Boffins say Cahill volley can be taught

There is some exciting news for thousands of young kids who have dreams of being able to ‘kick it like Tim Cahill’.

A new project conducted by the University of Sydney, which will use 3D motion analysis of kicking, says Cahill’s incredible volley against the Netherlands at the World Cup can be taught.

The research will initially look at both straight and curved kicks and examines the entire kicking process, from the approach to the length of the last stride and combined this with ball flight characteristics.

“The motion analysis system that we use in our biomechanics lab will record the movement of the participants during their kicking motion as well as the initial ball flight,” Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science Honours student Denny Noor told The Australian newspaper.

“It is possible to train the player to have the foundations or the technique to be able to perform that (Cahill) kick.

“It is then up to the player, though, to be able to successfully perform it based on the environmental situation.’’

The revolutionary project involves placing more than 50 markers on a player’s body and around seven markers on a ball.

The University, who used players from first and second-tier teams in NSW, presented the research at the World Conference on Soccer and Science recently held in the US and was awarded second place in the Young Investigator’s Award.

“What we are going to hopefully find is that with the curved kicks and the instep kicks we are going to be able to identify certain differences in the kicking technique,’’ Noor said.

“If we are able to identify those key determinants that are required to successfully perform those kicks, what we can do is help the players understand why it is necessary to have this within your kicking motion.

“We want to try and get away from just looking at players and saying their natural ability of kicking allows them to be able to play at a high level.

“We want to try and help those players that may not have that natural ability and offer them an understanding of what is required to help them improve their skill.’’