George Green (Student at Bournemouth University) – George recently took part in the ISSA Street Soccer Coaches Workshop – here is his feedback
Movement Analysis & Biomechanical Considerations
December 8, 2014 George Green
Well you are probably wondering where I have been?! Well to let those of you know who may not already know, a good friend of mine has been kind enough to build me a website. This is a completely new type of project for me and I am enjoying the templates we have produced so far. Also with my fast approaching semester one exams on their way I have been in a series of revision and university.
But even more interestingly, just yesterday I was on a course called ‘Street Soccer UK’ which focused on delivering the most effective conditions for learning to take place in your sessions. Of course there was lots of street skills involved but more importantly, the session wasn’t about making the coach look good. It wasn’t about looking professional with badges all over your tracksuit, nor was it about hiding behind your clipboard and over analysing everything (as we tend to do as coaches).
But even more interesting than that, there was a point in the session that challenged the FUNdamental movements of physical literacy. In fact they had a good reason to. They touched briefly on the reptilian brain located in the frontal lobe and how when under pressure or feeling threatened it shuts off from everything around it. Therefore this defeats all forms of learning and as for FUNdamental movements, they simply won’t be learned. The skills and movements in street soccer are all creative and forever new evolving movement patterns that challenge the FUNdamental movement programme. So as I talk about this piece I think it’s important we don’t forget to challenge the science behind movement but also what works best with our athletes.
However excluding all that when we talk about the best biomechanical movement pattern in sport we are talking about the most powerful, precise, attention to detail body dynamics. Biomechanics will always be a very complex movement no matter what field it’s in, from walking to a golf swing; or a boxing punch to a rugby kick. But all these movements operate on an axis and a plane.
We have three axis and three planes…
An axis is an infinite long line that joints move around. A joint moves in a 2D manner and a plane is an infinite 2D extremity. Now we know what they mean I can tell you what they are called. Firstly we have an anterioposterior axis which operates on the sagital plane and allows movement such as flexion. Then we have a mediolateral axis that operates on a frontal plane which allows for movements such as abduction. Finally we have a longitudinal axis that works on a transverse plane allowing movements such as rotation.
Therefore when working with athletes, we use these planes and axis to heighten performance as our centre of gravity is the central point of all these planes. However when we don’t use these axis and planes correctly we can cause lower and upper crossed syndrome as I’ve spoken about in previous pieces. In addition Newtons ‘3 laws of motion’ help avoid this from happening and teach us the basic principles to motion.
1st Law: Inertia
This law states that an object isn’t going to move unless a force is applied to it and then when a force is applied it won’t stop moving until unseen forces intervene.
2nd Law: Acceleration
Force = Mass x Acceleration
3rd Law: Action & Reaction Force
This law says that for every force we apply to an unmovable object we get an equal reaction (e.g. Sprinting)
Now to bring you back to the course I was on and challenging the science. Let’s take Aaron Lennon. If you don’t know who Aaron Lennon is, he’s an exceptionally fast soccer player who plays for Tottenham Hotspurs. Aaron Lennon is super-fast! However he goes against the best kinematics of posture (biomechanical anatomical shape). He runs with his arms flapping down between his hip and chest region, and the science says this will hinder his speed, yet he is seen as one of the fastest footballers in the professional game. Therefore it doesn’t quite sit right with me to coach a very fast player out of this body movement pattern to increase speed when his body movement pattern allows him to generate speed already.
The other point is that invasion game sports especially are very different to your typical linear and lateral movements as at any moment you may need to change direction, which is a key attribute of Aaron’s game. Therefore to teach him this biomechanical functional way of moving may not be the best approach. Perhaps a better approach is to incorporate Newton’s laws of motion but use the demands of the game to influence his biomechanical movements and still maintain strong kinomatics of posture. For example; maintaining a low base and centre of gravity to generate power; with a slight anterior tilt on the pelvis with the head down but in line with the spine to send us the direction we aim to go; with slight dorsiflexion and corresponding arm to leg motion; with our arms flapping by our side to use as a shield against invasion from the opposition.
The Street Soccer UK course has enlightened me to challenge the science and try not to just develop a scientific methodological approach. But instead, to create the conditions and best environment for people to learn in. At times it may be useful and vital that we use the science. Whereas at other times it may be pointless and worth scrapping it if it doesn’t work best, as ultimately we all fundamentally move and operate differently.
Anyone who hasn’t been on the course and is involved in coaching or a sports field I strongly recommend this course massively as it has much more to offer than just what I related back to you, as this is just what I took from the course as it relates to the learning environment I am in.