The kinematic differences between accurate and inaccurate squash forehand drives for athletes of different skill levels

Benjamin K. Williams, Ross H. Sanders, Joong Hyun Ryu, Philip Graham-Smith, Peter J. Sinclair

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Abstract

To maintain the accuracy of squash shots under varying conditions, such as the oncoming ball’s velocity and trajectory, players must adjust their technique. Although differences in technique between skilled and less-skilled players have been studied, it is not yet understood how players vary their technique in a functional manner to maintain accuracy under varying conditions. This study compared 3-dimensional joint and racket kinematics and their variability between accurate and inaccurate squash forehand drives of 9 highly skilled and 9 less-skilled male athletes. During inaccurate shots, less-skilled players hit the ball with a more open racket, demonstrating a difference in this task-relevant parameter. No joint kinematic differences were found for accuracy for either group. Coordinated joint rotations at the elbow and wrist both displayed a “zeroing-in” effect, whereby movement variability was reduced from the initiation of propulsive joint rotation to a higher consistency at ball-impact; potentially highlighting the “functionality” of the variability prior to the impact that enabled consistent task-relevant parameters (racket orientation and velocity) under varying conditions. Further, highly skilled players demonstrated greater consistency of task-relevant parameters at impact than less-skilled players. These findings highlight the superior ability of highly skilled players to adjust their technique to achieve consistent task-relevant parameters and a successful shot.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1123
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume38
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2020

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