APPLICATION OF BIOMECHANICAL KICKING RESEARCH

  • Kevin Ball
Keywords: punt kick, Force plate, training implications

Abstract

The punt kick is an important skill in many sports including Australian football. This paper outlines two examples of research-driven changes to the kicking training programme in elite sport. Support leg kinematics and ground reaction forces were found to be associated with greater foot speed at ball contact and could separate more and less skilled kickers. Conditioning and technical drills were modified to attempt to enhance this component of the kick. Changes in kicking technique due to fatigue were evaluated using a short and long term fatigue protocol. For the short term protocol, players were able to maintain foot speed at ball contact but they did it using a different movement strategy. Hip moments and power were significantly larger post-fatigue. As a result, the positioning of kicking work in training was altered. Future work needs to evaluate the effect of these changes in training.