidenced by the significant increase in scientific publications during the last 10 years, as teams look to find a competitive edge during matches, especially in basketball (Davids et al. 2021).


The available literature shows that the primary aim of recovery methods is to accelerate the biological recovery process in shorter periods (Nedelec et al. 2012). Bird et al. (2011) described four essential recovery domains: neural, muscular, substrate and psychological. Besides, self-perception about recovery may affect the balance between happiness and wellness in elite sports athletes,  (Calleja- González, 2018b), especially during trips.

Observations from the topic of recovery in basketball (Calleja-González, 2016), highlight the fatiguing effect of traveling (Huyghe et al. 2018), in addition to training and competing (Singh et al. 2021). As a result, new approaches and practical applications have been discussed to optimize air travel and minimize its negative effects on health and performance in team sports athletes (Samules, 2012).


Recovery backpack

The current competition scenario is the main argument to consider the possibility of guaranteeing the minimum number of necessary and effective tools that should be in a “recovery backpack”, allowing an adequate recovery process during competition situations (Calleja-González et al. 2021): hotels, buses, airplanes, airports, etc.

In this sense, the ELPA Performance Advisor Board (PAB) proposal comes from using a suitcase of medium-size dimensions with a minimum number of specific personal tools that provide a solution to the needs of wellness (See Figure 1). The aim is to minimize the accumulated fatigue of the trip, as well as the fatigue caused by competing or training. This idea is based on the ELPA PAB’s previously published article (Jukic et al. 2021), to describe “The new personalized Jacket” approach for players in team sports organizations.


“Recovery backpack” is a proposal from ELPA, which includes a travel tool bag or backpack, with the following characteristics: medium-size, transportable, easy to handle, with different compartments, including the cold/thermal section.


Figure 1: Specific personal material


Figure 2: Timeline for using the backpack equipments.






Dina C Janse van RensburgAudrey Jansen van Rensburg Peter M Fowler Amy M Bender David Stevens Kieran O Sullivan Hugh H K Fullagar Juan-Manuel AlonsoMichelle BigginsAmanda Claassen-Smithers Rob Collins Michiko Dohi Matthew W Driller Ian C DunicanLuke Gupta Shona L Halson Michele Lastella Kathleen H MilesMathieu NedelecTony PageGreg RoachCharli Sargent Meeta Singh Grace E VincentJacopo A Vitale Tanita Botha. Managing Travel Fatigue and Jet Lag in Athletes: A Review and Consensus Statement. Sports Med. 2021 oct;51(10):2029-2050. doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01502-0. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Calleja-González, Julio, Juan Mielgo-AyusoJaime SampaioAnne DelextratSergej M OstojicDiego Marques-JiménezIñaki Arratibel,  Braulio Sánchez-UreñaGregory DupontXavi Schelling Nicolás Terrados.  Brief ideas about evidence-based recovery in team sports. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 2018 Aug 24;14(4):545-550.  doi: 10.12965/jer.1836244.122. eCollection 2018 Aug.

Calleja-González, Julio, Nicolas Terrados, Rafael Martín-Acero, Carlos Lago-Peñas, Igor Jukic, Juan Mielgo-Ayuso, Diego Marqués-Jiménez, Anne Delextrat, and Sergej Ostojic. “Happiness Vs. Wellness During the Recovery Process in High Performance Sport.” Frontiers in Physiology. 2018 9, no. 1598.

Kellmann, M., M. Bertollo, L. Bosquet, M. Brink, A. J. Coutts, R. Duffield, D. Erlacher, S. L. Halson, A. Hecksteden, J. Heidari, K. W. Kallus, R. Meeusen, I. Mujika, C. Robazza, S. Skorski, R. Venter, and J. Beckmann. “Recovery and Performance in Sport: Consensus Statement.” International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 13, no. 2 (2018): 240-45.

Jon K DavisSara Y Oikawa Shona HalsonJessica StephensShane O’RiordanKevin Luhrs Bridget SopenaLindsay B Baker. In-Season Nutrition Strategies and Recovery Modalities to Enhance Recovery for Basketball Players: A Narrative Review. Sports Medicine.  2021 Dec 14.  doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01606-7. Online ahead of print.

Nédélec, Mathieu, Alan McCall, Chris Carling, Franck Legall, Serge Berthoin, and Gregory Dupont. “Recovery in Soccer: Part I – Post-Match Fatigue and Time Course of Recovery” Sports Medicine 42, no. 12 (2012): 997-1015

Bird, Stephen P. “Implementation of Recovery Strategies: 100-Point Weekly Recovery. Checklist”International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training 16, no. 2 (2011): 16-19.

Calleja-González J, Terrados N, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Delextrat A, Jukic I, Vaquera A, Torres L, Schelling X, Stojanovic M, Ostojic SM. Evidence-based post-exercise recovery strategies in basketball. The Physician and Sports Medicine Journal. 2016;44(1):74-8. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2016.1102033. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Huyghe, T., A.T. Scanlan, V.J. Dalbo, and J.  Calleja-González. “The Negative Influence of Air Travel on Health and Performance in the National Basketball Association: A Narrative Review.” Sports 6, no. 3 (2018): 89.

Singh, Meeta, Stephen P. Bird, Jonathan Charest, Thomas Huyghe, and Julio Calleja-Gonzalez. “Urgent Wake up Call for the National Basketball Association” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 17, no. 2 (2021): 243-48.

Samuels, Charles H. “Jet Lag and Travel Fatigue: A Comprehensive Management Plan for Sport Medicine Physicians and High-Performance Support Teams”. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 22, no. 3 (2012): 268-73.

Calleja-González J, Bird SP, Huyghe T, Jukic I, Cuzzolin F, Cos F, Marqués-Jiménez D, Milanovic L, Sampaio J, López-Laval I, Ostojic SM, Jones MT, Alcaraz PE, Schelling X, Delextrat A, Singh M, Charest J, Freitas TT, Torres Ronda L, Petway A, Medina D, Tramullas A, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Terrados N, McLellan C. The Recovery Umbrella in the World of Elite Sport: Do Not Forget the Coaching and Performance Staff. Sports (Basel). 2021 Dec 17;9(12):169. doi: 10.3390/sports9120169.

Jukic I, Calleja-González J, Cuzzolin F, Sampaio J, Cos F, Milanovic L, Krakan I, Ostojic S, Olmo J, Requena B, Njaradi N, Sassi R, Rovira M, Kocaoglu B.  The 360° Performance System in Team Sports: ¿Is It Time to Design a “Personalized Jacket” for Team Sports Players?. Sports (Basel). 2021 Mar 17;9(3):40. doi: 10.3390/sports9030040.


Latest News

Home NewsMediaNews
EuroLeague Players Association and Winners Alliance team up to maximize commercial potential of EuroLeague Basketball Players

EuroLeague Players Association and Winners Alliance team up to maximize commercial potential of EuroLeague Basketball Players

ELPA and Winners Alliance form exclusive partnership to unlock commercial opportunities for players in Europe’s top basketball league. The EuroLeague Players Association (ELPA) and Winners Alliance, an organization transforming athlete rights and commercialization...