The Application of an Exploratory Factor Analysis to Investigate the Inter-Relationships Amongst Joint Movements During Performance of a Football Skill

Tina Smith, Wendy Gilleard, John Hammond, Lyndon Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have investigated the kinematics of sports skills with the majority describing the kinematics of the technique or investigating significant kinematic variables that affect performance. Many sports skills are complex three-dimensional movements involving many joints. However, few studies have investigated the relationships between kinematic variables during performance of such skills. The aim of this study was to investigate the inter- relationships among three-dimensional kinematic variables during performance of a lofted instep soccer kick. A motion analysis system was used to collect kinematic data for 13 skilled amateur soccer players attempting a standardised lofted instep kick. Three-dimensional angular displacement patterns were reported for the thoracolumbar spine and right hip joints. Two-dimensional angular displacement data was reported for the right knee and ankle joints. An exploratory rather than confirmatory factor analysis was applied, as there is currently no established theory regarding the kinematics of a lofted instep kick. Factors were extracted using the Maximum Likelihood Solution and orthogonally rotated using Varimax with Kaiser normalisation. The inter-relationship among biomechanical variables within the seven extracted factors was analysed with each factor revealing previously unknown inter-relationships among variables for different aspects of the kick. The use of exploratory factor analysis has shown the complex three-dimensional kinematic inter-relationships for a lofted instep kick. An understanding of these relationships could prove useful to coaches when instructing, and in the development of coaching programmes related to the lofted instep kick. Key Points Motion analysis of lofted instep kick.Inter-relationship among bio mechanical variables within 7 factors analysed.Each factor revealed previously unknown inter-relationships among variables for different aspects of the kick.understanding these relationships could prove useful to coaches in the development of the lofted instep kick.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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