Auditory feedback in rowing

Most research on real-time feedback focus on the development of visual feedback. However, as rowing is a very rhythmic sport in which athletes have to synchronize with each other in order to perform, auditory feedback may improve performance as well. In previous research (e.g. Sigrist et al., 2013) it is  even suggested that well developed auditory feedback may be easier to process for athletes and less distracting from the task since it requires less cognitive effort.

Auditory feedback in rowing has been used before. For example, Schaffert and colleagues (2011) developed auditory feedback on the acceleration signal of the boat using ‘ sonification’. In a previous study we did something similar and found that auditory feedback may help improve performance but that rowers did not like the sound and even found it distracting.

Based on previous research and experience, students of the faculty music development at the University of the Arts Utrecht developed auditory feedback for on-water rowing. The feedback is based on specific rhythm patterns of the movement of the boat. Results of a first pilot study showed that rowers preferred to row with the feedback compared to no feedback. The rowers mentioned that it was easier to synchronize with each other and that the stroke kept a more constant rhythm.

A preview of the feedback can be found here.


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