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Burns, Stephen Francis
3-point shooting accuracy
In recent years, the popularity of caffeine as an ergogenic aid has been increasing due to its widely known abilities in enhancing many aspects of sports performance. Yet, there exist several debates about utilising caffeine to improve sporting performance, including the optimal ingestion timing. Past studies have focused on administering caffeine an hour before the onset of exercise so that its peak concentration corresponds with the start of exercise. However, in sports competitions, athletes would not be fatigued during the early stages of their competitions. Hence, the possibility exists that the manipulation of caffeine ingestion time is an important determinant in understanding its ergogenic properties. Specifically, in basketball where multiple movements are repeated at high intensity, the use of caffeine to enhance performance may be more evident in the later parts of the game when fatigue becomes apparent. Notational analyses have identified the importance of 3-point shooting accuracy as a key indicator of success in basketball games, with literature highlighting that fatigue reduces shooting accuracy. Therefore, the primary aim of this thesis was to determine if ingesting a low dose caffeine at different times would affect 3-point shooting accuracy. The secondary aim of this thesis was to identify if ingesting caffeine at different times would affect vertical jump height, sprint timing, completion time of a simulated basketball test, heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, blood glucose and lactate concentrations as well as self-confidence, motivation, feeling, felt arousal and aggression.
Eighteen male, college-level basketball players (24.4 ± 1.5 years; 181.7 ± 9.5 cm; 80.9 ± 13.5 kg) underwent three conditions, each involving the ingestion of two pills, in a randomised order separated by one week: (a) placebo (maltodextrin) and placebo (PP); (b) caffeine and placebo (CP), and (c) placebo and caffeine (PC). Pills were ingested 75 minutes and 15 minutes before performing four quarters of the Basketball Exercise Simulation Test (BEST) and subsequent shooting protocol. Each quarter required the participants to complete 16 rounds of the BEST before shooting ten shots from five different positions on the 3-point line. The number of successful shots was counted. Regardless of pre-exercise caffeine ingestion timing, caffeine did not improve 3-point scores, vertical jump height nor sprint timing. The BEST completion timing improved following caffeine ingestion. Caffeine did not affect heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, self-confidence, motivation, feeling, felt arousal and aggression while ingesting caffeine earlier resulted in increased blood glucose and lactate concentrations. No major side effect(s) were reported.
In conclusion, pre-exercise low dose caffeine ingestion does not affect 3-point shooting accuracy but may be useful in reducing fatigue in game-like situations. Given that there was a wide intra-individual variation in response, athletes and coaches need to develop individual caffeine ingestion strategies to optimise its use as an ergogenic aid for basketball.
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