Application of Video-Based Methods for Competitive Swimming Analysis: A Systematic Review

Robert Mooney, Gavin Corley, Alan Godfrey , Conor Osborough , Leo R. Quinlan* and Gearóid ÓLaighin

Application of Video-Based Methods for Competitive Swimming Analysis: A Systematic Review.

The use of video in competitive swimming is widespread, with close to three quarters of coaches based in the United States using video on a monthly basis. This is essential to ensure that swimmers develop a good technique, not just for performance gains but also to reduce the risk of injury. This is intuitive as the qualitative process is more straightforward to implement in applied settings compared with quantitative practices.

A large volume of recording raises two concerns for the coach. Firstly, a suitable storage solution must be available with sufficient capacity for dealing with multiple recordings over an
extended period of time. This may involve a physical hard drive or a cloud based solution. Advances in cloud based computing allow for vast storage and sharing solutions for coaches but this may also involve a lot of time for compressing, uploading and downloading of information when large squads of swimmers are involved. Secondly, a coach must have a system that allows for rapid retrieval of information at a later stage.

This may involve manually indexing and tagging data, to attribute information related to a specific swimmer, event or analysis type conducted. It is important that coaches and sports scientists working with the same group of swimmers follow a consistent approach for ease of retrieval at a later stage.  Based on the evidence presented in this review, the overall trend in video capture in swimming appears to be towards the use of multiple cameras and that both the underwater and above water images are important to the coach.

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2015; 1(5): 133-150.doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-1-121