Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. James Dickey

2nd Supervisor

Prof. Dave Humphreys

Joint Supervisor


The performance implications of changing rear foot joint angles in the kick start were evaluated using a replicated version of the Omega OSB11 starting block. Maximal effort dives were collected for twenty-six competitive swimmers. The block was equipped with two tri-axial force plates to differentiate between forces applied to the rear foot rest and forces applied to the block. Two high-speed video cameras recorded hind-foot eversion and dorsiflexion angles. Competitive swimmers with larger hind-foot eversion movement have larger lateral kick plate forces, longer kick plate times, and larger contributions of the kick plate to total impulse. These swimmers also have larger dorsiflexion movements. Improved start performance (defined by faster predicted time to two meters and higher normalized power) is associated with applying high normalized peak posterior kick plate force as quickly as possible while using the front leg as the dominant contributor to total impulse.