Application of Anatomical and Physiological Knowledge to Improve Performance

Identification and Justification

Strength: Means the power of resisting attacks, to resist force and most importantly the capacity for exertion or endurance whether physical or mentally.

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There are three types of strength needed in football but they are needed for different reasons at different times some of them are:

Maximum Strength: In football the maximum strength you exert is rare however when doing a long throw-in you need the maximum strength to power the ball a long way.

Elastic Strength: In football the elastic strength you exert could be when you change direction of your running quickly and spring off a foot to start your sprint again

Strength Endurance: In football strength endurance.

Suppleness: The quality or state of being supple and flexible.

In football Suppleness is important because without it you are prone to injury but that is the same with most sports so specifically for football suppleness is needed when goalkeeping. This is when you are diving for a save or reaching high to punch away the ball

Stamina: Energy and staying power, especially of the kind that is needed to tackle and withstand prolonged physical or mental exertion.

Stamina is the ability to be able to run or perform that extra bit longer and increases your fitness so that you can last longer doing exercises. In football this could simply be the ability to keep running for the full 90 minutes and to be able to go more if needed for say, extra time.

Speed: Speed is the rate of motion, or equivalently the rate of change in position, often expressed as distance travelled in a space of time.

Like in strength there are three types of speed which can be applied to football. Speed is the quickness of movement to a limb whether this is legs for running or arms for throwing. Some examples are:

Maximum Speed: In football the maximum speed you use depends on the action quite regularly you are sprinting your maximum to get to the ball before opposition but also you need speed in your feet when attempting skill and manipulating the football.

Elastic (Power) Speed: In football the elastic speed is often related to a powerful action, this would be something like a driving shot when the leg is thumped through the ball after being swung backwards then forwards as quick and hard as possible. The quicker the movement of the leg the harder the shot

Speed Endurance: In football speed endurance could be the ability to run at speed over a long time. So for example when making a run you could make a dashing run the whole length of the pitch down the wing hoping for the ball to be played and it will need to be at speed, then maybe having to sprint back to defend so running the whole way back in a very short time.

Motor Components

Balance: Maintaining balance means having the centre of mass within your base of support, i.e. with your trunk aligned over your feet. Balance in football is needed to keep on your feet. When your body is positioned well you can perform better tasks then when un-balanced for example footballers taking the ball on the volley from slightly behind them. If you were un-balanced the shot would go off target.

Agility: Ability to start, stop, and move the body quickly in different directions. Agility is important because football doesn’t require players to run in straight lines. They need to be able to change direction without losing speed. A goalkeeper will need strength and power but also agility to reach those far corners

Co-ordination: An organized working together of muscles and groups of muscles aimed at bringing about a purposeful movement such as walking or standing. In football coordination is vital because it relies on a series of movements to produce an outcome quite often. For example the volley in football requires a complex series from position your body where the ball will fall; slanting your body slightly to get a swing on the ball; and following through with your foot just at the right time. Any second out on your coordination will ruin the whole process entirely.

Reaction: Reaction time is the interval time between the presentation of a stimulus and the initiation of the muscular response to that stimulus. A primary factor affecting a response is the number of possible stimuli, each requiring their own response, that are presented.

In football this basically means that your body reacts to an outside influence or a stimulus such as the ball suddenly ricocheting in your direction and your reaction time is the time in which you have to respond to it.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Warm Up: As almost all activities in football involve running at one time or another it’s very important to relieve muscle stiffness in your legs. My personal Warm-Up would consist of, in the order that I would do it:

1. 5 to 10 minutes jogging changing direction regularly to get the blood circulation working better and faster, the Vascular System will be able to diffuse oxygen into the blood cells more efficiently and therefore increasing the amount you can exercise.

2. The next action I would take would be to stretch for around 5 minutes all muscles that are likely to be used. The Dynamic Stretching Exercise will reduce muscle stiffness and reduce injury when playing. This is important because a benefit of an appropriate warm up can result in Increased Speed of Muscular Contraction.

3. Finally I would prepare specifically for the game itself, practising drills like passing or shooting which will increase the awareness of; pitch conditions; the ball etc. This would include warming up the force of the kick and the contractions of the leg muscles.

Benefits of a Warm-Up:

* Increased speed of contraction and relaxation of warmed muscles

* Dynamic exercises reduce muscle stiffness

* Greater range of movement because of less resistance within warmed muscles

* Increased blood flow through tissues and muscles, increasing metabolism and muscle temperatures

* Allows the heart rate to get to a workable rate for beginning exercise

Cool Down: It is important to do a proper cool down as your muscles can stiffen up due to the lactic acid staying with your muscles and causing stiffness. This can lead to discomfort and aching. The Cool Down I would propose to do would be as follows:

1. 5 to 10 minutes walking – decreasing body temperature and remove waste products from the working muscles such as lactic acid. Deep breaths and circular motions with your arms also help.

2. 5 to 10 minutes static stretching exercises- decrease body temperature, remove waste products from the working muscles and to increase range of movement.

Benefits of a Cool Down:

* Aid in the dissipation of waste products – including lactic acid

* Reduce the potential for Delayed Muscle Soreness

* Reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting

* Reduce the level of adrenaline in the blood so your heart can start to calm down and your body gets back to resting status

* Allows the heart rate to return to it’s resting rate

Acquiring and Performing Movement Skills

Major Coaching Points of Football

Important Skills:

* Free kicks

* Headers

* Ball Control

* Tactical Awareness

The above skills all play important part during a professional game of football. However I have chosen to illustrate the major coaching points of free kicks for my study. This essential skill is needed to be mastered as it is crucial to get it right at intense points during a game. This is because it is a very attacking part of the game and is done as set plays where there is a break in play.

To perform and demonstrate the skill correctly you need to be able to kick the ball efficiently. This means with maximum power and minimum effort. A player also needs to place their foot in the correct position. To help achieve this the player has to get taught to kick the ball with the correct part of the boot i.e. the laces to gain maximum power and to be taught to align your body correctly to get perfect balance which allows the shot to be on target. The following criteria is the basis to building up a skill and by planning each one a skill can be learned and become ‘habitual’

o Preparation

o Execution

o Recovery

o Results

o Overall Efficiency

Preparation

To prepare for the skill you need to know how to learn and identify the basic parts of the skill before you start perfecting it. Preparing for a skill could include; verbal instructions, video, diagrams or photo sequences. All are valuable methods of creating a mental picture of the skill.

Throughout the phases I will refer to the technical model of David Beckham he has perfected the art of free kicks by practising over and over constantly until it is correct.

From this picture you can see how his body is positioned to get balanced and his arms are out and his head is looking where he wants to kick the ball. All these are factors which need preparing for however for now I will concentrate on body position and what part of the foot to kick the ball with.

Execution

When executing a free kick technique is important, the execution hugely relies on the preparation. If the preparation is correct getting the right execution is that much easier.

The very basic is to kick the ball with the lace part of the ball; this gives the most power and is where all the accuracy can come from. To achieve this execution your body needs to be slightly opened up to be able to get contact on the ball.

The way Beckham is leaning back here shows how he has moulded his

body to create that perfect execution.

This close up diagram shows where impact should be on the ball from your foot. The lace part and instep side of the foot is where contact needs to be and this will generate the most efficient kick.

Recovery

The main recovery to overcome from a free kick is the balance, the position you have to put yourself in means that after you have kicked the ball, the kicking foot has to quickly be positioned from kicking to stopping you from falling over. Usually in game situations the recovery is essential as you may need to recover quickly and effectively to be able to face the next challenge. However as it is during a set play and the game is broken down, a recovery isn’t as essential.

Result

After the physical criteria such as the above which involve movements we need to receive feedback and this comes from the result of the free kick. You need to assess whether the shot was good or bad? Was it where you thought it would go? Etc. A good method for this is by photo analysis by getting someone to take a picture of the ball where it ended up in the goal you can see for yourself. Another result you can take is whether or not the performance felt good this is intrinsic feedback and comes from the performers own feelings.