Australian researchers are investigating the science behind soccer kicking techniques so coaches may one day be able to teach the perfect strike.
As millions worldwide dream of one day playing in the World Cup after watching the action in Brazil, the findings could influence the way children are taught ball skills.
Sydney University honours student Denny Noor, a keen soccer player since the age of five, is researching the technical attributes which define elite soccer kicking techniques.
“Soccer is a sport in which the primary skill is to be able to kick the ball with speed and accuracy,” he says.
“If we can break down the science and describe how it is done, then kicking the ball will becomes a learnable skill.”
Noor presented his preliminary research at the World Conference on Soccer and Science recently in the United States and was awarded second place in the Young Investigator’s Award.
He uses 3D motion analysis of elite players to examine how changes in the direction and movement of the body at different stages results in different types of kicks, in terms of the speed, accuracy and swerve of the ball.
Previous research has focused either on specific portions of the kicking sequence or the type of ball flight produced from a kick.
His study examines the entire kicking process from the approach, to the length of the last stride, and combining this with ball flight characteristics.
“Too often soccer kicking is taught at young ages by simple repetitive practice without correct instruction.” Noor says.
“I think this work could have huge potential in helping coaches develop young players rather than just scouting for natural talent.”
Noor is currently completing a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Honours) degree at the University of Sydney and plans to continue with a PhD to further his research.
The study is being carried out at the Biomechanics Lab at the University of Sydney’s Cumberland Campus in Lidcombe.
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