Effective Ways to Kick a Soccer Ball

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Imagining myself as a high school soccer coach, I would like to optimize my team’s kicking performance. Some players consistently kick the ball successfully with the correct use of power and accuracy. To ensure that all players are able to achieve the same optimal kicking habits, this paper will document (1) the effective and ineffective habits of kicking, (2) describe biomechanical based kicking assessments, (3) describe how these assessments will measure the effective aspects of kicking and expected findings, and (4) provide suggestions on how I may modify programming based on the insights gained from these assessments.

Having a proper soccer kick is a key component to being a successful soccer player. Understanding the biomechanics behind the movement is important in order to guide the player to improving this skill. Kicking is a whole-body movement, more specifically multi-articular (involving many joints), that can be affected by multiple factors such as the individual (age, gender, fatigue, leg dominance), the environment, balance, and coordination.

The movement pattern of a soccer kick is a proximal to distal motion of the lower leg. Hip activation occurs to begin movement of the thigh through multiple planes. There is a backswing and a forward acceleration by the thigh, shank, and knee extensor. Where the ball ends up (accuracy), and how fast it moves (speed), depends mostly on foot to ball contact (Kellis & Katis, 2007).

Effective habits of kicking could include good balance on the non-kicking foot, proper coordination, high levels of muscle strength, proper placement of the supporting foot, proper angle of the foot to the ball to improve velocity, the proper amount of rotation of the foot, proper ...

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...res and poor foot to ball contact, these issues could be focused on rather than repeating practice trials on their strengths. Adding leg strength workouts and foot to ball placement drills would focus on these lacking kicking skills. It would be important to re-test the team at regular intervals to track their progress. This would provide the team members with feedback and allow their training schedules to be adjusted accordingly to meet their individual needs.

References

Anderson, D. I., & Sidaway, B. (2013) Kicking biomechanics: Importance of balance. Lower Extremity Review Magazine.

Kellis, E., & Katis, A. (2007). Biomechanical characteristics and determinants of instep soccer kick. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 6(2), 154-165.

Lees, A., & Nolan, L. (1998). The biomechanics of soccer: A review. Journal of Sports Sciences, 16(3), 211-234.
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