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Are You At Risk of Over-Training?

Pushing your body harder and setting a high level of challenge in your workouts is a sure way to increase your fitness level, but as with all good things you can definitely have too much. For a dedicated athlete, the drive to train hard is strong, but what happens when you overdo it?

Over-Training: Why It's Dangerous

Most athletes are prone to certain kinds of injuries, depending on how they use their bodies when they're engaged in their sport of choice. Runners, for example, are prone to injuries like shin splints and wear-and-tear injuries of the hips and knees. Swimmers are at risk of wear-and-tear injuries such as swimmer's shoulder. For basketballers the injury risks  a= re somewhat different; while overuse injuries of the legs and feet are relatively common, there's also a high risk of contact injuries that aren't necessarily related to overuse or over-training.

There are significant health and wellness risks for people who are over-training on a consistent basis, and it's actually much easier to over-train than most people think. One particular issue, highlighted by research carried out at the University of California Davis Sports Medicine Program, is that tissue damage caused by overuse actually starts to accumulate long before symptoms of overuse injuries can be felt. This research showed tissue damage continually accumulates in joints and muscles=E2=80=94but thi= s damage is initially on a microscopic level, meaning it can't be felt, or detected with the naked eye. Overuse injuries don't happen due to inflammation, therefore, they happen because eventually, the level of damage that has accumulated overtakes the body's ability to heal itself=E2=80=94and that ha= ppens a lot faster, and more intensely, in someone who is over-training.

Signs that You Might be Over-Training

People who are new to exercise are more at risk of over-training t= han seasoned athletes are, just because they don't have much experience when it comes to knowing what intensity of exercise is appropriate for them. That lack of experience also means they're less likely to realize that they're overdoing it. Even so, there's still some level of risk no matter how advanced an athlete someone is, and in fact, even the most experienced and dedicated professional athletes can still suffer from the effects of over-training.

What does over-training look like? There's a wide range of symptoms that can develop:

• Getting sick often or suffering frequent injuries

• Slow to recover from injury or illness

• Unintentional weight loss

• Trouble sleeping and/or relaxing

• More body pain than normal, such as pain in specific joints or muscles

• Feeling fatigued and sluggish, even on days you're not training

• Feeling like your body is getting weaker rather than stronger, despite regular training sessions

The load-performance relationship and the ability to tolerance high training loads are highly individual. For beginners small training loads usually cause large performance improvements, while elite athletes need larger training loads to elicit small performance improvements.
In this Image from Fit Stats Web presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis . Image: Fit Stats Web

It's also important to note that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between signs of over-training, and the results of improper exercise techniques. In the latter case, it's not the intensity or frequency of exercise that's the problem, however, it's how the exercise is being performed. The easiest way to tell the difference between these two issues is that over-training causes a fairly wide range of symptoms, whereas in the case of improper technique, the signs are usually a lot more specific, and center on specific joints or muscle groups. Exercise addiction is another problem that can be confused with over-training, due to a strong similarity in the range of symptoms it causes. However, a true exercise addiction is a much less common problem, and one that tends to occur more in people who exercise purely for health or appearance-related reasons. Over-training is a more common issue that typically arises in people who are exercising improperly due to lack of experience, rather than compulsively exercising more than they should.

Over-Training Versus Under-Fueling

Another common problem that's sometimes confused with over-training is under-fueling: in simple terms, not eating enough. It's a problem that many people experience when they're exercising for weight loss, or when they increase the intensity or frequency of their workouts without adding extra calories into their diet to compensate.

Ensuring that your body is fueled with plenty of water and high-quality food provides the necessary energy for successful workouts; to make sure you're getting all the fuel your body needs, it's helpful to use a fitness app that takes into account all the exercise you do. That allows you to easily add extra calories on heavy workout days when more fuel is required.

Keep Up the Challenge Level, Without Overdoing It

There's a fine line between an exercise routine that provide an appropriate level of challenge, and one that puts you at risk of over-training. The best way to know for sure if you're pushing yourself appropriately is just to keep a close eye on yourself, and how you feel during and after workouts, and in general.

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The only professional basketball team in San Diego County (ABA) In this photograph presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis .

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Pesic setting young Germans' sites on Spain 2014 and Rio 2016

Sure the Olympics are going on in London and the world is waiting to see if anyone can beat the United States for the gold medal. But the future of basketball for Germany moves on to Istanbul this week as Deutschland continues working for the post-Dirk Nowitzki era.

New Germany head coach Svetislav Pesic is spending the Olympics preparing his team for the 2013 EuroBasket qualifiers - and hopefully a berth at the 2014 Basketball World Cup. And the wily veteran is planning on doing that with a promising group of youngsters who grew up watching Nowitzki win World Championship bronze in 2002 and European silver in 2005.

Just 10 years ago - when Pesic guided Yugoslavia to the Worlds gold medal in Indianapolis - 14 of Germany's current 23-man squad were 11 years old or younger, making them 23 or younger today as Germany prepare for the qualifiers.

The Germans have beaten Austria twice thus far in the second Pesic era - he won Germany's only European gold as head coach in 1993 - along with a win over Portugal and loss to Israel.

And now Pesic - a master of working with young players - is giving two promising talents a chance against Iran on Thursday and either Finland or Turkey on Friday in the mini-tournament in Istanbul.

After helping Germany to a second consecutive fifth place showing at the U20 European Championship, German U20 captain Mathis Mönninghoff and Germany's leading assist and steal man Patrick Heckmann were added to the senior team and may make their A-national team debut in Istanbul.

Mönninghoff and Heckmann- both 20-year-olds who have been learning the game at college in the United States (Gonzaga University and Boston College, respectively) - are just the latest talents to move into the German senior side - with many more to come as the country's intense youth development work bears more and more fruit.

Elias Harris, Philipp Schwethelm, Robin Benzing and newcomers Bastian Doreth and Andreas Seiferth are all just 23 but already getting to the "older" side of the German team.

Also on the 23-man squad are 22-year-old centers Maik Zirbes and Tibor Pleiß, 21-year-olds Niels Giffey and Anthony Canty as well as fellow 20-year-olds Philipp Neumann, Maximilian Kleber and Daniel Theis.

And Germany are finally producing the quantity of talent that could be expected from a country with more than 80 million people.

The next group of 20-year-olds looking to take the next step are Ole Wendt, Johannes Voigtmann, Mario Blessing and Kevin Bright while Germany have an immensely talented group of 19-year-olds including Besnik Bekteshi, Dennis Schröder, Johannes Richter, Bogdan Radosavljevic and Stephan Haukohl and Paul Zipser and Mauricio Marin are among the elite in Germany at 18 with Ismet Akpinar and David Taylor are two 17-year-olds who will be playing U18s for Germany this summer and have promising careers as well.

While there is plenty of talent in the pipeline, Pesic is fully motivated on getting Germany to the World Cup in 2014 in Spain. And it would seem he has enough talent to qualify directly to EuroBasket 2013 from the Qualification Group B along with Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Sweden.

And then there is the lingering issue out there of Dirk Nowitzki, who has yet to announce his retirement from the Germany team but would be 35 at the European tournament in Slovenia.

Regardless if Nowitzki comes back or not, Pesic arrives back in Germany with big dreams. Not only does he have Spain 2014 in his sights, but the 62-year-old Serbian coaching legend is also hoping the groundwork he is laying the next few weeks ultimately leads him and Germany to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 20- to 23-year-old German players from this summer will be coming into their prime at 24 to 27 by the time the Rio Olympics roll around. And Pesic hopes that at 66 years old he will be working during the Olympics - only this time trying to find a way to beat the United States and the rest of the world's elite.

David Hein from FIBA

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India has got the talent ! Indian hoopsters can be world's best !

The Indian basketball team may not have had too impressive an outing at the just-concluded Asian Games but it has got the talent to be among the best, feels men's coach William Bill Harris.

Harris, while addressing reporters on the sidelines of the launch of Mahindra NBA Challenge, which will be held in the city next month said, "I am pleased with the way our players performed, though, there is no such thing like playing a perfect game."

"The players have the potential but it is a long term perspective to build a team. Building a team is just like building a house which is a stepwise procedure," he explained.

The coach, however, emphasised that the team has got a lot of exposure and watching them compete with quality opponents like Iran was heartening.

"You may say that we lost to Iran by a big margin but you should appreciate the way the team made a comeback during the second half of the game after going down 29-44 at the interval."

India managed to reduce the deficit to 11 points during the early phase of third quarter and were running ahead 8-4 during the fourth quarter before finally going down 63-78 to Iran.

The coach maintained that in order to be a formidable outfit the Indian team needs to play more as a unit.

"We need to keep them (players) together and make sure that they grow as a family and should learn to believe in themselves."

Harris also emphasised the need for better infrastructure for the sport to grow in India.

"We will have to develop better training facilities and need to have a proper strengthening program in place for our players to grow and compete at the highest level.

"Basketball Federation of India in association with NBA is doing a good job in scouting and grooming the talent at grassroots level and I am sure that basketball as a sport in India is heading towards a great future," the coach added.

Women's coach Tamika Maria Raymond, while expressing her satisfaction with the way the team fared in the Games, said, "I love the attitude of the players, they are ready to learn."

She felt that India has got the potential and it needs to be harnessed.

"Indians are naturally athletic, it is just that they need to be guided properly and this can be done only if they watch the best of teams competing with each other.

"The Games gave them an opportunity to get exposed to the world, to witness the environment and gauge the level of play of their opponents." Troy Justice, from the National Basketball Association, said the future of Basketball in India seems bright but insisted that nothing can be changed overnight.

"It is a long term commitment and will take about another eight to ten years to see the sport blossom."

He emphasised that infrastructure is critical for growth of any sport.

"We are having regular conversations with BFI and are pursuing them to get the proper infrastructure in place, it is a critical component," Justice said.

When asked what are they currently doing to promote the sport in India, Justice said with support from corporates such as Reliance and Mahindra, an extensive development program for youngsters and coaches was in place.

"We are coming up with the league where in around 6,000 kids at different levels will get a chance to perform at the national level besides we are also running programs for the coaches who are interested to learn more about the game."

BFI General secretary Harish Sharma said, "I won't say I am happy with their performance but it was satisfactory."

"Our aim is to bring the team among the top four in Asia," he added.

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Barcelona's win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday:
Barcelona give Europe a night to remember

There is no need to get carried away with Barcelona's win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday because it’s early days for both sides.
Barcelona have just one league game under their belt and the Lakers are in the pre-season.
What can't be dismissed, however, is that Barcelona beat the team that has won the last two NBA titles.
They beat the team that has Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest.
They beat the team that is led by maybe the greatest NBA coach of all time, Phil Jackson.
The Lakers are in pre-season, yes, but know this.
They didn't want to lose and certainly not in Palau St Jordi where, 18 years ago at the Barcelona Olympics , the American 'Dream Team' blew away the competition and won fans to the sport all over.
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, John Stockton, Karl Malone and the rest of that superstar-laden side won many a new fan to basketball.
The Lakers in recent times have won a lot of new fans, too, though they probably lost quite a few on Monday night in London when people shelled out big bucks to watch Kobe Bryant play and not sit on the bench for all but six minutes.
Bryant did play 25 minutes against Barcelona, while Team USA's newly-crowned world champion Odom saw 41 minutes of action and Gasol 36.
The NBA Europe Live 2010 game meant nothing to the standings in Spain or the United States.
It did mean something in terms of bragging rights.
"We haven't played a great game and they are in pre-season but they took it seriously and in the end, they weren't able to win," said Juan Carlos Navarro, the Spain international of Barcelona who spent a year with the Memphis Grizzlies before deciding he was happier living and playing in Europe.
This is his third season back in Spain since a one-year NBA sojourn.
Everyone knows that if these two sides were to meet in the middle of the NBA season, the Lakers would win maybe seven, eight or nine times out of 10.
The fact is that Barcelona, who had beaten Philadelphia in an NBA Europe Live game back in 2006, are a very good team and could probably compete in the NBA.
"It's difficult to know if we are at the NBA level," Barcelona coach Xavier Pascual said.
"In the regular season, I believe we would win games that is clear. We have a different way of playing."
What can't be lost in any of the post-game analysis from Thursday night is the fact that LA very clearly did not want to lose - but they did.
And they lost when Barcelona were nowhere near their best.
"I think it has been a tough game," Pascual said.
"We took advantage of the fact that they don't have the ideal rhythm but they took the game very seriously.
"We held on even though we missed many shots from behind the arc."
Navarro was a woeful three of 12 from long range, albeit from the NBA three-point line.
Barcelona won despite a sub-par performance from Ricky Rubio, who had no points, three assists and four turnovers.
Fran Vazquez played 20 minutes for Barca before fouling out with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Pete Mickael had a very good game, scoring 26 points, hauling in 13 rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
When it was over, Jackson didn't entertain the thought for a minute that Barcelona had a team close to the level of his team, or of the NBA.
"Barca played very well but I don't think they are at the level of our competition," he said.
“I don’t mean any disrespect.
"With so many games played, they don't have the height or physicality or our players.
"They don't have the level."
All Barcelona can do is win games against NBA teams like the Lakers when offered the chance.
On Friday, one team is looking back smiling at a nice night in Barcelona.
It was the Spanish ACB team.
Gasol sees the big picture.
"It has been a challenging game, played at a good level by both teams," Gasol said.
"I think we have noticed a lack of rhythm because we have only been training for a week.
"This European tour has been too tiring for us.
"We would have liked to have won but you can see that we are in pre-season."

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Gasol says he still had a good time coming back to Spain.
"It was very nice to return to Barcelona," he said.
"They have treated us marvelously and the atmosphere at the Sant Jordi was spectacular."
I'm sure that any time the Lakers want to set the record straight, Barcelona will be willing to oblige.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA

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