Kinematic Analysis of the Javelin Throw: A Gender Comparison
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Javelin throwing has been well researched over recent years, however only limited research has investigated gender comparison within the event and even less has been conducted on the sub-elite athletic population. Information on technique differences between male and female athletes would be beneficial in order to inform coaching practice so the most appropriate technique can be taught to athletes to aid their development. The purpose of this study was to identify any gender differences present within the throwing technique amongst sub-elite javelin throwers. Kinematic analysis of eight (4 male, 4 female), sub-elite, right handed athletes was performed using the Siliconcoach Pro software and video footage from training. Analyses focused on seven variables within the sagittal plane of motion; four body angles (right elbow and shoulder and left hip and knee) and three javelin angles (attitude, release and attack), at three moments of time within the delivery phase. Comparing mean values for all variables measured allowed a gender comparison to be completed across all athletes, as well as within two different age categories (≤ 16 years and > 16 years). It was identified that although differences were present between male and female athletes, none of the measures were significantly different (P < 0.05). It was established that when comparing athletes within the age groups, the younger athletes presented greater differences between genders (largest difference = 42˚) in comparison to the older athletes (largest difference = 15˚). In addition, a large amount of variance at each angle was evident within genders. Using the standard deviation values it was identified the knee presented the most variance at ± 32˚ for females in Phase 1 and ± 19˚ for males in Phase 3. The findings suggest that differences are present within technique; however, the results suggest the differences are not necessarily related to gender and therefore it may be as a result of individual differences. Consequently, this research can be used to inform coaching practice to develop awareness of adaptable technique, with the aim of encouraging coaches to help athletes to develop their own individualised optimal technique.
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