After all, to win, a team can’t lose a single game: no break, no let down, no lack of concentration.
When the outcome of sporting events are discussed, the one word that is used most often is talent. Next is the coach, followed by discipline and team work.
But how often do analysts discuss fitness as part of the outcome. Sure it is a consideration, but truly it is an afterthought in the media. In college basketball, more so than any other sporting event (besides the obvious marathon, Ironman…), the tournament’s series of games requires more than guts and tenacity; it require superior fitness.
The team with the best fitness may not always win, but the team with the highest level of fitness clearly has a greater advantage. Beyond the initial rounds, fitness begins to weigh more and more on the outcome.
Fitness is often associate with hard work, effort, and “giving it your all”. This approach to fitness can lead to overtraining and a team crashing at the wrong time. Imagine a team that was pushed too hard and just shuts down at the Sweet Sixteen. As a result talent, coaching, and teamwork all suffer. Proper fitness does require effort but, planning is integral to its outcome.
The college basketball fitness instructor
The fitness instructor takes a backseat in sports media, rarely mentioned outside of Spring Training or the grass outdoor practice football field. However, in college basketball the fitness instructor may decide the outcome of the tournament’s tight game schedule. Sure there are rest periods, but the tourney is not referred to as March MADNESS because it is a modest contest of fitness- instead…Extreme…Unfathomable fitness tourney….it is certainly no calculated game of chess.
Therefore, the strategy that wins the college basketball tournament is likely not the same strategy that coaches utilized during other seasonal contests. Imagine coaches competing in an endurance juggling contest, all are skilled but, the one with the least tiring arms win. Substitutions, 3 point plays and calculated fast breaks are all aspects of planning a team’s fitness credits. The one with the most credits entering the Final Four wins.
After all, to win, a team can’t lose a single game: no break, no let down, no lack of concentration; this is all insured by high fitness levels.
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beepwire.com, (n.d). Search Results for “basketball”. Retreived March 19, 2010 from