Performance analysis in equestrian sport
The use of performance analysis is commonplace throughout competitive sports, however, uptake is limited within equestrianism. Performance analysis in sport aims to describe, explain and predict performance via identification of associations between sport specific behaviours (actions) and outcomes (performance goals) consecutively examining the influence of extrinsic variables.
Performance analysis in show jumping can be influenced by the cumulative impact of physical ability and fitness, level of training, visual acuity and behavioural responses during training and competition environments. Key attributes to analyse in the show jumping horse include athleticism (e.g. quality of the horse’s gaits), jumping ability (e.g. higher centre of gravity), willingness to jump and good health. In the rider these include physical and physiological fitness (to measure with e.g. video-analysis or motion Qualysis, HR monitor, inertial motion sensors, electromyography); psychological skills (e.g. the equestrian mental skills inventory) and athleticism (e.g. riding simulator measurements). At last, in the horse-rider dyad these include the partnership and personality matching; equipment design and fit (e.g. to measure with rein tensiometry systems, saddle pressure mat measurements) and training methods.
Success in elite competition has followed the implementation of athlete selection schemes combined with the application of innovative performance analysis tools throughout training and competition, integrating nutritional, physiological and psychological assessment and management of athletes, and consistent engagement with leading researchers to embrace new technological advancements to inform equipment design and underpin training practices.
Oordeel van deskundige: Isabeau Deckers
This study presents opportunities for the equine industry, researchers and performance analysts to expand knowledge of what contributes to success for horse and rider partnerships in all equine disciplines. Awareness of the value of performance analysis to create sport-specific conditioning programmes for the equine athlete is growing together with knowledge and technology to integrate this. And this integration could mean a turning point in equestrian sports to optimise performances informed by research and practiced by a multidisciplinary team around the horse-rider dyad.
> Van: Williams, Comp Exerc Physiol. 9 (2013) 67-77. Alle rechten voorbehouden aan Jane Williams. Bekijk hier de online samenvatting van de publicatie. Vertaling door Isabeau Deckers.