Does tDCS improve basketball performance?

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Does anodal tDCS improve basketball performance? A randomized controlled trial.

PURPOSE: Shooting precision as well as dribbling and agility are crucial components of performance in basketball. We examined the effects of anodal tDCS over the dominant primary motor cortex in supporting these basketball specific abilities.
METHODS: Fifty-two sports students were enrolled in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with two interventions. Twenty minutes of anodal 1mA tDCS / sham tDCS were applied over the primary motor cortex of the dominant hemisphere. Basketball shooting precision (basketball shooting accuracy test) and basketball specific dribbling and agility (Illinois ball-dribbling test) were tested prior and after each intervention.
RESULTS: Basketball shooting precision and basketball specific dribbling and agility improved after real tDCS but not after sham tDCS. ANOVAs show significant intervention*time effects on both the shooting accuracy test (F1,51 = 5.6; P = 0.022) and on the Illinois ball-dribbling test (F1,51 = 4.5; P = 0.038).
CONCLUSION: Anodal 1mA tDCS over the dominant primary motor cortex is effective in supporting short-term performance in basketball. However, the available data is insufficient for application of this novel method within the framework of conventional sports training.

PMID: 33297843 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Eur J Sport Sci. 2020 Dec 09;:1-26

Authors: Veldema J, Engelhardt A, Jansen P