ASSESSMENT OF NORMALIZED DISTANCE PER STROKE AND SWIMMING EFFICIENCY IN THE 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • S. Riewald
Keywords: stroke length, normalized stroke length, efficiency

Abstract

Stroke length has been viewed as an important determinant in swimming speed and performance. However, recent studies of elite level athletes have shown that stroke length (SL) typically does not correlate with swimming speed in elite athletes. These studies have focused on absolute stroke length and have not taken into consideration the size of the athletes. The noted lack of correlation may be due to the variability introduced by differences in athlete size. This study looks at athlete SL normalized to body height and introduces the concept of using normalized SL (NSL) as a measure of efficiency. Pearson correlation coefficients were computed to relate NSL to swimming speed and analyses of variance were conducted to examine differences between finalists and semifinalists at the 2000 Olympic Games. Significant findings and their relationship to performance are discussed.