The structure of performance of a sport rock climber

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Artur Magiera, Robert Roczniok, Adam Maszczyk, Milosz Czuba, Joanna Kantyka, Piotr Kurek

This study is a contribution to the discussion about the structure of performance of sport rock climbers. Because of the complex and multifaceted nature of this sport, multivariate statistics were applied in the study. The subjects included thirty experienced sport climbers. Forty three variables were scrutinised, namely somatic characteristics, specific physical fitness, coordination abilities, aerobic and anaerobic power, technical and tactical skills, mental characteristics, as well as 2 variables describing the climber’s performance in the OS (Max OS) and RP style (Max RP). The results show that for training effectiveness of advanced climbers to be thoroughly analysed and examined, tests assessing their physical, technical and mental characteristics are necessary. The three sets of variables used in this study explained the structure of performance similarly, but not identically (in 38, 33 and 25%, respectively). They were also complementary to around 30% of the variance. The overall performance capacity of a sport rock climber (Max OS and Max RP) was also evaluated in the study. The canonical weights of the dominant first canonical root were 0.554 and 0.512 for Max OS and Max RP, respectively. Despite the differences between the two styles of climbing, seven variables – the maximal relative strength of the fingers (canonical weight = 0.490), mental endurance (one of scales : The Formal Characteristics of Behaviour–Temperament Inventory (FCB–TI; Strelau and Zawadzki, 1995)) (-0.410), climbing technique (0.370), isometric endurance of the fingers (0.340), the number of errors in the complex reaction time test (-0.319), the ape index (-0.319) and oxygen uptake during arm work at the anaerobic threshold (0.254) were found to explain 77% of performance capacity common to the two styles.
Key words
sport climbing, canonical analysis, structure of performance

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