Three-dimensional kinematic correlates of ball velocity during maximal instep soccer kicking in males
Taylor, Paul John
Hobbs, Sarah Jane
Achieving a high ball velocity is important during soccer shooting, as it gives the goalkeeper less time to react, thus improving a player's chance of scoring. This study aimed to identify important technical aspects of kicking linked to the generation of ball velocity using regression analyses. Maximal instep kicks were obtained from 22 academy-level soccer players using a 10-camera motion capture system sampling at 500 Hz. Three-dimensional kinematics of the lower extremity segments were obtained. Regression analysis was used to identify the kinematic parameters associated with the development of ball velocity. A single biomechanical parameter; knee extension velocity of the kicking limb at ball contact Adjusted R(2) = 0.39, p ≤ 0.01 was obtained as a significant predictor of ball-velocity. This study suggests that sagittal plane knee extension velocity is the strongest contributor to ball velocity and potentially overall kicking performance. It is conceivable therefore that players may benefit from exposure to coaching and strength techniques geared towards the improvement of knee extension angular velocity as highlighted in this study.