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Abstract

Relays are a part of swimming competitions at all levels and are worth up to twice the points compared with individual events. Relay exchange technique may affect the final time and place of a relay team (Siders, 2010, 2012). The purpose of this pilot study was to compare four methods of feedback provided regarding relay exchanges (time only [TO], time and video [TV], video only [VO], or coach only [CO]) to determine which method had a greater effect on improving relay exchange times. Fifteen males (M age = 15.357 years, SD = 2.7; M height = 170.76 cm, SD = 12.30; M weight = 63.40 kg, SD = 7.60), all members of a high school varsity swim team, served as participants in this study. Each swimmer had a minimum of 1 year of competitive swimming experience (M competitive = 3.938 years, SD = 2.12). We randomly assigned each swimmer to one of the four feedback conditions. Participants performed 12 relay exchanges 1 day a week for 9 weeks. Group exchange order was randomized. Exchanges were videotaped and images temporarily stored on a TiVo DVR playback device. The replay delay time of the TiVo system was set so groups getting video feedback could review their exchange immediately upon exiting the water. The Colorado Timing Relay Judging Pad System (Loveland, CO) was used to determine exchange time for all groups. A factorial ANOVA determined differences between groups and between week 1 and week 9 performances for each of the conditions. Relay exchange data falling within 0.05-0.20 s were used for analysis. No significant differences (p < .05) were found when feedback methods were compared, but the results may have been influenced by small sample size and insufficient statistical power.

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