Kinetic energy factors in evaluation of athletes

  • Jones J
  • Priest J
  • Marble D
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It is established that speed and agility are critical attributes of sports performance. Performance timing of runs during agility course testing can be used to estimate acceleration, speed, or quickness. The authors of this research effort also report the energy of motion, or kinetic energy of the athlete, which considers not only the speed but also the mass of the athlete. An electronic timer was used to determine total run times as well as split performance times during a new 60-yd "run-shuttle" test. This newly designed agility test takes advantage of the technological capabilities of a laser timing device. Separate times for each of four run segments were recorded and converted to average speeds (m x s(-1)) as well as a quantitative factor of merit defined as the "K-factor." The purpose of this study was to describe the effects of training and to compare athletes and teams using measures of time, speed, and kinetic energy. Results of the analysis of total time on the 60-yd run-shuttle provided evidence of the effectiveness of the training programs. Split times of segments within the 60-yd run-shuttle provided information not available from conventional agility tests. Average speeds and K-factors identified discriminating characteristics of otherwise similar athletes. Our findings support the conclusion that training programs and athletic performance may be evaluated using the 60-yd run-shuttle with laser timer system. Coaches and trainers may find practical application of this technology for American football, soccer, basketball, baseball/softball, track and field, and field hockey.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Agility
  • K-factor
  • Performance
  • Speed

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  • Jason N. Jones

  • Joe W. Priest

  • Daniel K. Marble

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