soccer1 - Journal of Sports Science and Medicine(2007 6...

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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 6, 154-165 http://www.jssm.org Received: 21 December 2006 / Accepted: 14 February 2007 / Published (online): 01 June 2007 Biomechanical characteristics and determinants of instep soccer kick Eleftherios Kellis ± and Athanasios Katis Laboratory of Neuromuscular Control and Therapeutic Exercise, Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Abstract Good kicking technique is an important aspect of a soccer player. Therefore, understanding the biomechanics of soccer kicking is particularly important for guiding and monitoring the training process. The purpose of this review was to examine latest research findings on biomechanics of soccer kick per- formance and identify weaknesses of present research which deserve further attention in the future. Being a multiarticular movement, soccer kick is characterised by a proximal-to-distal motion of the lower limb segments of the kicking leg. Angular velocity is maximized first by the thigh, then by the shank and finally by the foot. This is accomplished by segmental and joint movements in multiple planes. During backswing, the thigh decelerates mainly due to a motion-dependent moment from the shank and, to a lesser extent, by activation of hip muscles. In turn, forward acceleration of the shank is accomplished through knee extensor moment as well as a motion-dependent moment from the thigh. The final speed, path and spin of the ball largely depend on the quality of foot-ball contact. Powerful kicks are achieved through a high foot velocity and coefficient of restitu- tion. Preliminary data indicate that accurate kicks are achieved through slower kicking motion and ball speed values. Key words: Soccer, biomechanics, kicking, football, sports, technique analysis. Introduction The game of soccer is one of the most popular team sports worldwide. Soccer kick is the main offensive action dur- ing the game and the team with more kicks on target has better chances to score and win a game. For this reason, improvement of soccer instep kick technique is one of the most important aims of training programs in young play- ers (Weineck, 1997). Success of an instep soccer kick depends on vari- ous factors including the distance of the kick from the goal, the type of kick used, the air resistance and the tech- nique of the main kick which is best described using bio- mechanical analysis. Previous reviews have examined biomechanics of soccer movements in-detail (Lees, 1996; Lees and Nolan, 1998). However, it becomes apparent that more research studies into biomechanics of soccer kick have been published within the last decade. There- fore, new aspects of soccer kick performance are being identified, including more details regarding the three- dimensional kinematics of the movement, joint-moments that drive the movement, mechanisms of soccer perform- ance as well as various factors which affect soccer kick biomechanics such as age, gender, limb dominance and fatigue. The aim of the present study was to examine
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