An Example of the Informative Potential of Polar Coordinate Analysis: Sprint Tactics in Elite 1,500-m Track Events
Lapresa Ajamil, Daniel
Arana, Javier (UNIR)
Anguera, María Teresa
Tipo de Ítem:Articulo Revista Indexada
Polar coordinate analysis is a powerful data reduction technique based on the Zsum statistic, which is calculated from adjusted residuals obtained by lag sequential analysis. Its use has been greatly simplified since the addition of a module in the free software program HOISAN for performing the necessary computations and producing easy-to-interpret results in the form of polar coordinate maps. In this study, we provide a simple and practical example of how this technique can be used to analyze tactical behaviors in sport and physical exercise. We studied 158 performances by 82 male runners in thirteen 1,500-m finals held at the Olympic Games, the World Championships in Athletics, and the European Athletics Championships between 2000 and 2012 to investigate associations between the initiation of sprints by race winners and other runners (focal behaviors) and the lap and zone of the track in which the sprints were initiated (conditional behaviors). The significant prospective/retrospective activating/inhibitory relationships shown in the polar coordinate maps confirm the decision to start a sprint is a tactical one and are consistent with a winning strategy consisting of avoiding giving rivals the benefit of the slipstream while conserving sufficient energy for a final winning burst. Polar coordinate analysis is a powerful technique for studying tactical behaviors in the field of sport.
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