Journal of Sport Science and Medicine
School of Health Science / Centre for Exercise and Sport Science Research
Kicking a ball accurately over a desired distance to an intended target is arguably the most important skill to acquire in Australian Football. Therefore, understanding the potential mechanisms which underpin kicking accuracy is warranted. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between leg mass, leg composition and foot velocity on kicking accuracy in Australian Football. Thirty-one Australian Footballers (n = 31; age: 22.1 ± 2.8 years; height: 1.81 ± 0.07 m; weight: 85.1 ± 13.0 kg; BMI: 25.9 ± 3.2) each performed ten drop punt kicks over twenty metres to a player target. Athletes were separated into accurate (n = 15) and inaccurate (n = 16) kicking groups. Leg mass characteristics were assessed using whole body DXA scans. Foot velocity was determined using a ten-camera optoelectronic, three-dimensional motion capture system. Interactions between leg mass and foot velocity evident within accurate kickers only (r = -0.670 to -0.701). Relative lean mass was positively correlated with kicking accuracy (r = 0.631), while no relationship between foot velocity and kicking accuracy was evident in isolation (r = -0.047 to -0.083). Given the evident importance of lean mass, and its interaction with foot velocity for accurate kickers; future research should explore speed-accuracy, impulsevariability, limb coordination and foot-ball interaction constructs in kicking using controlled with-in subject studies to examine the effects of resistance training and skill acquisition programs on the development of kicking accuracy. © Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
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