The Reliability, Validity and Applicability of Two Sport-Specific Power Tests in Synchronized Swimming

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Mia Peric, Natasa Zenic,Gordana Furjan Mandic, Damir Sekulic, Dorica Sajber

Sport-specific tests are rarely investigated in synchronized swimming (synchro). The aim of this research was to study the reliability and the validity of two sport-specific tests that are based on synchro elements, namely, the Barracuda thrust (“Barracuda”) and the Boost. The Barracuda is a move in which the swimmer begins in the back pike position (head down with the legs perpendicular to the surface of the water) and then moves the legs and hips rapidly upward, unrolling the body to obtain a maximal vertical position above the surface of the water. The Boost occurs when the swimmer rises rapidly out of the water, head first, to bring as much of the body as possible above the surface of the water. Both patterns are considered power moves and are therefore theoretically related to explosive strength. This study involved 22 female competitive synchro swimmers aged 16-18 years. The variables examined included performance on the Barracuda, Boost and countermovement jump and anthropometric measures (body height, body weight and body composition). Statistical analyses showed appropriate reliability for all tests, with no systematic bias between trials. A factor analysis calculated for the Barracuda, Boost and countermovement jump revealed one significant factor based on the Guttmann-Kaiser criterion with all three tests significantly projected. The structure of the significant factor did not change if the results for the Boost and Barracuda were normalized for body height. The Boost and Barracuda, but not the countermovement jump, were significantly correlated with the competitive achievements of the swimmers. In conclusion, the Boost and Barracuda are reliable and valid measures of the explosive strength of synchronized swimmers and are significantly related to competitive achievement.
Key words
test construction, field testing, factor analysis, synchro

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