Current Issues of Professional Basketball in the United States

Professional sport has a long history, although global professionalization of sports games began only in the mid-1980s. The starting event determining the beginning of the current stage of professional sports can be considered the decision of the International Olympic Committee on the admission of professional athletes to participate in the Olympic Games. Thus, in 1992 on the 25th Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona for the first time, the US team was completed with the strongest professional basketball players of the National Basketball Association. The analysis of the current state of basketball shows that the accelerating professionalization and commercialization of basketball contributes to a sharp increase in the effectiveness of the conditions of competitive activity on the part of basketball players. This, in turn, causes the need for a more efficient organization and methods of preparing the individual players, which is one of the most pressing problems in the development of professional basketball in the United States

First of all, it should be noted that the problem of the individual training of athletes is important at the present stage as the duration of the competition period has substantially increased in recent years, and the number of matches in competitions of different scale also grew. This led to a reduction in time for command training, in whole, and for the individual training of athletes in the preparation period, in particular. By the end of the competition period, there is a significant reduction in the efficiency of gaming activities on the part of sportsmen. Thus, the calendar of competitions in the NBA is so saturated that leaves little time for a full individual training of basketball players. The NBA Championship kicks off in early October and ends in March. At this, the number of games only in the first month of the competitive season can reach 17-20 (Sigmon). At the same time, the duration of the preparatory period of team training to the competitive season in the US professional basketball is limited under the contract (the agreement with the players union) and is only one month (often, September). Given that sports results largely determine the financial return of the club and the players’ bonus, the game requires complete dedication. During the competitions, the training work is not provided, as for more than 210 days of the NBA championship players appear in 82-84 games, that is, almost every three days (Sigmon). Moreover, flights and transfers from state to state are also time-sapping and effort-consuming.

y’s professional sports there are certain canons and requirements for the organization of individual training to athletes who have professional status and athletes who aspire to become professionals. In this regard, it is necessary to review the basic principles of organization and methods of preparation of professional athletes in the preparation period. It lasts for 2.5-3 months and begins immediately after the end of the racing season, and continues until the beginning of the preparatory period of command training in October (Sigmon). By early October, all athletes must be in the highest state of readiness. In early October training camps are opened for the first teams. In early November the regular NBA championship starts, although professional basketball players begin the individual training in August and September. The importance of individual training in the so-called transition period is also associated with the fact that at this time the first team is determined which will take part in the championship. The rest of the basketball players, in the best case, will be sent to the farm clubs that are in the lower level or the club may refuse the services of professional athletes at all, and the athlete becomes unemployed.

In the US, all the coaches of professional teams in basketball believe that physical readiness, technical skills, and technique of possession are a concern of players themselves. Accordingly, basketball players should be able to prepare themselves, know the basics of training methods, as well as find opportunities for personal self-training at a time when there is no team training. The Olympic champion Jerry Lucas pointed out that in America no coach helps to become a great player as it is a personal matter for each athlete and his business (Oldham). By the time of the transition to the pros Lucas had training experience in basketball for 14 years and was also an Olympic champion, one of the strongest basketball recreational athletes in the world. However, when he was going to go from the amateur (student team) in the professional training, Lucas worked intensely. His individual program of preparation for the preparatory period included four hours a day, namely, two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening (Oldham). At that time, he spent much time on physical training, since athletes in professional basketball have a very high level of speed and power preparedness and special endurance. In addition, on a daily basis, he served over a hundred hits rolls around the ring from different distances and in different ways.

Moreover, it should be noted that in the clubs of the NBA off-season training is provided by the players on their own, that is, outside the team training. After the end of the season and before leaving on vacation professional basketball players must be tested and receive a printed program of season training (Sigmon). It includes the following characteristics: the physical condition of the athlete after the holidays, and especially the body weight; recommendations on motoring during the holidays and the treatment and rehabilitation activities; nutritionist’s recommendations on nutrition during the holidays.

In addition to the individual workout, there is another way of the preparation for the season, namely, paid services in the preparation for the competitive season. The first kind of such services, which are available for highly-paid professional players, is to attract an individual coach who prepares the athlete for the season. The second kind of such paid services is the training in one of the commercial sports camps, in which trainers of narrow profiles work and can help the athlete to prepare for the season.

As a result of studying the methods and approaches to the individual training on the part of professional basketball players, their high level of independence and responsibility should be highlighted. This is due to a high competition for a place in the team and the high-cost contracts. At the same time, today in the USA there is a problem with the expansion of access to the professional basketball on the part of amateurs that is related to their limited capacity to train before the preparatory season.

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