PROVIDING A SERVICE TO AN ELITE NATIONAL SPORTS PROGRAMME

  • Bruce R. Mason
Keywords: biomechanics, elite sport, swimming, competition analysis, biomechanical

Abstract

How well is Sports Biomechanics able to advance elite athletic performance at the national sporting level? Individual sports that involve a high technical skill level and that are repetitive are most suited to biomechanical support. An emphasis on servicing as opposed to research in the biomechanical support of a national sporting body tends to provide the better results in elevating elite performance. Biomechanics brings to the coach of elite athletes objectivity and quantification with advice from a biomechanical and technical perspective. One important aspect of servicing an elite national sporting body is the development of biomechanical testing systems in which the timeliness of feedback is of paramount importance. To be most effective there are certain ingredients that make for the ideal biomechanical testing system for servicing the elite arm of a sport. An example of such a system developed for elite swimming performance is provided. To be an effective sport biomechanist there is a need for specialisation in sport. Many other factors affect the success of a biomechanics programme apart from the science involved. Competition analysis provides much relevant information to elite sport and it also affects a large number of athletes. Once problems are disclosed through competition analysis they need to be addressed in a training environment using biomechanical systems to assist the coach.