Date of Award

5-2003

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Kinesiology and Physical Education

Advisor

Robert Lehnhard

Second Committee Member

Phil Pratt

Third Committee Member

Stephen Butterfield

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if a battery of physical tests can be used to distinguish between the ability levels of junior alpine ski racers. Many sports, such as football, have established laboratory and field tests to assess their athlete's preparation for competition. It would be of benefit to coaches in the sport of alpine skiing to be able to use a field test to assess the physiological readiness of the alpine ski racers they work with. At the junior level, alpine skiing in the United states consists of four events today . These events are the downhill, super giant slalom, giant slalom, and slalom events. Each event is different in the amount of distance between the gates, use of terrain features, speed, and demands on the athlete. Junior ski racers compete in more than one event, and many compete in all four. Ski racing in the United States has also become dominated by athletes within several full time training programs at college preparatory ski academies. These programs strive to develop the athlete in every capacity that contributes to their successful performance. To this end, year round physical conditioning is important, and many of these academy programs have developed physical testing protocols to assess their athletes readiness for competition. This study examined a battery of field tests, and the field test's correlation with alpine ski race performance. 42 members of a private college preparatory ski academy alpine program performed a battery of tests as part of their usual athletic training. These tests were developed with the intent of examining different physiological demands of alpine ski race performance. The results of these tests were compared with the athlete's USSA points profiles in both the slalom and giant slalom events. A bivariate correlation was computed utilizing the Pearson r to see if any correlations existed between the field tests of the battery and competitive performance. The conclusion of this research is that many of the field tests within this battery would be ineffective to utilize as predictors of alpine ski competition success in junior ski racing athletes. In this study, many of the field tests demonstrated weak correlations with competition results for either the slalom or giant slalom events for both genders. The field tests with stronger correlations found by this research could be condensed into a smaller battery of tests that is both more time efficient, and effective.

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Kinesiology Commons

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