ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE OF PRACTICE START TIMES PRODUCES GREATER STARTING IMPROVEMENTS THAN REPETITION ALONE

De la Fuente, B., & Arellano, R. (2010). Effect of specific training on swimming start performance. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 1619, 2010.

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This study determined how swimmers' start improvements might be related to specific training in the form of providing accurate information about the start duration at different distances (10 and 15 m). Regional swimmers and Physical Education students (N = 42) participated on the study. Ss were divided equally into experimental and control groups. Each group practiced for 10 sessions. The experimental group received accurate information about starting times (Terminal Knowledge of Results). Meanwhile, control group did not receive any information after each trial.

There were no statistical differences in start times measured at 10 and 15 m, between groups. Both groups significantly improved their starting times. Greater improvements were produced within the experimental group (>5%) than in the control group (<2%). Performances tended to be more consistent within the experimental group than in the control group.

Implication. Systematic and controlled repetition of the swimming starts, leads to performance improvement. In addition, giving swimmers accurate (electronically timed) knowledge of results produces greater performance improvements than only systematic repetition with manual timing.

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