The sound of Rowing Stroke Cycles as Acoustic Feedback
Effenberg, Alfred O
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Acoustic feedback offers promising opportunities to enhance the perception of athletes in regards of the modification of movement patterns and control in technique training. Sound conveys time-critical structures that are perceived subliminally, which is of crucial importance for the precision when modifying movements to improve their execution. Technological advances allow the design of innovative feedback systems to communicate information audibly to athletes. This paper describes a concept for providing acoustic feedback online during on-water training sessions to elite rowers with the final aim to improve the mean boat velocity by a reduction of intracyclic interruptions in the boat acceleration. Following the initial analysis of technical and biomechanical requirements, the acoustic feedback system Sofirow was designed and field-tested with elite athletes. This rowing specific training system presents the boat acceleration-time trace audibly and online to athletes and coaches. The results showed a significant increase in the mean boat velocity when the acoustic feedback was used compared to sections without. It thus seems promising to implement acoustic feedback regularly into training processes for elite athletes. A behavioural dynamics approach was recommended to provide a theoretical basis for this concept.