Scurati, R., Michielon, G., Longo, S., & Invernizzi, P. L. (2009). Technical-coordinative skills and performance: Improvements and correlations in swimming. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study assessed the improvements of the technical-coordinative skills in young female swimmers (N = 10) over a training season, as well as their correlations to performance. Ss practiced traditional swim training. In order to assess kinesthetic awareness and their technical-coordinative skills, Ss underwent tests three times over the sport season (T1 =November, T2 = February, and T3 = May). Tests were: 1) diving and gliding underwater in a streamline position; 2) pushing-off from the wall and gliding underwater in a streamline position; 3) diving, gliding, and swimming front crawl for 15 m; 4) diving, gliding, and swimming breaststroke for 15 m; 5) diving, gliding, and swimming backstroke for 15 m. The best race performance in the 50 m front crawl was recorded.

Significant improvements were found in all factors over the season. In the comparison between each test and the best 50-m front crawl race, no significant correlations were found with dive-and-glide or push-and-glide. Significant modest correlations were found between 50-m race performance and dive, glide, and swim for 15 m (r = .77), dive, glide, and swim 15 m of breaststroke (r = .74), and dive, glide, and swim 15 m of backstroke (r = .87).

Implication. In young female swimmers, tests that include swimming the various strokes provide the best indication of swimming performance. It would be prudent to not generalize the implications of this study to older swimmers until the same tests are performed on them. The generality of swimming performances being interrelated could possibly be due to the general non-specialized nature of the training programs of young swimmers.

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