Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Influence of One-Year Sport Activities on the Changes in Morphological Parameters and Somatotypes in the Current Junior Members of the Czech National Whitewater Slalom Team

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Influence of One-Year Sport Activities on the Changes in Morphological Parameters and Somatotypes in the Current Junior Members of the Czech National Whitewater Slalom Team

Article excerpt

Introduction

To achieve the highest performance level in sport requires a significant development of motor abilities and skills with an overall high level of development of physical fitness. This is associated with optimum development of somatic parameters, which represent a significant part of the structure of top level sports performance (Pavlík, 1999; Peric & Dovalil, 2010). Numerous studies by sports anthropologists result in definitions of specific somatic parameters and in determination of a specific morphological type relating to a particular sport sector (Blanchard, 1995; Bolin & Granskog, 2003; Malina, Bouchard, & Bar-Or, 2004). Accordingly, domestic experts emphasise morphological differences that are related to sports specializations (Bílý, Süss, & Buchtel, 2011; Grasgruber & Cacek, 2008; Pavlík, 1999; Sigmund, Dostálová, & Brychta, 2013). Our survey focuses on top level athletes specialized in whitewater slalom. Whitewater slalom is one of our successful sports disciplines. Since 1959, World Championships have been regularly held; since 1972 it has been an Olympic discipline.

The first Olympic year was especially significant for the development of Czech whitewater slalom, although the Czech national team did not succeed at the first Olympic Games. An analysis of the failure suggested a need for systematic and scientific work with a transfer of knowledge into the area of whitewater slalom training. Since that period, training of young talented athletes has been based on modern scientific and research-based findings and their practical application in the area of whitewater slalom. From a physiological perspective, whitewater slalom represents a continuous type of load of moderate to vigorous intensity with an average duration of 90 to 120 seconds (Bernaciková et al., 2010; Kratochvíl & Bílý, 1997).

This is a technical discipline with a predominance of strength and endurance. The actual development of the skills and abilities of whitewater slalom racers focuses primarily on the development of technical aspects (50-70%) and strength (5-20%). A smaller proportion is represented by endurance and maximum speed training. The overall distance of a whitewater slalom race is 300 to 600 meters. The metabolic coverage is mixed using the ATP-CP system, anaerobic glycolysis and aerobic phosphorylation. Energy expenditure is 1.500 to 1.900% of basal metabolism (70-85 kJ/min); the total energy demand depends on the length of the race and its difficulty, water flows and weather conditions (Bernaciková et al.,2010; Kratochvíl & Bílý, 1997; Nolte, 2005).

From a kinesiological perspective, the locomotion is of an artificial nature with acyclic movements of various body segments. The overall load of an annual training cycle in top junior whitewater slalom racers represents over 400 training units, which is more than 600 hours of load on water. The competition period is between May and September with an average of twenty races (Sigmund et al., 2014). Regarding basic morphological parameters (body height, body weight, BMI, body fat percentage) in contemporary top level whitewater slalom there are no optimum values.

Successful athletes are tall individuals as well as those with lower values of body height. This also applies to body weight. What appears to be influential in relation to biomechanical aspects of this specific type of movement on whitewater is the length of the upper segment and arm span. Whitewater slalom racers usually have longer upper extremities and shorter lower extremities. They usually have wider shoulders and narrow pelvis. Kayakers tend to be higher than canoeists, but with lower body weight.

The aim of this paper is to identify the changes in selected morphological parameters and somatotypes in junior members of the Czech national team in whitewater slalom with regard to the annual sport cycle.

Material & methods

Subjects

The survey included a total of 14 Czech junior members of the national team in whitewater slalom aged 16-17 years. …

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