• S.A. Miller
  • S.L. Jackson


Coordination patterns are an important part of everyday movement. The pattern of intersegmental movement is specific to each task we perform. Hudson (1986) broke down tasks into two basic categories: simultaneous which is used when accuracy is important to the task, and sequential which is used when velocity is the key to the task. The sequential pattern of movement is best defined by the summation of speed principle put forth by Bunn (1972) when he stated that in activities where the highest speed at the moment of release was necessary, the speed was developed when the movement of each segment started at the moment of greatest velocity of the preceding segment. The purpose of this study was to conduct a comparative biomechanical analysis of the system of coordination used in the basketball free throw. Four individuals of different abilities ranging from elite (a professional basketball player) to novice (an eleven year old boy with little basketball experience) participated in this study. The subjects were video taped (60 fps) shooting a free throw on a regulation basketball court in the sagittal plane on the right side (all subjects were right handed). Each performance was digitized and analyzed using the PEAK Performance 2-dimensional movement analysis system interfaced with a Panasonic AG-7350 recorder, Sony PVM-1341 monitor, and Zenith 486 microcomputer. The angular velocity of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist of the shooting arm and the hip, knee, and ankle of the same side were examined. It was found that all subjects exhibited simultaneous movement of all three joints of the leg. The elite performer exhibited sequential movement of the segments of the shooting arm where the novice exhibited complete simultaneous movement. From the results of the study, the free throw was defined as an intermediate task requiring both velocity and accuracy. This research may be used as a coaching tool in improving the performance of the free throw for any basketball player by studying the detailed analysis of the pattern of coordination of a professional player then comparing the player to any subject on the continuum outlined in this study.
Coaching and Sports Activities