Comparisons of foot to ball interaction in Australian Football in elite males

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Peacock, James (2013) Comparisons of foot to ball interaction in Australian Football in elite males. Honours thesis, Victoria University.


Drop punt kicking is considered the most important skill in Australian Football (AF) and impact is the most crucial element in performance. Previous research on impact in AF kicking has used pre and post ball contact data to calculate average foot-ball characteristics but there has been no evaluation of the phase during impact. Important information has been found in soccer performing this analysis and importantly some parameters such as force have been found to be two times average force. The aims of the study were to evaluate foot and ball velocity during impact and compare impact differences between distance and accuracy kicks. Eleven elite AF players were fitted with reflective markers on the kick leg and foot and kicked drop punt kicks with their preferred foot attempting to hit a 20m target (accuracy) and performing maximal distance kicks. Two-dimensional 4000Hz video recorded impact and from this footage, shank, foot and ball markers were tracked using ProAnalyst software. Distance kicks displayed significantly larger foot and ball velocity, contact distance, average and peak force, work and impulse while accuracy kicks exhibited larger contact time and greater plantarflexion at the ankle throughout impact. Foot to ball ratio did not differ between accuracy and distance kicks. The profile of impact was successfully described where many similarities with soccer kicking existed. It was suggested that throughout the deformation phase of impact foot is applying force to the ball while during the reformation phase ball was applying force to the foot. Peak deformation did not occur at the crossover point of foot and ball velocity as seen in soccer kicking. Active changes in ankle angle were exhibited as accuracy kicks displayed a greater range of movement. The results of distance kicking suggested that decreasing ankle rigidity led to increases in performance which is in contrast to previous literature.

Additional Information

Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Human Movement

Item type Thesis (Honours thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords Australian Football, drop punt kick, kicking, foot velocity, ball velocity, foot impact
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