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Abstract

Recent research suggests that swimmers perform deeper starts in deeper water (Blitvich, McElroy, Blanksby, Clothier, & Pearson, 2000; Cornett, White, Wright, Willmott, & Stager, 2011). To provide additional information relevant to the depth adjustments swimmers make as a function of water depth and the validity of values reported in prior literature, 11 collegiate swimmers were asked to execute racing starts in three water depths (1.53 m, 2.14 m, and 3.66 m). One-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed that the maximum depth of the center of the head was significantly deeper in 3.66 m as compared to the shallower water depths. No differences due to water depth were detected in head speed at maximum head depth or in the distance from the wall at which maximum head depth occurred. We concluded that swimmers can and do make head depth adjustments as a function of water depth. Earlier research performed in deep water may provide overestimates of maximum head depth following the execution of a racing start in water depth typical of competitive venues.

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