• Do stiffness and asymmetries predict change of direction performance?

      Maloney, Sean J.; Richards, Joanna C.; Nixon, Daniel G.D.; Harvey, Lewis J.; Fletcher, Iain M.; University of Bedfordshire (TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2016-04-30)
      Change of direction speed (CODS) underpins performance in a wide range of sports but little is known about how stiffness and asymmetries affect CODS. Eighteen healthy males performed unilateral drop jumps to determine vertical, ankle, knee and hip stiffness, and a CODS test to evaluate left and right leg cutting performance during which ground reaction force data were sampled. A step-wise regression analysis was performed to ascertain the determinants of CODS time. A two-variable regression model explained 63% (R-2 = 0.63; P = 0.001) of CODS performance. The model included the mean vertical stiffness and jump height asymmetry determined during the drop jump. Faster athletes (n = 9) exhibited greater vertical stiffness (F = 12.40; P = 0.001) and less asymmetry in drop jump height (F = 6.02; P = 0.026) than slower athletes (n = 9); effect sizes were both "large" in magnitude. Results suggest that overall vertical stiffness and drop jump height asymmetry are the strongest predictors of CODS in a healthy, non-athletic population.
    • The effect of dimple error on the horizontal launch angle and side spin of the golf ball during putting

      Richardson, Ashley K; Mitchell, Andrew C.S.; Hughes, Gerwyn T.G.; University of Abertay Dundee; University of Bedfordshire; University of Hertfordshire (TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2016-03-16)
      This study aimed to examine the effect of the impact point on the golf ball on the horizontal launch angle and side spin during putting with a mechanical putting arm and human participants. Putts of 3.2m were completed with a mechanical putting arm (four putter-ball combinations, total of 160 trials) and human participants (two putter-ball combinations, total of 337 trials). The centre of the dimple pattern (centroid) was located and the following variables were measured: distance and angle of the impact point from the centroid and surface area of the impact zone. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to identify whether impact variables had significant associations with ball roll variables, horizontal launch angle and side spin. Significant associations were identified between impact variables and horizontal launch angle with the mechanical putting arm but this was not replicated with human participants. The variability caused by dimple error was minimal with the mechanical putting arm and not evident with human participants. Differences between the mechanical putting arm and human participants may be due to the way impulse is imparted on the ball. Therefore it is concluded that variability of impact point on the golf ball has a minimal effect on putting performance.