Group mean Group SD Individual SD Angle at impact (deg)
The first purpose of this study was to define selected 3D characteristics of the maximal instep kick. The kicks recorded were typical examples of a maximal instep kick as evidenced by the ball speed and appeared similar to that reported by Levanon and Dapena, (1998) and Lees and Nolan (2002). The joint speed increased proximally to distally from the hip to toes as expected, as did the timing of peak joint speed before impact which occurred earlier in the hip (0.16 s) and knee (0.079 s) and later in the toes (0.024 s) and ankle (0.021 s). The occurrence of peak ankle and toe speed before contact is generally considered to be the result of the smoothing routines used; the slightly earlier peak velocity of the toes compared to the ankle was thought to be due to plantar flexion of the ankle and/or external rotation of the foot just prior to impact. The knee and hip speed were higher in this study than for the professional players reported by Lees and Nolan (2002), suggesting that there may be some difference in technique between these two groups of players. The players in this study used a slightly higher approach speed with lower knee extension but achieved similar foot velocities to the professional players reported by Lees and Nolan (2002). The strategy used by the professionals would be beneficial in a real penalty situation as it would give less time for the goalkeeper to ‘read’ the kick.