The purpose of this study was to investigate whether swimmers follow the instructed speed (v target ) accurately with the aid of a commercial visual light pacer during front crawl and backstroke swimming in a 25 m pool. Ten male swimmers performed 50 m front crawl and backstroke at different speeds (controlled by a visual light pacer) in a 25 m pool. The mean speed during the 50 m swimming (v S ) was quantified from the time measured by a stopwatch. The mean speed of the centre of mass during a stroke cycle in the middle of the pool (v COM ) was calculated from three-dimensional coordinates obtained from Direct Linear Transformation of two-dimensional digitised coordinates of 19 segment endpoints for each of six cameras. Swimmers achieved accurate v S in front crawl and backstroke (ICC = 0.972 and 0.978, respectively). However, v COM for the single mid-pool sample had lower correlations with v target (ICC = 0.781 and 0.681, respectively). In backstroke, v COM was slower by 4.1–5.1% than v target . However, this was not the case in front crawl (1.0–2.7%). With the use of a visual light pacer, swimmers can achieve accurate mean speed overall but are less able to achieve the target speed stroke by stroke.
Bibliographical noteThe manuscript was not uploaded within three months of Acceptance or Publication dates but the output was made Open Access by a co-author at Edinburgh University. The evidence of the compliance has been uploaded to the 'Other Files' field.
- aquatic locomotion
- front crawl