Soccer kicking kinematics has received wide interest in literature. However, while the instep-kick has been broadly studied, only few researchers investigated the inside-of-the-foot kick, which is one of the most frequently performed techniques during games. In particular, little knowledge is available about differences in kinematics when kicking with the preferred and non-preferred leg. A motion analysis system recorded the three-dimensional coordinates of reflective markers placed upon the body of nine amateur soccer players (23.0 ± 2.1 years, BMI 22.2 ± 2.6 kg/m2), who performed 30 pass-kicks each, 15 with the preferred and 15 with the non-preferred leg. We investigated skill kinematics while maintaining a perspective on the complete picture of movement, looking for laterality related differences. The main focus was laid on: anatomical angles, contribution of upper limbs in kick biomechanics, kinematics of the body Center of Mass (CoM), which describes the whole body movement and is related to balance and stability. When kicking with the preferred leg, CoM displacement during the ground-support phase was 13% higher (p<0.001), normalized CoM height was 1.3% lower (p<0.001) and CoM velocity 10% higher (p<0.01); foot and shank velocities were about 5% higher (p<0.01); arms were more abducted (p<0.01); shoulders were rotated more towards the target (p<0.01, 6° mean orientation difference).
We concluded that differences in motor control between preferred and non-preferred leg kicks exist, particularly in the movement velocity and upper body kinematics. Coaches can use these results to provide effective instructions to players in the learning process, moving their focus on kicking speed and upper body behavior
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.