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Supplementary Assistance for Rowing Coaching. “Examining the effect of real-time visual feedback on the quality of rowing technique”. Simon Fothergill Ph.D. student, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

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Examining the effect of real time visual feedback on the quality of rowing technique l.jpg

Supplementary Assistance for Rowing Coaching

“Examining the effect of real-time visual feedback on the quality of rowing technique”

Simon Fothergill

Ph.D. student, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

8th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, Vienna, July 2010


Technology helps rowers maintain good technique l.jpg
Technology helps rowers maintain good technique

  • A system can give real-time, visual feedback of raw kinetic data for an indoor rower’s technique.

  • The system is deployed in a real training environment and used by coaches and rowers.

  • The system is a suitable training tool for helping to maintain consistently good technique.


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Feedback must be evaluated

  • Feedback is a fundamental pedagogical mechanism

    • Self-perception

    • Busy coaches

    • Complexity and “data-bloat”

  • Evaluation is scarce





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Does performance depend on training task, physiological condition or feedback?

Evaluation Methodology

  • Coach athlete until made progress

  • Record target performance

  • Row with different feedback:

    • none

    • real-time kinetics

    • target performance

  • under various conditions:

    • After 30 minutes, comfortable rate

    • After 5 weeks, comfortable rate

    • After 5 weeks, race pace

    • After 5 weeks, fatigued, comfortable rate

  • Participants

    • 5 amateur rowers

    • 2 professional GB rowing coaches


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    How technically good is a performance? condition or feedback?

    Performance metrics

    • Energy supplied to ergometer

    • Approximate consistency

    • Approximate similarity to target

    • Approximate efficiency


    Results l.jpg
    Results condition or feedback?

    Example: The force performance metrics increases with feedback and decreases without during a session from Expt. 1 for rower 3.

    The mean and standard deviation for the metrics over all the strokes of a session are given.

    Values are rounded to 3 significant figures. Some data was lost due to a sensor system fault.


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    Feedback is useful whilst fatigued condition or feedback?

    • Little / detrimental effect on performance immediately after rowing (1 case where feedback helps).

    • Quite strong correlation after prolonged solo training and during race-pace piece.

    • Significant correlation during fatigued rowing.


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    Logistics limits evaluation condition or feedback?

    • Better algorithms to measure the similarity between performances have been discovered based on Discrete Time Warping.

    • Evaluation dataset is currently small.

    • Order of experiments is not varied.

    • Sessions are only 1 minute long.

    • Separate investigation of the forms of feedback used within the system.

    • Evaluation of further forms of feedback such as haptic displays.

    • Correlation of performance metrics.


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    Technology helps rowers maintain good technique condition or feedback?

    The system is of some use in helping rowers to maintain a consistently good technique as described by a coach, especially when the athletes suffer from extended absence of their own coach or become fatigued.


    Acknowledgements l.jpg
    Acknowledgements condition or feedback?

    Professor Andy Hopper

    Computer Laboratory, Cambridge

    SeSAME (EPSRC project)

    Jesus College Cambridge Boat Club

    Cambridge Cantabs. Boat Club

    GB Rowing


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    Thank you for your attention. condition or feedback?

    Comments and questions, please!


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