Using rowers’ perceptions of on-water stroke success to evaluate sculling catch efficiency of biomechanical variables via a boat instrumentation system
Aim: An effective catch in sculling is a critical determinant of boat velocity. This study used rowers’ performance-based judgments to compare three measures of catch slip efficiency. Two questions were addressed: (1) would rower-judged Yes strokes be faster than No strokes? and (2) which method of quantifying catch slip best reflected these judgements? Methods: Eight single scullers performed two 10-min blocks of sub maximal on-water rowing at 20 strokes per minute. Every 30 s, rowers reported either Yes or No about the quality of their stroke at the catch. Results: It was found that Yes strokes identified by rowers had, on average, a moderate effect advantage over No strokes with a standardised effect size of 0.43. In addition, a quicker time to positive acceleration best reflected the change in performance; where the standardised mean difference score of 0.57 for time to positive acceleration was larger than the scores of 0.47 for time to PowerLine force, and 0.35 for time to 30% peak pin force catch slip measures. For all eight rowers, Yes strokes corresponded to time to positive acceleration occurring earlier than No strokes. Conclusion: Rower judgements about successful strokes was linked to achieving a quicker time to positive acceleration, and may be of the most value in achieving a higher average boat velocity.