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).
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.
IMPROVE YOUR RECOVERY BY HAVING YOUR PERSONAL RECOVERY BACKPACK!
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