Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Sports Science and Coach Education

Date of Award

12-2017

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Brad DeWeese

Committee Members

Dr. Kimitake Sato, Dr. Michael Ramsey, Dr. Michael Stone

Abstract

Bobsled is an Olympic sport that has progressed from rudimentary in the 1800’s to highly technological replete with biomechanical analyses and investment in engineering from the world’s top engineers. Little to no investigation has been carried out on all the tracks and the interrelationship between various measures of starts and sled-travel down-track. Further, little quality research has been produced in the athletic characteristics required for high-level competition in bobsled.

The present manuscript investigates the reliability of, and interrelationship between, start time, start velocity, split times, and finish times in World Cup 2- and 4-man bobsled competition. A strong relationship between the three variables is found, but further research is needed to elucidate the actual effects of the push start on the sled’s travel down-track because of several confounding variables.

The present manuscript also investigates the tests commonly performed by the USA Bobsled and Skeleton federation as a means of talent identification and athlete monitoring. Strength and power tests may have more validity for discriminating between higher-level push athletes, so long as a sufficient threshold of running speed is present. Speed tests only discriminate well between lower level push athletes. Recommendations are made for modifying the current testing battery in such a way as to better identify talent and better monitor traveling athletes and informing coaching decisions about athlete preparedness for fast bobsled push starts.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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