Dynamic adjustment of submaximal effort soccer side-foot kicks

Sports Biomech. 2023 Jun 26:1-15. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2023.2227156. Online ahead of print.


We aimed to illustrate kicking leg dynamics during submaximal effort soccer side-foot kicks. Side-foot kicks with three effort levels (50, 75 and 100% effort levels based on maximal effort) of eight male university soccer players were captured (500 Hz) while initial ball velocities were monitored simultaneously. Systematic regulation in joint kinetics (angular impulses) was clearly demonstrated for hip flexion and knee extension moments thereby supporting the interpretation that the final foot velocity is controlled in a context of a planar, sequential segmental system. Out of the thigh-shank plane motion (hip external rotation moment) was also found to be systematically adjusted. Kinematic contributions of knee extension angular velocity to the final foot velocity increased significantly in the maximal effort while that of hip external rotation reduced significantly, coinciding with a more straightforward approach-run. The adjustable range of the foot-ball interaction was found to be rather smaller in side-foot kicks. However, significantly smaller ball/foot velocity ratios in the two submaximal conditions suggested ankle joint fixation was manipulated towards ball impact. Players and coaches ought to recognise that the intensities of side-foot kicks were regulated by the motions within and without the thigh-shank plane alongside several kinematic changes.

Keywords: Side-foot kick; association football; inverse dynamics; submaximal effort.