An Investigation into the Acute Effects of a Weighted Football Place-Kicking Protocol on Subsequent Place-Kick Distance
Keywords:Overload, Kinematics, Warm-Up, Motor Learning, Motor Performance, Skill Acquisition
Weighted implement training induces positive effects on motor skills, however, there is a dearth of studies examining the acute effects of weighted footballs on place-kicking. Kick distance is important in Gaelic football to enhance passing and scoring opportunities. This study’s purpose was to examine the acute effects of a 600g (25% heavier) weighted Gaelic football on place-kick distance among elite and sub-elite male Gaelic football players (n=12). An exploratory kinematic analysis (Phase-1) of the maximal-effort place-kick was measured at pre-test, post-test, and 3-day retention-test around a 5-session, 50-trial weighted football training intervention to determine if weighted footballs altered how place-kicks were performed. Mixed ANOVAs revealed no significant changes to knee and hip angular velocities, and range of motion (p>0.05). Phase-2 explored the acute effects of the weighted football on place-kick distance with a standard Gaelic football. Male university students (n=30) performed 5-maximal effort place-kicks with a weighted (WF) or standard (SF) Gaelic football immediately prior to 5 standard football place-kicks. An ANCOVA revealed the WF did not significantly acutely enhance kick distance compared to SF (p>0.05). Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed no significant differences among the mean kick distance of pre-test trials and each post-test trial per group (p>0.05). However, a transient increase from 30-seconds to 2-minutes post WF place-kicks was evident, suggesting greater distance may be achieved with extended time periods. In conclusion, although a 5-trial weighted football place-kicking protocol does not significantly enhance kick distance, a transient increase occurs as time intervals increase, thus providing practitioners with an efficacious means of enhancing kickout distance.
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