Biomechanical Considerations of the Effect of Fatigue on Kicking in Australian Rules Football

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Coventry, Evan (2015) Biomechanical Considerations of the Effect of Fatigue on Kicking in Australian Rules Football. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The punt kick is a fundamental skill used in team sports, including Australian Football. Australian football is a physically demanding sport played for long durations on large grounds with regular bursts of high intensity running. While these game conditions might be expected to elicit large amounts of fatigue, there has been little work examining how kick technique might change under the effects of fatigue. Importantly, changes in fatigued kicking technique have been found in soccer so it might be expected that changes will exist in the punt kick as well. The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the effects of short and long-term fatigue on punt kicking kinematics and kinetics using elite and junior Australian Football players. Three-dimensional motion capture systems tracked maximal distance kicks from toe-off to ball contact before and during match-specific fatigue protocols. In the short-term fatigue study (Study 1), elite Australian Football players were able to maintain foot speed (performance) during fatigued kicks by increasing segmental ranges of motion and velocities, particularly at the thigh. Participants were able to make changes to their punt kicking technique in order to maintain performance after short high-intensity bursts of activity. In the longer-term fatigue studies (Study 2 and Study 3), junior Australian Football players initially displayed a decrease in foot speed, due to a decrease in knee extension moment. However, this decrease in performance appeared to be minimised through increasing velocity and angles higher up the chain at the thigh and hip. During initial stages of long-term lower intensity activity, performance decreased and participants made technique changes in an attempt to limit this decrease. Performance then improved later in the long-term protocol due to the kicking thigh widening its frontal plane angle and flexing more at the hip. Overall, fatigue caused changes to punt kicking technique.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords Australian football, soccer, intense exercise, kinematics, Australia
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