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Sports 2016, 4(1), 16; doi:10.3390/sports4010016

How Confident Can We Be in Modelling Female Swimming Performance in Adolescence?

1
University of Exeter, Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, St Luke’s Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter EX1 2LU, UK
2
Victoria University, Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living, Melbourne 3011, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eling Douwe de Bruin
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to determine the expected progression of adolescent female swimming performances using a longitudinal approach. The performances of 514 female swimmers (12–19 year olds) who participated in one or more FINA-regulated annual international schools’ swimming championships over an eight-year period were analysed. Quadratic functions for each of the seven individual events (50, 100, 200 m freestyle, 100 m backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, 200 m individual medley) were determined using mixed linear models. The predicted threshold of peak performance ranged from 16.8 ± 0.2 (200 m individual medley) to 20.6 ± 0.1 (100 m butterfly) years of age, preceded by gradual rates of improvement (mean rate of 1.6% per year). However, following cross validation, only three events (100 m backstroke, 200 m individual medley and 200 m freestyle) produced reliable models. Identifying the factors that contribute to the progression of female performance in this transitory period of life remains challenging, not least since the onset of puberty is likely to have occurred prior to reaching 12 years of age, the minimum competition age for this championship. View Full-Text
Keywords: puberty; tracking; talent-development; sub-elite; competition puberty; tracking; talent-development; sub-elite; competition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dormehl, S.J.; Robertson, S.J.; Williams, C.A. How Confident Can We Be in Modelling Female Swimming Performance in Adolescence? Sports 2016, 4, 16.

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