Modelling and Predicting Backstroke Start Performance Using Non-Linear And Linear Models

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Karla de Jesus, Helon V. H. Ayala, Kelly de Jesus, Leandro dos S. Coelho, Alexandre I.A. Medeiros, Jose A. Abraldes, Mario A.P. Vaz, Ricardo J. Fernandes, Joao Paulo Vilas-Boas

Our aim was to compare non-linear and linear mathematical model responses for backstroke start performance prediction. Ten swimmers randomly completed eight 15 m backstroke starts with feet over the wedge, four with hands on the highest horizontal and four on the vertical handgrip. Swimmers were videotaped using a dual media camera setup, with the starts being performed over an instrumented block with four force plates. Artificial neural networks were applied to predict 5 m start time using kinematic and kinetic variables and to determine the accuracy of the mean absolute percentage error. Artificial neural networks predicted start time more robustly than the linear model with respect to changing training to the validation dataset for the vertical handgrip (3.95 ± 1.67 vs. 5.92 ± 3.27%). Artificial neural networks obtained a smaller mean absolute percentage error than the linear model in the horizontal (0.43 ± 0.19 vs. 0.98 ± 0.19%) and vertical handgrip (0.45 ± 0.19 vs. 1.38 ± 0.30%) using all input data. The best artificial neural network validation revealed a smaller mean absolute error than the linear model for the horizontal (0.007 vs. 0.04 s) and vertical handgrip (0.01 vs. 0.03 s). Artificial neural networks should be used for backstroke 5 m start time prediction due to the quite small differences among the elite level performances.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0133
Key words
artificial neural networks, linear mathematical model, kinematics, kinetics, competitive swimming, start time

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