Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 134 - 143

Research article
Starting Block Performance in Sprinters: A Statistical Method for Identifying Discriminative Parameters of the Performance and an Analysis of the Effect of Providing Feedback over a 6-Week Period
Sylvie Fortier1, Fabien A. Basset1, , Ginette A. Mbourou2, Jérôme Favérial3, Normand Teasdale3
Author Information
1 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s NL, Canada
2 Unité de Recherche en Gériatrie de l’Université Laval, Hôpital Saint-Sacrement, 1050, chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada
3 Groupe de Recherche en Analyse du Mouvement et Ergonomie, Division de Kinésiologie, Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Fabien A. Basset
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s NL, Canada A1C 5S7
Publish Date
Received: 08-11-2004
Accepted: 21-03-2005
Published (online): 01-06-2005
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The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine if kinetic and kinematic parameters of the sprint start could differentiate elite from sub-elite sprinters and, (b) to investigate whether providing feedback (FB) about selected parameters could improve starting block performance of intermediate sprinters over a 6-week training period. Twelve male sprinters, assigned to an elite or a sub-elite group, participated in Experiment 1. Eight intermediate sprinters participated in Experiment 2. All athletes were required to perform three sprint starts at maximum intensity followed by a 10-m run. To detect differences between elite and sub-elite groups, comparisons were made using t-tests for independent samples. Parameters reaching a significant group difference were retained for the linear discriminant analysis (LDA). The LDA yielded four discriminative kinetic parameters. Feedback about these selected parameters was given to sprinters in Experiment 2. For this experiment, data acquisition was divided into three periods. The first six sessions were without specific FB, whereas the following six sessions were enriched by kinetic FB. Finally, athletes underwent a retention session (without FB) 4 weeks after the twelfth session. Even though differences were found in the time to front peak force, the time to rear peak force, and the front peak force in the retention session, the results of the present study showed that providing FB about selected kinetic parameters differentiating elite from sub-elite sprinters did not improve the starting block performance of intermediate sprinters.

Key words: Feedback, kinetic, kinematic, performance, sprint

           Key Points
  • The linear discriminative analysis allows the identification of starting block parameters differentiating elite from sub-elite athletes.
  • 6-week of feedback does not alter starting block performance in training context.
  • The present results failed to confirm previous studies since feedback did not improve targeted kinetic parameters of the complex motor task in real-world context.
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