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How Basketball Coaches Can Use The Season to Prepare for Tournament Time

Author: Philipp Lienemann

March Madness: You lose, you go home – You win, the dream lives on. The most important question for coaches and athletes alike: how to get ready for the hottest time of the year? It takes an integrated approach.

March Madness NCAA College Basketball Player Tracking

When all eyes are set on the prestigious NCAA tournament the smallest margins can make all the difference: 40 for 40” — a 40-minute effort for another chance of 40 minutes in the tournament. Reaching the tournament, Sweet 16, Elite 8 or Final 4 does not come by accident. 

College athletes who are aiming at getting to the professional level, face a year-around effort to achieve their goal. Long-term athletic development requires a dedicated plan that aims at consistently improving an athlete’s performance over time. 

By overloading and stressing the body, allowing it to recover, and then stressing it again, athletes adapt to the increased short-term stressors and build long-term fitness through various physiological adaptations. In the short- to mid-term, this involves adjusting the training plan to the different periods of the season.

You can access my guide to preparing for March Madness here.


Philipp Lienemann is a Senior Customer Success Manager and Senior Sports Scientist at KINEXON and works with many teams to help them with sports data.
Philipp Lienemann, Senior Customer Success Manager and Senior Sports Scientist at KINEXON

By managing the acute and chronic load appropriately over time, coaches can improve player performance, reduce the risk of injury, and time it takes for player to return to play. Keeping your best players healthy and increasing player availability will allow the team to perform at its best, when it matters the most.”

Philipp Lienemann, Sr. Customer Success Manager / Sr. Sports Scientist at KINEXON

Four Seasons – A Blueprint to Succeed During March Madness

Men's and women's basketball coaches are now relying on data and analytics to help them prepare their teams for the NCAA Tournament.

Like the year, a basketball season can be divided into four seasons. The four seasons refer to the four very distinct periods of the year that involve different and unique levels of training, preparation, competition, and recovery requirements. In terms of load management, a season is a journey – like a house, great athletes and teams are built over time and rely on a solid foundation.

NCAA College basketball coaches should use sports data and analytics to divide their season into four phases that can help them manage player workloads better.

KINEXON has helped us navigate the ever-changing landscape of athlete-readiness in collegiate basketball. It has aided us identify areas of strength and weakness within our program when it comes to player preparedness and long-term athlete development both on the court and in the weight room.”

Caleb Krueger, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Women’s Basketball at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Trust the Process - Guiding Athletes Through the Season

You can learn how to shoot a form jumper and other types of shots in basketball with analytics and shot load details.

Construction involves multiple phases that all pose various challenges – similarly, coaches follow a periodization approach to plan and optimize the long-term development of their athletes. Hence, dividing a basketball season into the following periods to identify focus areas and challenges can provide a blueprint for success.

  • Off-Season: Cleaning the Backyard – Skill Acquisition & Athletic Development Basics
  • Pre-Season: Laying the Foundation – Considerations for a Generic & Sport-Specific Conditioning Framework
  • Regular Season: Building a Strong Core – Efficient Programming & Player Engagement
  • Post Season: Topping Out – Supporting Athletes to Peak at the Right Time

Impact of Player Tracking and Performance Analysis

Sports technology is not only transforming the way basketball games are played, it's also helping coaches develop more efficient practice plans.

The goal — by structuring a season accordingly, coaches want to ensure that athletes are training and recovering adequately for optimal adaptation. Player tracking technology supports practitioners in their daily work by providing objective data to quantify the athletes’ acute and chronic workload.

Bridging the gap between a coach’s experience and subjective perspective and the objective, quantitative data provided by KINEXON’s technology is crucial to plan, execute and control relevant training and recovery strategies.

While various aspects need to be considered when selecting, implementing, and using different types of technologies, an integrated approach to athlete monitoring has become the standard to make informed decisions in managing athletes adequately over a strenuous basketball season.

Which aspects need to be emphasized throughout the different periods of the season and how can player tracking be utilized to manage an athlete’s load accordingly? You can get more insight in our guide to basketball software for coaches.

Download Guide

How Coaches Use Basketball Software

Basketball software for coaches provide information on acceleration, jumps, and sprints so a player's workload can be managed much easier.

In my guide you’ll find practical insights from Caleb Krueger. He is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Women’s Basketball at University of North Carolina. He used KINEXON’s technology to improve player development and load management.

Caleb Krueger, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, UNC Women's Basketball

Player load tracking has become a vital part of our program in that it helps keep all members of our team physically ready to handle the rigors of both practice and games — and does so by giving us objective load information that can help us make informed decisions.”

Caleb Krueger, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Women’s Basketball at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Basketball Software for Coaches

basketball software for coaches can tell the entire staff things about their players they never knew before like workload and tactics.

By using a set of metrics to describe a session’s training volume, intensity and density, coaches can build a holistic training model to quantify the acute and chronic stress of individual sessions, weeks, and months of training.

With countless metrics to choose from, it can be a daunting task for coaches that are using technology for the first time. Considering factors like acceptable levels of reliability and validity, relation to sport-specific demands as well as if they can be easily interpreted by relevant stakeholders are key differentiators in using data effectively for informed decision-making.

Complementing coaches’ subjective insights and experience with objective, quantitative data will help coaches make informed decisions and implement a criterion-based training program.

Electronic Performance Tracking Systems like KINEXON’s Perform IMU and LPS systems are a great tool to support an integrated data-driven approach to training periodization and load management and should be the standard for any Division‑I team.”

Philipp Lienemann, Sr. Customer Success Manager / Sr. Sports Scientist at KINEXON

In addition to my integrated approach to guiding your team through a long and grueling basketball season, and manage how to manage your athletes’ loads accordingly, you can contact us at any time if you have any questions. 

Want to learn more about KINEXON’s products and services? Let’s get in touch! 


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