A Novel Tool for the Assessment of Sport Climbers’ Movement Performance

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To assess the validity and reliability of a novel movement-performance assessment tool for climbing/sport climbing. Methods: First, salient climbing movement-performance factors were identified through an iterative consultation process with 10 expert climbing coaches; the resulting Climber’s Movement Performance Assessment Tool (CM-PAT) contained 14 items in 5 categories. Second, 61 intermediate to advanced climbers ascended a single route, which was video recorded. Subsequently, 4 experienced (>10 y coaching) coaches used the CM-PAT to observe and score the climbers’ performance. Interrater reliability and comparisons with existing measures of climbing performance (6-mo self-reported ability, success and failure, climbing pace [m·min−1], and geometric entropy) were made. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficient (2,k) for the 4 raters demonstrated excellent reliability (>.81) between observers and good to excellent test–retest reliability (.71–.91). Pearson correlations between self-reported ability and CM-PAT scores explained 61% of the variance in self-reported climbing performance compared with 16% for geometric entropy and 52% for climbing pace. Considering differences in successful and unsuccessful climbers, the CM-PAT (P < .0005; d = 2.14), geometric entropy (P = .014; d = 0.67), and pace (P < .0005; d = 1.88) were able to differentiate between groups. Conclusions: The CM-PAT is the first sport climbing performance observational instrument to be developed through a thorough iterative process with expert coaches. Excellent interrater and test–retest reliability and excellent agreement with self-reported ability and with existing quantitative measures of performance support its recommendation for use in coaching and research contexts. Notably, a key advantage over existing measures is the identification of coachable elements of performance.

Taylor, Mitchell, and Chidley are with the School of Human Sciences, College of Life and Natural Sciences, and Giles, the Health and Social Care Research Centre, College of Health and Social Care, University of Derby, Derby, United Kingdom. Panáčková is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Draper is with the School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Giles (drdagiles@gmail.com) is corresponding author.

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