Academic journal article The Sport Journal

Quality Control Procedure for Kinematic Analysis of Elite Seated Shot-Putters during World-Class Events

Academic journal article The Sport Journal

Quality Control Procedure for Kinematic Analysis of Elite Seated Shot-Putters during World-Class Events

Article excerpt


The performance of world elites in the shot put, measured as the distance the shot is thrown, results from the interaction between throwing technique and the design of the throwing chairs (O'Riordan & Frossard, 2006). That interaction shapes the parameters of the shot trajectory, which depends on the position, the velocity, and the angle of the shot at the instant of release ( Ariel, 1979; Dessureault, 1978; Chow, Chae, & Crawford, 2000; Linthome, 2001; Lichtenburg & Wills, 1978; McCoy, Gregor, Whiting, & Rich, 1984; Susanka & Stepanek, 1988; Tsirakos, Bartlett, & Kollias, 1995; Zatsiorsky, Lanka, & Shalmanov, 1981). Sport scientists, classifiers, coaches, and athletes use the parameters of the shot trajectory to better understand the link between disability and performance (Higgs, Babstock, Buck, Parsons, & Brewer, 1990; McCann, 1993; Vanlandewijck & Chappel, 1996; Williamson, 1997; Chow & Mindock, 1999; Chow et al., 2000; Laveborn, 2000; Tweedy, 2002). Video recording allows for estimation of parameters, using primarily an accuracy-based procedure or event-constrained procedure, as illustrated in Figure 1.


Accuracy-based procedure

Video recordings made during training or as part of laboratory motion analysis, whether for routine observation or for research, must accommodate typical experimental requirements for three-dimensional reconstruction, including suitable calibration volume, appropriate number of cameras, precise positioning of cameras, use of active or passive markers, and an unrestricted number of attempts. A flexible set-up of this sort enables an experimental approach employing trial and error, wherein quality control is achieved through repeat recording until the desired kinematic parameters (i.e., shot trajectories) are satisfactorily accurate. The accuracy and validity of parameters reported in research may be taken for granted, even though authors seldom report key indicators like number of frames tracked after release, or calculation of performance using parameters or using tape measure, or the difference between these two performances (Chow & Mindock, 1999; Chow et al., 2000).

Unfortunately, trajectory information obtained from non-competitive environments only partially represents the throwing technique an athlete uses while competing. Participants in a study by Chow et al. (2000) performed, on average, 15 [+ or -] 9% below their personal best, leading the researchers to conclude that, in order to develop a data base of ideal performance characteristics, numerous quantitative data needed to be obtained, particularly those collected during leading competitions.

Event-constrained procedure

Video recordings of elite shot-putters' throwing techniques were made on the field of play during the 2000 Paralympic Games, 2002 International Paralympic Committee World Championships, and select Australian national events (Frossard, O'Riordan, & Goodman, 2005; Frossard, O'Riordan, Goodman, & Smeathers, 2005; Frossard, Schramm, & Goodman, July 2003; O'Riordan, Goodman, & Frossard, 2004). Recording in these open environments entailed certain constraints (Frossard, O'Riordan, Goodman, & Smeathers, 2005; Frossard, Stolp, & Andrews, 2006), presented in Figure 1. Multi-purpose recording becomes necessary for capitalizing on an event's uniqueness and for securing the distinct kinematic data sets of interest to distinct parties. Classifiers, for instance, may be interested in assessing the full range of upper-body movement (Chow et al., 2000; Tweedy, 2002). Engineers, in turn, may seek to study the deformation of the pole. Coaches' main interest may be something as specific as hip-movement pathways during forward thrusting, or the exact position of the feet (O'Riordan, Goodman, & Frossard, 2004). Finally, the biomechanist's interest may well be the parameters of the shot trajectory (Chow et al. …

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