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|Title: ||Coaching elite kickers for optimum performance|
|Authors: ||Alred, David|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||© David Alred|
|Abstract: ||This thesis reports a multi-factorial approach to coaching elite (expert)
kickers. There are 3 empirical studies, and a report on the development of
a coaching system. In addition, five key areas are explored in the literature
review, including expertise, strategies for performing under extreme
pressure, mental rehearsal, (visualization) and self talk, investigations on
the value of pre-shot routines and the similarities with professional
tournament golf and dead ball kicking.
Study 1 investigated out which Mental Keys were believed by the players
to be the most effective in improving technique and consistency both out of
hand and at goal. lt was concluded that: i) players focus on a specific
aspect of their technique when kicking a ball, ii) players focus on different
parts of the process or focus on the same process, but have different
descriptions for these, iii) the most frequently used keys were instructional
rather than visual, iv) there does not appear to be any single correct way to
coach experts to improve their consistency. Study 2 investigated the perceptions of experts concerning the perfect kick,
their depth of understanding of mechanics or principles of kicking, and the
thoughts and routines of experts when performing under pressure. lt was
concluded that i) all players know when they have hit the ball perfectly, and
recognise the ball behaviour as a result of the strike, ii) very few players
have an understanding of basic principles or mechanics of kicking, iii) all
players have a pre kick routine and focus on a spot on the ball for goal
kicking and the ball for punting out of hand, iv) many of the players
reported that they use some form of visualisation just prior to impact.
However, as confirmed in study 1, the majority of experts focus on an
instructional based key which is based on a specific part of their technique.
A coaching system was developed, based on the results of the two studies.
Specifically, the foundation of the system was based on the knowledge that
expert kickers know when they hit the ball perfectly, and to kick under pressure players consciously focus on process based keys. However, very
few have an appreciation of basic mechanics or principles.
Study 3 was an evaluation of the coaching system based on players' and
coaches' quantifying the players' change in performance based on
distance, accuracy, consistency and confidence in where the ball is going.
lt was confirmed that the coaching system developed for experts, which is
based on ball behaviour, allows players to perform more effectively. This
was confirmed using a group of elite soccer and rugby players.|
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||Closed Access PhD theses (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)|
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