THE PROFILE OF AQUATIC MOTOR SKILLS FOR ABLE-BODIED AND SWIMMERS WITH AN IMPAIRMENT
Authors: Ludovic Seifert, Daniel Daly, Brendan Burkett and Didier Chollet
Abstract: Motor skills in an aquatic environment are typically defined with stroking parameters, in conjunction with the kinematic, kinetic and coordination profile of the swimmer. The collection and analysis of this data has followed the traditional processes of video and/or motion analysis of the entire body, followed by quantification of motor skill of specific body segments, such as the upper limbs. A similar process of analysis can be applied for able-bodied swimmers as well as swimmers with an impairment - with some variations. For example, if the swimmer does not have the use of their arms through disease or amputation the motor skill variable of arm stroke rate is not relevant. This chapter reviews motor skill development for both able-bodied and for swimmers with an impairment. By understanding the skill characteristics of both groups the unique process of aquatic motor skill development can be better understood. This profile is presented based on the established theories on aquatic motor skills, and is followed by practical examples based on data collected at elite competitions (Olympic and Paralympic Games) and motor skill profiles of unskilled swimmers.