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Study of the effectiveness of three racing starts in swimming

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Warner, Terry
Wille, Don; Carter, Frances; Ideus, Harvey
May 29, 1967
Swimming -- Starts and turns
This research was designed to compare the effectiveness of three methods of performing the racing "start" in competitive swimming. The three "starts" are: (1) "arms back" (2) "arms down" and (3) "arms front." The subjects used for the study were those enrolled in three advanced beginning swimming classes. All thirty-nine subjects were novices to competitive swimming. The subjects were taught the "start" assigned to their swimming class in four weeks with a total of eight sessions. Each practice session was organized on a precise time schedule. Instructions for each session were typed into a lesson plan to maintain uniformity of instruction between the three swimming classes. The study was filmed with a sixteen millimeter Bell and Howell camera. The film of the three "starts" was analyzed on a. stop-action Bell and Howell projector. Three measurements were taken for each "start": (I) reaction time; (2) time to the water; and (3) time to the distance of twenty feet. Results show the arms-front "start" and the arms-down "start" to be superior to the arms-back "start" in reaction time and time to the water which is significant at the one per cent level of confidence. In time to the distance, however, no significant difference among the three "starts" was found. A review of the research study films shows that differences in angle of entry into the water and the position on entry probably account for no significant difference among the three "starts" in time to the distance.
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