World Cup Craziness

For you soccer hooligans OR Football fanatics, the grand event is upon you: The World Cup. Hosted by Brazil, you can imagine the excitement and enthusiasm is palpable, not to mention the heat and humidity. As elite athletes from across the globe gather, their years of training as well as their innate abilities are called upon to lead their team and country to victory. Dreams will be dashed and hearts will be broken. Epic and legendary play will occur eventually culminating in ultimate victory. Who will be the victor?

What are the biomechanics of kicking a soccer ball?

There are many things to consider when looking at this; one being where you choose to kick the ball (instep, outside, inside). You must also consider how hard you want to kick it, what angle the foot is at in relation to the ball, and the trajectory you wish for the ball. These thoughts are not individually thought of during the act. Trained athletes process these points in a split second and make it look like second nature.

Kicking requires balance. It is a complex motion requiring whole-body joint motion and coordination.

Lets look at the kicking leg first.

Backswing phase: hip is extended and knee is flexed (this will help generate linear velocity at the foot).

Swing phase: the hip begins to flex, the knee stays slightly flexed. The knee begins to extend before the hip reaches maximal angular velocity. Once the hip reaches this, the knee velocity increases until the foot contacts the ball. Knee velocity has been recorded as high as 1900 degrees/second AND ball velocities as high as 35 m/s.

Now lets look at the support leg.

The optimal position of the foot during kicking is perpendicular to the ball.

Most of the action of this leg is spent in eccentric contractions of the muscles to provide the support necessary for the swing leg.

Your core muscles are also actively involved in keeping your posture.

What risk is there to your favorite soccer player?

Ankle injury the structures that stabilize your ankle joint are placed under tremendous strain and any compromise can lead to an acute lateral ankle sprain or fracture.

Muscle injury with sudden stops and starts, it is not uncommon for the hamstring muscles to suffer from a strains OR worse a tear.

Achilles tendon probably not a very common injury, but again with sudden stops and starts it is not out of the realm of possibilities for the tendon to be injured.

If you are in need of a skilled physician to care for any sport related injury OR just have general concerns and cares, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

Enjoy the games and GO U.S.A!!!!!!!!

Photo Credit:artur84 via

Category: Ankle Pain

Tags: Ankle Injury, muscle injury