Washington, Feb 14 : Researchers in Britain have developed a new computer software that would enable swimmers to improve a key aspect of their technique more quickly and effectively than previously possible.
The software is being developed by sports scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Aquatics Research and Education (CARE) with additional input from Sheffield Hallam University.
What the software does is that it provides instant, in-depth feedback on a swimmer's glide technique.
Swimmers glide following starts and turns, when a swimmer is not moving their arms or legs but is just using their momentum to travel through the water.
As well as supplying data on head position, body posture/alignment, the software actively suggests ways a swimmer can improve their posture to minimize resistance and pinpoints the optimum moment to begin kicking.
The new system offers two key benefits beyond the capabilities of any other currently used in swimming training.
First, the feedback it generates is available immediately, so swimmers and coaches can use it at the poolside and implement its recommendations while a training session is still in progress. This will speed up the whole process involved in improving glide technique.
Second, it generates data of unprecedented quality in terms of detail and accuracy.
Ultimately, the result will be faster times in races. Gliding more efficiently, with less 'drag', can cut vital fractions of a second from a swimmer's time.
According to Professor Ross Sanders, who is leading the project, "Both the speed and accuracy of the feedback will add to the value of the advice that coaches give their swimmers."
"Another important benefit is that the alterations to technique suggested by the software are customized exactly to suit each individual swimmer," he added.
"The software could even help to identify the champions of tomorrow," said Professor Sanders. "It will show which young swimmers naturally move easily through the water, which may well equate to outstanding ability or a particular aptitude for the sport," he explained.