This study characterises key elements of the start in elite female World Cup skeleton athletes. The top 20 female competitors in three World Cup races were video taped within a calibrated space to allow the following components of the start to be quantified: 1) acceleration (velocity at 15-m, time to 15-m), 2) capacity (time to load, total number of steps to load) and 3) load (velocity at 45-m). A correlation analysis was used to establish the relationship between variables of interest and overall start time (15-65 m). Velocity at 15-m accounted for 86% of the variance in overall start time at St. Moritz and 85% at Sigulda. A stepwise regression analysis revealed that ~89% of the variation in start time could be explained by velocity at 15-m, time to load and the velocity at 45-m. These data indicate that rapid acceleration to attain a high velocity at 15-m is the most important component of a fast overall start time of the variables analyzed in this study. The importance of the time to load and velocity at 45-m vary according to the different track characteristics.
Bullock, N., Martin, D. T., Ross, A., Rosemond, D., Holland, T., & Marino, F. (2008). Characteristics of the Start in Women's World Cup Skeleton. Sport Biomechanics, 7(3), 351-360. https://doi.org/10.1080/14763140802255796