Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Distance as a control parameter for place kicking

Kristi Kay Mally, Rebecca A. Battista, Mary Ann Roberton



Using a dynamic systems perspective, this study investigated whether distance functioned as a control parameter that might alter children's place kicking patterns.  Nineteen children (mean age = 8.1 years) kicked 3 times at each of 5 randomly ordered distances (1.524, 3.048, 6.096, 9.144, 12.192 meters). All kicks were videotaped. Results indicated that four movement features changed significantly as a result of the distance kicked. The features were number/type of forward steps in the approach, distance between the feet in the final foot position during approach, position of the shank in the forward leg swing, and leg action in the follow through. These results suggest that distance (or force) may be a control parameter that teachers could manipulate when helping children learn to place kick.


Dynamic systems; Control parameters; Place kicking


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