If you're an NBA fan or commentator, you could be mistaken for thinking that load management is all about rest! Afterall, as a fan, you’ve paid big money to watch your favorite player, only to turn up to the game and find he is resting due to "load management"! On the other hand, these players are required to compete at home, and on the road, in back-to-back games in different time zones, with disrupted sleep and recovery. Is it reasonable to expect them to play every game of an 82-game season and still be at their peak for the play-offs? This is the challenge facing the NBA, players, owners, front office, and team sports medicine staff.
While recovery is an important part of the training process, and is where adaptation occurs, training provides the stimulus for that adaptation. So, load management shouldn’t just be viewed as players missing games – it should involve the use of well-established training principles to develop robust and resilient athletes.