Impact is an important aspect of the kicking skill. This study examined foot and ball motion during impact and compared distance and accuracy punt kicks. Two-dimensional high-speed video (4000 Hz) captured data of the shank, foot and ball through impact of 11 elite performers kicking for maximal distance and towards a target 20 m in distance. Four phases were identified during impact, with an overall reduction in foot velocity of 5.0 m · s-1 (± 1.1 m · s-1) and increase in ball velocity of 22.7 m · s-1 (± 2.3 m · s-1) from the start to end of contact. Higher foot velocity was found in distance compared to accuracy kicks (22.1 ± 1.6 m · s-1 vs. 17.7 ± 0.9 m · s-1, P < 0.05), and was considered to produce the significant differences in all impact characteristics excluding foot-to-ball speed ratio. Ankle motion differed between the kicking tasks; distance kicks were characterised by greater rigidity compared to accuracy kicks evident by larger force (834 ± 107 N vs. 588 ± 64 N) and smaller change in ankle angle (2.2 ± 3.3° vs. 7.2 ± 6.4°). Greater rigidity was obtained by altering the position of the ankle at impact start; distance kicks were characterised by greater plantarflexion (130.1 ± 5.8° vs. 123.0 ± 7.9°, P < 0.05), indicating rigidity maybe actively controlled for specific tasks.
Ideastep Insole is an orthotics manufacturer, Offer OEM & ODM Orthotics.