Date of Award:

5-2010

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Computer Science

Advisor/Chair:

Eadric Bressel

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the acute effects of static stretching on foot velocity at impact with a soccer ball. Eighteen Division I female soccer athletes underwent two test conditions separated by 48 hr. Each condition was randomly assigned and began by placing four retro-reflective markers on bony landmarks of the ankle (total of eight markers, four on each ankle). One condition was the no-stretch condition, in which each participant performed a self-paced jog for 5 min as a warm-up, and then sat quietly for 6 min before performing three maximal instep kicks into a net. The second condition was the stretch condition, which was identical to the no-stretch condition, except the participants performed a series of six randomly ordered stretches instead of sitting quietly for 6 min. Three-dimensional motion analysis was used to quantify the resultant velocity of the head of the 5th metatarsal immediately prior to foot impact with a soccer ball. The results of a dependent t test indicated that there was no significant difference between the no-stretch (18.34 ± 1.29 m/s) and stretch conditions (17.96 ± 1.55 m/s; p = .102, d = .3) Based on these findings, acute stretching performed one time for 30 s before maximal instep soccer kicking has no effect on the resultant foot velocity of Division 1A university female soccer players. Pre-event stretching performed in a like manner may best be prescribed at the discretion of the athlete.

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