Foster, C., Gottschall, L. L., Parker, S. E., Freeman, A., Brice, G., & Kline, D. (2000). Training patterns and illness/injury during a men's collegiate basketball season. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 1824.

The training patterns of, and illness/injury in, a men's collegiate basketball team (N = 14) were monitored during a competitive season using the Session RPE method of monitoring exercise. Session RPE was also compared to a heart rate method of monitoring training. The relationships among training load, monotony, and strain, and the incidence of illness/injury were determined.

A high percentage of illnesses/injuries occurred in the fist two weeks, which coincided with high levels of training load and strain. During that period, more than half the players were ill, injured, or both. Reduced illnesses occurred during low strain periods (e.g., holidays). The heart rate method paralleled the Session RPE method of monitoring.

It was suggested that aggressive early season training was counter-productive because of the injuries that developed, and that both forms of monitoring training strain were effective.

Implication. Heavy early season training is harmful to athletes. A good label for such "camps", which occur in other sports, particularly football, is "injury camps." Increased injuries and illnesses are indications that training loads and strain are excessive.

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