Training opens new doors for sliders

Published 2 May 2001

BRITISH SLIDERS have been given a performance boost in their ambition to dominate the sport of Bob Skeleton, after being trained by the UK Sports Institute in the use of video and coaching analysis software.

The Quintic software was bought by the sport earlier this year to help analyse the performance of athletes.

UK Sports Institute’s IT and Training Programme Co-ordinator Neil Melville linked up with Scott Drawer, Research Analyst, to deliver the training. The training covered the IT skills necessary to use the software and the interpretation of the footage, which could lead to changes in coaching practice for improvements in performance.

Scott Drawer explained: "The software has been used for a variety of sports in the past but one of the challenges we had was ensuring that the training was tailored to meet the needs of the sport Bob Skeleton.

"We looked at how the software could be used to help with the sprint at the start of the run, as well as the line and angle that the sliders use as they enter or come out of a bend. It will allow the athletes and coaches to take a more evidence based approach to training and coaching and lead to improvements in their performance."

FIFTEEN ATHLETES and four coaches on the World Class Performance Programme were given the training at Bath University (an English Institute of Sport site) at the end of April.

Simon Timson, Bob Skeleton Performance Manager, commented: "Championships are won by hundredths of a second in skeleton. The evidence Quintic provides will help us to find those extra hundredths on the start and in key corners. The athletes and coaches have found the training provided by the UK Sports Institute invaluable. Led by our coaches, each athlete can now take personal responsibility for their own performance analysis."

Meanwhile, Neil Melville added: "The aim was to provide easy, user-friendly training and advice so that the athletes and coaches are confident in using the equipment and understand what benefits it can provide to them. Achieving that will result in them gaining a better appreciation of what it takes to win."

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