The effects of approach angle on penalty kicking accuracy and kick kinematics with recreational soccer players
Scurr, J.; Hall, B.
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 8(2): 230-234
ISSN/ISBN: 1303-2968 PMID: 24149531 Accession: 056318360
Kicking accuracy is an important component of successful penalty kicks, which may be influenced by the approach angle. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of approach angle on kicking accuracy and three-dimensional kinematics of penalty kicks. Seven male amateur recreational soccer players aged (mean ± s) 26 ± 3 years, body mass 74.0 ± 6.8 kg, stature 1.74 ± 0.06 m, who were right foot dominant, kicked penalties at a 0.6 x 0.6 m target in a full size goal from their self-selected approach angle, 30°, 45° and 60° (direction of the kick was 0°). Kicking accuracy and three-dimensional kinematics were recorded. Results revealed that there was no significant difference in kicking accuracy (p = 0.27) or ball velocity (p = 0.59) between the approach angles. Pelvic rotation was significantly greater under the 45° and the 60° approach angles than during the self-selected approach angle (p < 0.05). Thigh abduction of the kicking leg at impact using the 60° approach angle was significantly greater than during the self- selected approach (p = 0.01) and the 30° approach (p = 0.04). It was concluded that altering an individual's self-selected approach angle at recreational level did not improve kicking accuracy or ball velocity, despite altering aspects of underlying technique. Key pointsPenalty kicking accuracy and ball velocity were not improved by altering recreational soccer players' natural approach angle.However, widening the approach angle produced greater pelvic rotation and thigh abduction.Wider approach angles increased the range of motion of the pelvis, opening up the hips before ball contact, creating a greater arc of movement during the backswing and the follow-through.Wider approach angles also led to an increase in thigh abduction at impact, enabling the kicking foot to be placed further under the ball, which may improve ball contact.