Water Sports

Document Type



The track start kick plate position is often decided by the level of comfort of the swimmer. The purpose of this study was to use shin length as a measure to determine kick plate position and effects on performance. 20 elite swimmers performed 3 starts at 3 kick plate distances (< shin length, shin length, and > shin length). Differences in reaction time, block phase time (BT), flight phase time, flight distance, underwater phase time, time to the 15 m mark, knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion angles were examined between the positions. BT was significantly different, (F(2,38)=4.264, p=.026). BT was lower when the kick plate distance was one shin’s length versus < shin length (0.691+0.055 vs 0.715+0.056 sec) and > shin length (0.691+0.055 vs 0.698+0.056 sec), p<.05. Shin length is a quick and individualized measure that can be used by coaches to set the kick plate position without compromising performance.