A recent study indicates that watching Olympic videos prior to training can have a positive impact on swimmer performance.
The study, published in 2022 in Research Quarterly for Excercise and Sport, was designed to investigate the affect using social media can have on swimmer performance, but resulted in a different set of findings.
- Title: “Does Social Media Use on Smartphones Influence Endurance, Power, and Swimming Performance in High-Level Swimmers?”
- Females only
- 22 swimmers with an average of 5.6 years of experience
- Eight weeks
- Training 8-12 sessions per week (15.9 ± 1.6 hours)
The “control group” in the study watched 30 minutes of “videos about the Olympic Games” prior to each training session, while the “smartphone” group used social media apps for 30 minutes before training.
The study measured swimming performance in the 50, 100 and 400 freestyle, along with inhibitory control (stroop test), endurance (“tethered swimming”) and countermovement jump (vertical jump).
Both groups improved their countermovement jump, while the group that watched the Olympic videos also saw improvements in the 100 free, 400 free, endurance performance and the inhibitory control response after the eight weeks.
“Control Group” Improvements
- 100 freestyle – p=.02
- 400 freestyle – p=.01
- Endurance – p=.01
- Inhibitory Control Response – p=.01
p=.01 indicates that there is a 1% chance the affects of the stimulus would have occurred by random chance.
Neither group saw any discernible improvement in the 50 free, while the smartphone group didn’t see any noticeable change across any of the metrics other than the countermovement jump.
The study concludes in its Abstract that “the repeated effect of social media on smartphones immediately before swimming training sessions might reduce or nullify training gains on swimming and endurance performance.”
However, the real takeaway seems to be the fact that watching videos about the Olympics (or any sport-specific type of video) prior to workouts can have a positive affect on training and ultimately performance.