Peculiarities of Sport Training of Female Basketball Players of Youth Teams of Professional Clubs Based on Three-Year Training Cycle

Peculiarities of Sport Training of Female Basketball Players of Youth Teams of Professional Clubs Based on Three-Year Training Cycle

ˑ: 

S.V. Mukhaev
Basketball club "Dynamo-GUVD", Novosibirsk

Key words: female basketball players of under-21 teams, structure, methodology and content of training, long-term and year training cycles.

Introduction. Until recently, our country's basketball reserve players were trained within the systems of Youth Sports School (Children's and Youth Sports School of Olympic Reserve) and Olympic Reserve Academy. However, the fitness level of female alumni of those institutions didn't meet the professional teams' requirements. Thus, the research of L.V. Kostikova and E.A. Chernova, which was conducted in 1996, showed that female alumni of sports schools, with regard to a variety of indicators of physical and game-related fitness, are inferior to elite female basketball players [3].  

For the improvement of the quality of training of the reserves of the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) a decision was taken, obliging professional clubs to have teams in their structure that will take part in the championships of the Youth Basketball League (YBL) and in the under-21 basketball championship.

In accordance with the common practice, the clubs are engaged in regional selective work, finding the most promising children of Youth Sports Schools (YSS), and, train their own reserve players for a few years. As a result, the country's reserve national teams (cadet, junior, under-21) are formed from the best players of reserve teams of professional clubs.

As time showed (12 seasons of YBL championships for women and 6 seasons - for under-21 teams), organizational decisions are not enough to improve the quality of training of basketball reserves. The majority of under-21 team players, who have reached the age limit, remain unclaimed by Premier league clubs. With regard to women's basketball of every age, only about 2-5% of the total number of young players, who have undergone stages of long-term training, makes it to the first team of professionals. Those few, to who join a professional team, have minimum playing time, mostly when a match's outcome has been already resolved.

According to data provided by coaches, working with women’s basketball reserve players, many of them, who have graduated from YSSs, have a low level of physical fitness, limited technical skills and an insufficiently high level of speed technique [4].

Another criterion of fitness level appears to be the results of women's reserve national teams at international championships, as shown in Tables 1-4.

 

Table 1. Results of women's cadet national teams of Russia at European championships

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

1

1

1

4

2

6

3

5

9

6

9

4

1

6

3

6

 

Table 2. Results of women's junior national teams of Russia at European championships

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

4

1

3

1

1

1

5

11

3

2

9

5

13

2

5

 

Table 3. Results of women's national under-21 teams of Russia at European championships

2000

2002

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

1

2

1

11

1

7

1

4

1

2

2

6

 

Table 4. Results of women's junior national teams of Russia at World championships

1993

1997

2001

2005

2007

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2

5

2

4

didn't take part

6

6

8

didn't take part

9

 

As shown in Tables 1-4, in the 90s the women's reserve national teams of Russia were the best in European basketball and were ranked among the leading teams of international basketball. Gradually, though, the women's reserve national teams of Russia lost their leadership not only on the international arena but also in Europe. As we speak, women's reserve teams succeed in European championships occasionally, to say the least. Poor physical fitness of reserve athletes has a negative effect on the results of the national team's performance. 

Thus, the decisions that had been put into practice in recent years regarding establishment of new leagues resulted in the increase of the amount of competitive practice in youth and under-21 basketball. However, fitness level remained unchanged. It became obvious that, for solving the problem of fitness enhancement, the training process of female athletes should be organized in a different way.

One of the reasons for the lack of progress in female basketball players' fitness is the system of planning and organization of training established for under-21 teams. Generally, the structure, content and methodology of training vary from one annual cycle to another, leading in stagnation and gradual deterioration of physical fitness. The main goal in the training of reserve team players is the achievement of their personal fitness level which will help to provide athletes for professional teams. According to the regulations, players train in under-21 teams for three years (from the age of 18 to 21).  Therefore, the training plan intended to resolve the main problem must be long-term with no regard given to momentary results.

Certain difficulties in solving this problem arise due to the exhausted potential of fitness development in this age owing to factors such as developmental age and more competitive practice. By the age of 16-18, the body of a female athlete is developed as of an adult. Female basketball players have a certain level of development of physical abilities and technical and tactical skills, they have passed all the stages of long-term training in children and youth sport and can cope with high training load both in terms of volume (training sessions twice a week in YBL teams) and intensity. And they have gained significant competitive experience.

The purpose of the study was to elaborate the structure, methodology and content of long-term training, increasing the individual fitness level of female basketball players of under-21 teams of professional clubs.

Research methods. The study was carried out using the following methods:

theoretical methods of analysis and synthesis, which enabled to study scientific and methodological documents and literary sources on the issue of physical and technical-tactical training in sports games - and, in particular, in basketball - and to consider the issues of planning as well as various methods of organization of a long-term training process in different sports with the subsequent systematization of the material;

empirical: pedagogical observation, pedagogical tests, educational experiment;

mathematical-statistical analysis of study materials.

The issues of planning and organization of long-term training on the basis of Olympic training cycles were studied [9]. The following methodological conditions of physical fitness improvement were allocated as a result of the analysis and systematization of the materials:

1. The foundation is to be laid in every annual cycle to ensure further quality enhancement of special performance during the next annual cycles.

2. Training process is to be divided into year periods in view of continuity and consistency of resolving specific issues and methodological orientations of each specific annual cycle. Thus, every annual macrocycle coincides with the time needed for the transfer of female athletes to a qualitatively new level of integrated preparedness incorporating all aspects of fitness.

3. The new level is associated with a qualitatively new interrelation of components, i.e. increase of the level of physical qualities and abilities, enhancement of technical-tactical skills requiring the transfer from the already reached fitness level, the athlete has adapted to, to further progressive development.

The most promising area for the implementation of the presented methodological conditions is the conversion of high sports technology in different sports into the methodology and content of training in basketball. High technology is distinguished by a high degree of conformity of the effect to the goals and objectives of activity. And this fact is what leads to technological conversion [1].

The second issue was solved using the following elite sport technologies: transfer of training [2], formation of high technical skills [8] and several special methods.

A structural correlation of various components of physical load for each year of the three-year cycle was developed, based on the recommendations of V.Ya. Ignatieva [6], V.S. Rubin [9], T. Hucinski [11], et al.

In order to solve the third and the fourth problems, the structure, methods and content of the three-year training cycle were developed on the basis of the allocated methodological conditions and by converting the presented technologies and methods.

First annual cycle. The first annual cycle is a cycle of "adaptation", predominantly addressing the issues of improvement of the functional state and the total physical fitness of female athletes as a basis for the specialized training that follows.

Structure. The ratio of various components of physical load (%): TBC (total body conditioning)/ SBC (specialized body conditioning) at the level = 60:40; development of speed and speed-power qualities = 50:50; special endurance / speed and speed-power qualities = 50:50; physical fitness/ technical-tactical skills = 50:50; improvement of technique and tactics = 60:40.

A widely used targeted training system during training sessions was used as a basis for planning the training process for the 2007/2008 competitive season. The whole training process was divided into five sessions: "preparatory" (one microcycle 4-1), "functional training" (five microcycles 3-1), "speed- strength training" (four microcycles 3-1), "technical-tactical training" (four microcycles 3-1) and "pre-season" session (four microcycles 3-1). The last microcycles of the sessions were restorative with the "conditioning" orientation reduced to the minimum.

The overall plan of the pre-season was as follows: total time: 2.5 months (Aug 1 - Oct 15); training days: 55; training sessions: 93; test matches: 10.

Methodology and content. The method of conjugate-consistent application of training load was taken as a methodological basis for the organization of physical load in the pre-season. It supposes the following sequence of physical load of varying primary focus: 1. conditioning exercises, including a large volume of strength-related work; 2. improvement of agility and speed technique based on the foundation laid using strength load; 3. further improvement of technical skills against the background of competitive load.

Physical training was mainly aimed at development of general strength, mastering of proper running technique, starting and long-distance acceleration, jumping squats, fast moves in the defensive stance, as well as exercises for feet and knee joints.

Strength-related abilities were developed mainly by means of TBC to ensure basic strength for performance of specialized strength exercises, which reach their maximum during the third annual cycle. Two-week cycles formed the base of strength training, with three sessions per week, enabling the use of a wide range of exercises for the harmonious strengthening of the entire muscular system. Approximately 20% of all strength exercises were specialized strength exercises.

Speed and speed-strength training and development of speed endurance were presented mostly by TBC.

Speed qualities were developed primarily using the Yu.M. Portnov’s methodology for athletes/players: types of exercises used: combination of short accelerations with ball exercises; duration of one repetition - 5-7 sec; intensity: maximal or close to maximum, ensuring a sufficiently high level of precision of actions; rest intervals between repetitions - 80-85 sec; number of reps in one set - 8-10; rest intervals between sets - 6 min; type of rest: relaxing shooting hoops; session duration, including the preparatory and the warm-down phases: 100-110 min [7]. The above parameters were used to improve agility. 2-3 sets were carried out to maintain this quality at the attained level, while the rest of the load parameters remained the same. Speed-power qualities were developed in the same way. Only training methods were changed.

Special endurance was trained using the interval method during the pre-season, by running parts of distance of different length with varying intensity at the stadium (total volume: 2,200 m. per session, twice a week). In the season - using "shuttle run" of submaximal and maximal intensity in a hall (total volume: 300-900 m per session).

The methodological peculiarity of technical-tactical training was that unidirectional training sessions were used instead of complex multi-purpose ones, fully dedicated to solution of a single didactic problem, which, according to T. Hucinski, helps to achieve the best results when training women [11]. Equal or, in some cases, more time than to learning offensive actions, was given to study and improve defensive ones. Speed skills were improved during every training session using teaching techniques intended to reduce the time given for execution of the playing technique (when another player is running after him, while outnumbered, space reductions, increase of the number of balls, etc.)

During the season, athletes continued developing their motor abilities and improving technical-tactical skills. The training work was planned according to the intergame intervals. The day of official game was taken as basis, and the planning was carried out backwards: one day before the game = one-two training sessions, two days before the game = day off, three-five days = training microcycle. When they had more days developmental training microcycles were added.

Second annual cycle. The main objectives of the annual cycle are the predominant development of special endurance, as well as maximal general strength load along with the specialized strength load maintained at the high level. The volume of special training increases due to the rise of the number of specialized developmental exercises of physical training and means of conjugative formation.

Structure. The ratio of various components of physical load (%): TBC/SBC at the level = 40:60; development of speed and speed-power qualities = 30:70; special endurance / speed and speed-power qualities = 65:35; physical fitness/ technical-tactical skills = 45:55; improvement of technique and tactics = 50:50.

The training process's planning for the season 2008/2009 was different from the one of the previous season. The developed training microcycle sequentially went on throughout the entire pre-season to ensure long-term adaptive changes in the corresponding human body systems. The structure of the weekly microcycle, the targets of work for each day of the microcycle, the priority order of sessions’ parts as well as sets of exercises of physical training were standardized, i.e. were repeated on specific days in the same order, with gradually increasing load. The microcycle's structure and the type of work regarding the methods of physical training throughout the days of the microcycle were as follows. Monday: speed in explosive strength training. Tuesday: speed-power and strength training. Wednesday: special endurance. Thursday: one training in the morning, shooting hoops, strength training. Friday: speed-strength and strength training. Saturday: one training in the morning, special endurance, sauna. Sunday: day off.

The load was increased in two steps: from the 1st to the 3rd week: increase of the volume due to raising the number of repetitions in sets of "conditioning" exercises, and using heavier weights; from the 5th to the 6th week: increase of intensity due to reduced rest intervals between repetitions, sets, etc. On the 4th week, "conditioning" work was reduced to the minimum. Only the "restorative" strength exercises were left [10].

Altogether during the pre-season: overall duration - 3 months (July 14 - Oct 14); training days: 60; training sessions: 103; test matches: 10.

The standardized microcycle was used eight times, and the rest four weeks were divided into microcycles: "stabilizing", "playing", "restorative" and "pre-season" ones.

With regard to the regular season, the training process was planned according to the algorithm of the previous season. The sets of exercises of physical training were also standardized, although in every subsequent set the degree of its effect uninterruptedly increased. Every standardized set of exercises was repeated 4-5 times. In total, the sets changed 4 times within the season.

Methodology and content. For the purpose of increasing the "conditioning" effect of technical activities, the technology "transfer of training", developed by A.P. Bondarchuk, served the methodological basis. The methodology comprised the following conditions:

1. The use of specialized preparatory and specialized developmental speed and speed-strength exercises based on the principle of conjugate training effects. The exercises of physical training depend on the nature of the basketball player's activity: movement to a position, fine footwork, stops and dashes, change of the direction of movement, jumps. The above-mentioned exercises are used both individually and with the ball (dribbling, passes, shots). For the enhancement of the transfer of training after the application of specialized developmental exercises of physical training, technical training exercises are executed, which are close to the former ones in terms of structure of movement and modes of muscle work.

The main goal of these exercises is the improvement of the rhythm-speed structure of movement using the competitive method, the method of "facilitating leadership" as well as by complicating the conditions of movements' execution, i.e. with resistance bands and weights.

2. Standardization of sets of exercises, parts of the session and microcycles. The exercise sets were standardized with regard to the development of physical abilities, i.e. were repeated on the very same days of the weekly cycles with a gradually increasing load throughout them. Every set was repeated 4-8 times with the purpose of creating long-term adaptive changes. Moreover, the strict succession of the session parts and individual exercises was preserved.

3. The extent of the impact of the exercise sets is constantly increasing thanks to novelty and effectiveness, and the applied exercises follow one another in strict succession. The intensity of training loads was also standardized. It should be taken into account that in every training session, constant ratio of the used intensity zones is applied.

The sets of general preparatory, specialized preparatory and special developmental exercises of physical training did not change throughout the pre-season.

The strength training was aimed at the maximum development of the leg, back and shoulder muscle power. The specialized speed-strength exercises are close to the playing techniques, with regard to the motor structure, but surpass them when it comes to the execution conditions due to the use of weights, and account for approximately 40% of the total number of strength exercises. In a gym female athletes performed 3-4 specialized speed-strength exercises, followed by 5-6 exercises for strength development. Strength exercises, apart from the development of strength capacity, accelerate the recovery process by actively changing from one type of sports activity to another (I.M. Sechenov's phenomenon), serve to prevent myocardial infarction and "wake up" the structures of the cerebral cortex that harmonize the integrative activity.

With the view of developing special endurance, the workout volumes in aerobic/anaerobic and anaerobic lactate energy supply zones were increased. Specialized developmental methods of physical training were applied with the method of repetitive standard exercise, with pre-determined active rest intervals. As a result, the workout volume, aimed at the development of special endurance, increased by two times in comparison with the last season. A large number of methods of TBC was preserved to prevent myocardial infarction (50%).

The exercises of technical-tactical training were performed at high speed in the time intervals of 30-60 seconds with pauses, in the type of approximately equal playing segments, which contributed to the development of special endurance and stable movement technique in conditions of fatigue. The improvement of special endurance contributed to more in-depth work on improving various pressing forms of defence.

Third annual cycle. The main objective of the annual cycle is a comprehensive improvement of the technical-tactical skills and the main aspects of physical fitness. The purpose of physical training is the comprehensive development of specialized speed qualities and special speed-power fitness via a determined reduction of the volume of physical load, aiming at speed endurance. The number of methods of specialized training appears to be the highest when compared to previous years.

Structure. The ratio of various components of physical load (%):TBC/SBC = 30:70; development of speed and speed-power qualities = 20:80; special endurance / speed and speed-power qualities = 40:60; physical fitness/ technical-tactical skills = 45:55; improvement of technique and tactics = 40:60.

The training process for the season 2009/2010 was planned in the same way as for the last year, with an exception of some features listed in the "content and methodology" section.

Altogether during the pre-season: overall duration: 11 weeks; training days: 60; training exercises: 100; test matches: 5.

Methodology and content. The principle of "specialized, various new exercises, differing from the competitive ones to some extent" was taken as the methodological basis. The distinguishing feature of these exercises is the special focus preserved in them together with the possibly higher manifestation of the key components of physical fitness. The training influence of physical load is preserved due to a particular system of sequential introduction of more effective means in the training process. The functional changes that take place in the body as a result of the use of some means create favourable conditions for the realization of the subsequent ones. Therefore, a systematic increase of the power and specificity of the training influence was required. The means being subsequently introduced in training are not separated in time, but they are constantly replaced, as if driving each other out.

In practice, it turned out as follows. The structure of the methods used in the training session, micro- and mesocycles remained unchanged, i.e. was standardized as in the previous season. The main difference lies in the fact that in the corresponding parts of sessions, new and more strenuous endurance exercises, aimed at the development of the same physical quality, are used in every new microcycle. As a result of this approach, on the one hand, the methodological continuity is preserved with the second year of the three-year cycle, and on the other hand, specific issues of the third year of the training process get solved.

In strength training, after two consecutive annual cycles of development, the focus shifts to the improvement of the specialized speed-power components. The main objectives of the entire strength training process are to provide the basic specialized speed-strength fitness, as well as to prevent injuries and to ensure the recovery after a specialized physical load. Specialized speed-strength exercises constitute 60% of the total volume of strength exercises.

The specialized speed ​​and speed-strength physical load is maximal in the third annual cycle, after the development of basic strength abilities in the first and in the second annual cycles. For the purpose of mastering speed and speed-power qualities, a decrease in the volume of means of speed endurance and general strength orientation takes place.

The technical-tactical exercises are aimed at the comprehensive improvement of speed technique and the main parts of physical fitness with the view of creating the appropriate conditions for the maximum realization of the cumulative potential. Moreover, great attention is paid to the improvement of "crowning" techniques.

The experimental methodology of the long-term training of female basketball players who belong to under-21 teams of professional clubs was tested based on the team "UMMC-Junior." The educational experiment was carried out with the same group of female athletes from 2007 to 2010. The results were obtained at different stages of the experiment and were interrelated.

The efficiency of the developed training system was evaluated according to the following criteria: based on the results of the test of physical and technical fitness levels, on the individual and team indicators of competitive activity, sports results and demands for the players in Super League clubs.

The monitoring of physical and technical fitness was conducted with the help of the following tests:

1. "20-metre run".

2. "Shifting into defensive stance": shift to a defensive position 4x5 m.

3. "Medicine ball throw": it was executed with both hands in front of chest, while sitting on the floor with legs apart, with a ball of 3 kg.

4. "Standing long-jump".

5. "Standing high-jump" using both legs, reaching for the highest possible point with one hand.

6. "Special endurance": timely running around the court for 10 times.

7. "Speed technique": "dribbling" of 6 cones with "zig-zag" movement. Two cones are on the sides of the free throw line, the opposite trapezoids, and one at the intersection of the centre circle and the midline. Two cones are placed uniformly between the first three, in 1.5 m from the sideline, and the last on the corner of the baseline and the sideline of the opposite side of the court. "Dribbling" of the cones, ending with a layup, and timely repeat of the same order.

8. "Bench press".

9. "Percentage of hits from mid-range shots": shots of the player's own choice from mid-range distance for 3 min.

10. "Percentage of hits from long shots": as with the test №9, but shooting from the three-point arc.

The testing was held twice in the season: at the beginning and the end of the contest period. The dynamics of the test indicators of the basketball players of the women’s team "UMMC-Junior", throughout three training/contest seasons, are shown in Table 5.

Table 5. Dynamics of the mean-group values ​​of the test indicators of the women’s team "UMMC-Junior"

Test

Season 2007/2008, n = 8

Season 2008/2009, n = 8

Season 2009/2010, n = 5

Pre-season

Regular season

Pre-season

Regular season

Pre-season

Regular season

X

S

X

S

X

S

X

S

X

S

X

S

20-metre run, sec

3.6

0.1

3.48

0.2

3.47

0.09

3.48

0.14

3.39

0.21

3.34

0.2

Shifting to defensive position, sec

6.28

0.38

6.32

0.37

5.95

0.29

5.94

0.21

5.897

0.33

5.88

0.22

Medicine ball throw, cm

419.3

55.5

415.7

44.4

447

44.8

472

40

471

25.7

479

34.6

Long jump, cm

208.5

19.25

209.4

16.3

207

14

217

14.6

217

16.2

215

15.8

High jump, cm

41.7

5.55

38.14

4.44

38.6

4.34

40

4.07

40

3.88

41

4.01

10-times running around the court, sec

64.2

3.15

63.7

3.33

60.09

2.08

59.7

2.09

59.9

2.08

60.2

2.14

Speed technique, sec

26.27

1.58

25.75

1.12

24.2

1.06

22.8

0.95

21.32

1.07

21.17

1.02

Bench press, kg

49.64

7.4

50.71

7.4

54

4.38

58

5.36

58

3.64

57

3.72

Mid-range shots, %

62.4

9.6

66

9.62

72.1

8.35

60.7

9.23

63.4

9.81

64.8

8.7

Long shots, %

59.4

8.88

55.7

7.36

56.3

9.1

66.2

8.51

60.3

9.72

59.8

8.9

X - arithmetic mean value.

S - standard deviation

The speed of the 20-metre run was significantly (p<0.05) increased statistically in the third year of our experiment with respect to the first season. In the second season, speed indicators were not improved, which is probably due to the large strength workout volume and the workout for special endurance. Special speed was also significantly improved statistically. In the tests "Shifting to defensive position" and "Speed ​​technique", the improvement of the results is observed from season to season. The dynamics of the results in the test "Speed ​​technique" indicate that the development of special speed as a basis, laid down by the means of TBC in the first training year, and means of SBC in the second training year, contributed to significant positive changes in the execution of techniques at high speed. 

At the end of the second year, what improved significantly in a statistic manner with regard to the first one was the speed-power capacity of the arm muscles, which is reflected in the execution of the test "Medicine ball throw". The results of the long jump with both feet were not significantly increased statistically (p> 0.05) by the end of the second year and remained at this level until the end of the experiment. The result of the high jump remained at approximately the same level for three years. The strength of the arm muscles and the shoulder girdle peaked in the second training year and were stabilized at this level until the end of the experiment. Special endurance improved significantly (p<0.05) in the second season and was stabilized at this level until the end of the experiment.

The evaluation of the women’s basketball team "UMMC-Junior" showed that under existing intergame intervals regarding the championship of under-21 teams and the targeted training work, it is not only possible to retain physical fitness at the pre-season stage, but also to exceed it in a number of components.

Competitive performance indicators are shown in tables 6 and 7.

Table 6. Indicators of competitive performance of athletes who played for the women’s team "UMMC-Junior" for three seasons (average value per game)

Season

Points

2-pointers

%

3-pointers

%

free shots

%

AST

INT

BLK

Rebounds

BL

FG

F

PT

min.

or

dr

tr

2007/08

10.4

9.7/22.4

43.3

4.5/15.1

29.8

8.7/11.9

73.1

2

1.7

0.4

4.2

1.7

5.9

1.4

2.7

2.9

29

2008/9

7.37

7.3/17

42.9

2.8/8.8

31.8

6.3/8.7

72.4

1.8

1.5

0.3

2.7

1.4

4.1

1.9

2

2.3

21

2009/10

9.87

8.6/20.3

42.4

5/14.8

33.8

7.4/9.6

77

2

2

0.35

2.9

2

4.9

2

2.2

2.4

24

 

Legend: AST: assists; INT: interceptions; BS: blocked shots; or: offensive rebounds; dr: defensive rebounds; tr: total rebounds; BL: ball losses; FG: fouls gained; F: own fouls; PT; playing time.

 

Table 7. Ratio of baskets scored to the baskets conceded, and the number of attacks in three seasons (average value per game)

Season

Baskets

Number of attacks

scored

missed

2007-08

67.9

67.3

2007-08

2008-09

73.7

65.4

2008-09

2009-10

74.7

59.6

2009-10

 

The dynamics of the competitive performance indicators in three seasons are as follows. There is a certain superiority of the results of the season 2007/2008 over the results of the next two seasons, as well as some slightly worse results with regard to the second season (2008/2009) when compared to the first and third ones. What's more, a direct dependence of the quality of the playing indicators on the amount of playing time is discernible: the more time the players remain on the court in official games, the better is their playing performance.

The statistical data in Table 6 reflect slightly the defence play. For the analysis of the defensive actions, the average values of the conceded points per game for three seasons were taken into account. Table 7 shows that the defensive actions of the team improved from year to year. Apparently, the improvement of the defensive actions' quality was influenced by two factors. First: punctuated work in the training process (priority of defence over offence). Second: increase of the special physical conditions, enabling to guard opponents more tightly and rigidly throughout the match.

The rise of the game's hardness is also testified by the increase of the amount of per-game attacks performed from season to season.

 Sport result.  In the 2007/2008 season, the team "UMMC-Junior", after participating in the national championship in the Super League, Division B, was the 13th out of 16 teams.

In the 2008/2009 season, the team "UMMC-Junior" participated in the first under-21championship of Russia and took the third place out of 10 teams. The players' improved physical and technical qualities contributed to the positive results. At the end of the season, three players of the team signed contracts with professional clubs.

In the 2009/2010 season, the team "UMMC-Junior" also participated in the under-21 championship and won the 1st place out of 10 teams. At the end of the season, five more players signed contracts with professional clubs.

To sum it up, eight players of the team UMMC-Junior signed contracts with professional clubs within three seasons.

Based on the results of our research, the following conclusions can be reached:

1. Planning and organization of training of under-21 teams on the basis of three-year cycles contributing to improvement of fitness level of female athletes who have gone through all phases of the long-term training in youth basketball. This is achieved thanks to the continuity and consistency regarding the solving of the issue to provide a foundation in each of the annual cycles for the purpose of further improvement of special performance in the subsequent annual cycles. Thus, it is possible to achieve high sport results in each concrete annual cycle by bringing the female athletes to a qualitatively brand new level of integrated preparedness, including all aspects of physical fitness.

2. The conversion of elite sport technologies and techniques into practice of training of basketball players of women’s under-21 teams contributes to settling specific problems and methodological orientation of each individual year cycle due to greater correspondence of the effect from their use in training to the goals and objectives of the year training cycle.

3. The designed structure, methodology and content of long-term training increases the level of physical qualities and abilities, contributes to improving technical skills thanks to numerous components:

- new ratio of the components of physical load in each subsequent annual cycle, which necessitates the "passing" from the already achieved fitness level, in which adaptation to further progressive development was marked;

- the use of specialized preparatory and specialized developmental means of physical training, as well as the wide application of the conjugate method. The means of physical training actively influence the development of the rhythm-speed structure of techniques and contribute to their variability. In turn, the means of technical training develop special coordination, speed and speed-power qualities and promote the development of special endurance;

- periodization of the training process based on the standardization of the sets of exercises, meso-, microcycles of training, as well as of the parts of sessions, boosting the level of the female athletes' physical fitness throughout annual training cycles with more rapid formation of long-term adaptive changes in the corresponding athletes' body systems.

4. The experimental findings, achieved sport results and demand for female athletes in the clubs of the Premier League suggest high efficiency of the designed structure, methodology and content of long-term training of basketball players of women's under-21 teams of professional clubs.

The findings and conclusions enable recommending using the designed structure, methodology and content in the training practice of female basketball players of under-21 teams of professional clubs and the suggested method of planning and organization of the long-term training.

 

References

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Corresponding author: smukhaev@bk.ru