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Co-operative Reflection and Evaluation
Student’s involvement in any form of cooperative education helps to develop their knowledge and skills through the industry’s practical experiences. The following report is based on the cooperative industry placement that I undertook during this academic year. The industry that I based in and also conducted my cooperative my research was at Auckland Football Federation. Auckland Football Federation is one of the seven federations that work under New Zealand Football. The federation is considered a regional sport organisation as it falls under the national sports organisation umbrella. The federation/organisation is primarily responsible for the growth of the sport for the locals and also caters for teams across the wider Auckland region.
The first section of this report includes the involvement of my duties and roles along with work activities at Auckland Football Federation. During my time at the federation I was heavily involved in the Futsal department of the organisation. The federations Futsal department is solely responsible for the promotion and local growth of the sport across Auckland. While being at the federation and being involved with the Futsal department I executed numerous tasks and working attributes. These included the likes of skills coaching, educational seminars, community based events and also refereeing seminars. In relation to this, this allowed me to better my understanding around the sport and also gain valuable experiences.
The second section of the report houses the cooperative research project. These are divided into sections that address the issue which led to the implementation of the study. This study critically seeked the area of concern, which led to the development of the aim. The aim of the project was to witness if playing with three different types of soccer balls in an indoor futsal court/environment altered an individual’s performance. One participant was chosen based on the knowledge around the sport futsal. Total of three participants were chosen and only one was the primary target for the duration of nine weeks. Total of nine games were recorded and only three of the best games were chosen from each of the games. Each game contained a different soccer ball while being played in an indoor futsal court. The results proved that though there were improvements, there were also areas that proved to have limitations. It concluded by stating the futsal should be incorporated into the structure of each team which allows for further development of skills and techniques.
The final section of this report critically analyses and critically reflects on the overall cooperative experience over the academic year in relation to the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation experiences. These reflections and capabilities include areas of time and self-management, Personal actions, communications, professionalism and Dress codes. The reflection on these areas outlines what has been learnt and gained throughout the duration of the cooperative industry experience.
Firstly I would like to thank my close family for their consistent support throughout the course of my studies at AUT. One must agree and understand that without their love and caring I would have struggled not only to complete my cooperative assignments but the degree as a whole. I am grateful to have the blessings of the almighty that has helped me through my struggles and at times of struggles has shown me the strength to keep on going throughout my duration at AUT and this sporting degree.
I would personally like to thank and express my greatest of appreciations towards my academic supervisor Simon Walters. To my academic supervisor I would like to thank him for his time, patients and guidance as well as his techniques in teaching me how to critically think. Words cannot describe to how grateful I am to be under the supervision of Simon Walters. At times, when I was not doing so well due to external factors he helped to understand my situation and care in a way that is considered father like. Jenny Fleming you have been a great lecturer this semester and also Sari Andajani. Sari you have been a superb teacher and have helped me to gain a broader understanding about my studies at AUT. I really appreciate your help, guidance, kindliness and would like to thank you for all you have done for me from the bottom of my heart. You are truly an inspiration.
I am really thankful for my industry supervisor Mr Marvin Eakins for his time, efforts and ideas. His ideas and approach to the research was amazing and it truly helped me gain a better understanding towards the project and its implementation stages. His willingness to accept me into Auckland Football Federation and put forward his time and efforts towards me was of the top class and I am very thankful for that. I would further like to express my thankfulness towards the whole of Auckland Football Federation department for your time and allowing me to access facilities, ample resources and also the potential for employment in the future.
I would also like to extend my thankfulness to my AUT colleagues Melvin Reddy, Matthew Thomas who were also part of the team that worked with Auckland Football Federation. Working with these great gentlemen allowed for a fun and enjoyment environment. A special thanks to the Health promotion and applied sport nutrition students Mark Skips, Jonny Neru, Melvin Reddy for their continual support and ideas during my placement.
Lastly I would like to thank the entire participant’s that were involved as part of this research for allowing their time and patients. Their high level of respect and cooperation period is very much appreciated and I would like to wish them from the bottom of my heart for their future pathways and journeys.
The cooperative industry placement I was involved in during the academic year was at Auckland Football Federation (AFF). At the placement I specifically worked in the futsal department.
Auckland Football Federation (AFF) is considered a RSO (Regional Sports Organisation) as it is under the umbrella federation of New Zealand Football. Auckland Football Federation is a non-profit organisation. In late 2007, Auckland Football Federation changed its name from Soccer2 to Auckland Football Federation. This was put into place due the restructure of New Zealand Football as it wanted to offer more to its stakeholders. Since the restructure Auckland Football Federation together with seven other federations was formed. These included the likes of Bay of Plenty Football, Mainland Football, Waikato Football, Northern Football Federation, Central Football, Football South, Mainland Football and also Capital Football. Along with the respected federations Auckland Football Federation have a mutual goal which is to lead, inspire and endure that the delivery of football in New Zealand is at a high level. Auckland Football Federation is highly responsible for the growth of local football and also the development of football across the wider Auckland region. This is achieved through improving communications with stakeholders, implementing and improving systems and also responsible for the development of football rather than purely for managerially purposes. Auckland Football Federation performs numerous tasks which include the likes of refereeing, competitions, coaching’s programmes, holiday programmes, quality football structures and also development of affiliated schools and clubs. The federation operates around a flat structure which consists of six departments. These six departments all have a different task associated within in it and work together well to ensure the overall goal is met regularly. These departments consist of board and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) that are positioned at the top of the hierarchy. Below the CEO and board are the Communications, Football, Refereeing and Competition departments. Along with the regular departments, Auckland Football Federations also caters for various schools by offering and coordinating after school care, football and futsal in schools, club based competitions, school based competitions and also holiday programmes. In the later stages of Auckland Football Federation, the implementation of football academies were included to offer coaching experiences and also refereeing courses. Since the organisation is a non-profit organisation, it receives its funding’s from external sources such as Cue sports, Dressmart Lotto, Sport New Zealand, Gaming Trust and also Auckland City Council.
During my placement at the Auckland Football Federation I was responsible to work specifically with the futsal department. The overall goal of this department was to promote and develop the fast paced five aside game throughout the wider Auckland region. During my time in the futsal department I was assigned to various roles which included the likes of refereeing, coaching, delivery of futsal in schools and communities and also the general administration work. Coordinating all of the above mentions activities has heavily contributed to my learning experiences throughout my academic year.
One of my primary tasks at the department of futsal was to coach futsal. Prior to commencement into the federation’s futsal department I was made aware that I would have to coach the sport on a regular basis. Being made aware of this, I had carefully planned my learning outcomes around the sport such as improving skills, communication and planning. Acquiring these roles I feel as it had contributed heavily to my learning and I can clearly state that I had administered a broader understanding around coaching, planning and communications. As I began with the placement hours, I would plan extensively around the age group and also gender that I was coaching for the sessions during the week. Since I was mostly alone in implementing these sessions,the need to be confident and also content driven was a must. Upon conclusion of each of the session I would conduct a personal evaluation and reflect on it respectively. By coordinating these sessions on a daily basis it helped to build my confidence levels further while gaining a broader understanding around the topics. Consistent researches allowed me to draw upon literature and use the (TGFF) teaching games for fun when I was dealing with minors thus applying it to respectively be a key in ensuring a fun environment was created. In contrast, I feel as that my confidence levels have been up-lifted by coaching these groups.
One of the other activities that I was heavily involved in during my time at Auckland Football Federation was being able to referee games. Though I had refereed various games prior to coming to the futsal department in order for me to do this properly I need to obtain a level one referee certificate. I was able to do this during the first week of my placement as I was made aware that refereeing will also be a major aspect of the futsal department. As a qualified level one referee, I was not only responsible for referee the games but also reinforcing the laws of the game. At first I was sceptical in doing so, but after viewing a fully qualified futsal match referee do this it gave me a self confidence boost. As being the referee, I was also able to teach players about the rules of the game and answer any questions about the sport. I personally believe that coordinating this, it truly helped to boost my confidence and also aided in me gaining a better communication barrier.
In late 2011 and early 2012 the implementation of a national regional strategic plan was established by Auckland Football Federation and also New Zealand Football. The overall aim was to further develop the game and also aim to have high success rates which ultimately focused on improving the pathway for all participants to enhance their performance in football (Auckland Football Federation, 2013). The need for top quality training and coaching structures were put into place to achieve this goal. However one primary factor that faulted this scenario was the decrease in peak performances across all sporting codes in New Zealand. Furthermore, one must state that the nation’s ability to produce young excelling talents have primarily dropped over the years. This is evident to state as the sporting code of soccer in New Zealand failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA soccer world cup.
Though there are many issues that are stopping the excellence of talents and athletes in New Zealand, Auckland Football Federation primarily question the training and coaching structure for youth peak performance development. Auckland Football Federation argues that the current till date structure have insufficient opportunities and also lacks the heavily in the field of technical, tactical and skill development. It is evident to state that the current structure that is implemented cannot be changed or controlled as doing so will create conflict and commotion. However, it is possible to apply an alteration and redevelop the platform surrounding the structure that is responsible for the future footballing generation.
To tackle this issue, Auckland Football Federation heavily suggested that a change in the youth development, technical and coaching structures are the essential areas to start. Thus, the following cooperative research project introduced Futsal (A Five aside modified traditional soccer game this is played indoors with respect to alterations in rules and regulations). Together with New Zealand Football and Auckland Football Federation it is important to find solutions to this issue to be able to make changes/alterations to the current structure effectively.
The aim of this co-operative research project was to witness if “using three different types of footballs in a futsal indoor environment played a role in altering a players decisions”.
- Determine if there is a change in player decision making when different soccer are used.
- Determine the comparisons between all three soccer balls used and defer futsal from traditional football and indoor soccer ball.
This section of the project plan will review literature related to this research. The first stage of this review was to create an annotated bibliography of relevant literature. The review will help to better shape the project and the implementation process and also add strength to the project as a whole.
Three themes emerged from the literature review. A total of three themes will be explored and include the relationship between futsal and football, the use of video analysis, and the use of video imagery to develop a player.
Theme 1: Futsal vs Traditional Football
Ball size comparison:
Numerous studies have been conducted in relation to futsal vs football (Castagna, D'Ottavio, Vera, and Alvarez, 2008). The studies all shared a common aspect which is the ball comparison and if it has an impact on the player. The findings from the studies will be examined further in this section.
In a study by Kiss and Bichesui (2011) it concluded that the use of futsal balls showed improvement in areas that were tested .i.e. number of passing and controls the ball. The study also focused on number of touches each player had when being in a defensive and offensive area. The results showed that there were more passes in the defensive area when compared to the attacking area. This is due to the restricted space in which the game is played in .i.e. the court size. Other factors such as the ball and positions played a major role in players having more touches in the defensive zone. This was primarily due to the team being ahead in the scoreline by one goal thus keeping the ball is their own half allowed for more touches to obtain possession. The Futsal ball also played a vital role in this study. Since a Futsal ball is filled with foam and the bounce being restricted, players were not able to play a long lobbed pass. In return needing to play short and quick ground passes were very effective in this study. There are no set positions in futsal, since the team was ahead by one goal they had left the “pivot” player on the opposition half and played the passes amongst the remaining players. This was conducted in their own half to retain possession which resultedin more passes in the defensive zone.
Burton and Welch (1990) stated that a traditional soccer ball will most definitely have a greater bounce than a futsal ball in an indoor hard court as it is filled with air and not foam. Fabio, et al., ( 2010) agrees that the same is for the futsal ball being played in a much bigger context and on a not so hard surface where the ball will not bounce as much and becomes hard to control. This is due to the ball not being designed for that particular purpose. Since a Futsal ball is heavier than a traditional Football, playing it in a context where it is not designed for will most defiantly pose a challenge. The playing area/surfacealong the correct foot ware all play a significant role on a player. In an outdoor context, if a Futsal ball was to be used in a game there are obvious visual limitations present. If the ball is lofted into the air and makes contact with the surface a rather similar result is to be expected when is a Futsal court. The Futsal ball will show no or low signs of bounce since the outdoor surface will absorb the impact. Since the surface is not hard, the impact if than absorbed by the grassy like surface. The foot ware of a player also plays a significant role in the control of a Futsal. Traditional football boots are designed for traditional footballs for the environment so the player is able to manoeuvre well on and off the ball. This also allows the player to grip the surface and make contact with the ball respectively. However if a Futsal is introduced, the player has less feel of the ball and also the player may encounter that the Futsal ball does not travel as well along the grassy surface. This is due to the texture of the ball and the traditional football boots resulting in the player using more force. In relation to Futsal related skills both studies recommend that for a player to have greater skills as well good ball control they should be practicing with a smaller size ball than of that recommended.
Drawing upon the various studies of the pitch size it is evident to address the pitch size for both of the sport. A futsal pitch is relatively small and is typically 40m by 25m (Frencken, Plaats, Visscher, & Lemmink, 2013). It is situated in an indoor environment and has normal outlines of a traditional soccer pitch with respect to some alterations. In the most recent years there has been a growing advancement in the employment of small sided game in a training session. Costa , et al., (2010) states that playing in these small sided games increases a players thinking and awareness thus creating learning for everyone. This happens due to being confined in a much smaller environment. Unlike the traditional game which is played on a much bigger pitch where a player has ample time on the ball. In Futsal the field is much smaller and restricted. Therefore in smaller context players have more opportunity to control the ball along with executing as many passes/touches as possible. Over time adhering to this concept, players become more confident with the ball which in return allows for a player to become more aware of the surroundings. Thus relating it back to futsal which is an indoor sport and consists of 5 players on a team and being played in a respectively same area. This behaviour better enhances a player to be able to pass, move, and get ready to execute the next move more effectively (Di Salvo, et al., 2007). According to Di Salvo, 2007 it states that for a player to be able to pass and move with the ball respectively the need to master the basics first is essential. This comes from playing in a much smaller context which allows for players to have as many touches as possible but also creating confidence alongside it. The study also states that many of the top elite players now have all come from a background of some form of small sided games. Playing is a small sided area has many benefits for a player such as quick thinking, accurate passing and also builds confidence. The study also agrees with when these players transition from Futsal to the traditional game they are able to execute these moves accurately and effectively. These small sided games enhance a players thinking due to being on the move consistently. Since there is no given position in futsal and being played in a confined pitch, players are consistently touching the ball which in return allows them to be focused in the game due to the pitch size and also number of players. All of these factors prove to have profound benefits in creating a complete player.
It is quite clear that small sided games can ideally enhance a player’s movement and also aid in the development of better players. This is supported by Kidman & Hanrahan, (2010) who conducted a study to compare the two different pitch sizes and concluded by stating that players often adapt their behaviour to the environment that there are proposed by. An environment plays a major role in any sport especially Futsal. If a game is played in a traditional football pitch it allows for players to move the ball more freely as there is more field space available. This behaviour allows for players to be able to think about their execution and or move in it space respectively. However in a much confined area in relation to the Futsal pitch, players often do not have time to think about their execution but rather have to make decisions prior to receiving the ball. It is almost clear to state that players that play games in a confined area have to think on the spot and make decisions immediately or prior to receiving the ball. Dogramaci, Watsford, Sera, Murphy , and Aron (2011) state that small sided games are an effective tool for technical development of a player and can lead to positive outcomes when playing in different environments and pitch sizes. By stating that a player can have positive outcomes when playing in a different environment if refers to how a player has adapted to a scenario or rather situations. If a player is consistently involved in small sided game and transitions to the traditional pitch the players ability to read the plays and make quick decision have been improved by playing in a confined area. Since a player is often under consistent pressure in a small sided game, the player becomes a natural at passing and moving the ball as well as dealing with under pressure scenarios at a comfort zone which can have profound benefits for the team as a whole. In stating that Costa , et al., (2010) agrees that small sided games allow players to obtain ample touches of the ball in the duration of the small sided game. Since a small sided game like a futsal game, there are many restrictions put into place such as boundaries, no positions and also time limits. These restrictions allows for players to move the ball faster and also aid in players getting ample touches to keep possessions and gain advantage. In relation to the “time limit” Futsal has a four second rule where the ball must re-enter the field of play. A rule that is not available in the traditional game. If this was to be used in the traditional game, it can aid in counter attack and also catching the opponents of guard. This will further increase the tempo of the game which will result in players getting tied easily. The results of co-ordinating this behaviour in the traditional game are endless such as counter attack, gaining possession and also quick plays like free kicks and throw ins. In relation to that Travassos, Arjua, Villa, and Mcgarry, (2011) suggested that skills, tricks and techniques that are obtained and learned from small sided games can be used effectively in real sporting context as small sided games increases the awareness and reaction time. For a player to transition from a traditional football game to a Futsal game the players are going to be exposed to unfamiliar rules and regulation. However if players are quick enough to grasp the rules and techniques of Futsal and use it in the traditional game it will prove to have long term profound effects. The time limit that players are faced with in Futsal is a great way for players to start a quick counter attack. Since Futsal does not have any set positions (except goal keeper) Futsal players are consistently changing positions attacking and defending equally. If this behaviour was to transition to the traditional game, coaches of teams can alternate their player roles on the pitch in an event of an injury. Arguably in any sporting context, the dimensions and environment plays a great role. As stated by Castagna, D'Ottavio, Vera, and Alvarez, (2008) a transition from the small sided 5 aside futsal game to the traditional outdoor soccer can prove to have great success and playing in a small respectively confined environments develops the mind to think better fast and greater. Players can adapt a much quicker thinking from playing in confined areas. This teaches them to always be ready to receive and pass the ball. These players also become hyper vigilant for the duration of the match and are considerably more focused in the game and the task. To summarise, small sided games are recommended by various studies as an ideal way to promote skill development. Futsal, due to its size and structure, would appear to be an ideal way for football players to develop skill.
Theme 2: Video analysis
The use of video analysis is becoming popular around sporting codes as it is becoming cost effective and reliable with the user friendly interface.According to Silva, Pedro, and Reis , (2012) the use of video imaging software imposed in a team can prove to be beneficial to the players and coaches. Shih and Chao, (2006) presented a soccer based video analysis for a soccer game. This video analysis in this study provided analysis of different areas .i.e. attack and defence and computed vision techniques. The study found that each analysis clearly indicated the weakness and strengthens of the programme and it also outlined how this video analysis can be used for real time match analysis.
Key performance indicators (KPI) can be integrated into any sporting code that is looking to use it for performance analysis (Caudrelier, James , Donnelly, Kirkbride,and Duschesne, 2012). A player coach or athlete can learn about the correct techniques in a respectively short period of time if the video analysis techniques have pause slow, fast and play back features (Mavlankar & Girod , 2009). In real time frame coaches and players often miss the opportunity to examine and correct their mistakes. However having a software tool that is able to slow down the match can be an effective tool for the future. It can aid in finding out how a counter attack accumulated or how well a team is playing or even to seek fitness levels for the team or individuals. Most coaches and players seek particular features in software programmes which include the likes of double screen, slow motion and also framing the images to outline the movements and techniques (Silva, Pedro, and Reis , 2012). This is particular important at an elite player levels as this allows player and coaches to view and outline the mistakes and also with the double screen feature it allows coaches and players to see beyond their players and view what was behind them in a two dimensional mode. Using these modes can show players and coaches of what could/would have happened if the ball or player executed a different move. It also allows setting a hypothesis and also a prognosis and determining the facts rather than assumption’s. The study conducted by Yu, et al., (2003) used audio key words for detection in a video analysis of a game. It presented a new method of audio keying in relation to a soccer video and the events that were presented. The study used imposed prime key words for each of the events that happened in the game and also used key words for movement detection and mapping the ball.
In the study by Yu, et al., (2003) the study also used broadcast television to get a better view of the match in order to properly analyse the match. The study was set up to automatically detect movement, image verification candidates and also ball control techniques. The study found that the method not only improves play break analysis but a semantic event detection .i.e. what the player did after receiving the ball. Shall a player stop the ball or move left or right the video software automatically detects the movements and records it in the database. The study also found that the programme can also analysis basic action, ball possession which can be better all level players.
It is evident that though a simple video analysis tool maybe enough for coaches to outline the weakness and strengths in a team the need for a more robust system must be adapted. As Cheng (2010) argues that simply viewing a recorded game can enough for coaches at a low level,the need of a robust tool will be ideal but for a higher/top level team. Using a video imaging software that can collect data per frame as the game progresses will be an ideal pathway for coaches and players (Dogramaci, Watsford, Sera, Murphy , and Aron , 2011). This will allow for players and coaches to clearly outline the importance of possessionand ball control of an individual. Ball control and passing are the basics of any given sport. However players often get confused about decision making and which movement or pass is required in which situation. With the frame work aspect of a video recording software, players and coaches are able to break down plays in a match and outline the possible outcomes and results. The coaches can therefore implement a training session that will improve the areas in question. This allows for a clear indication and also can set a positive scene for future recommendations.
A player’s knowledge and movement in an environment can be immensely improved through video analysis. The recent study by Cheng, (2010) proved that viewing video analysis prior to trainings helped the players understand and learn about their movements, performance and also obtain knowledge about the various movement combinations. Viewed by the players themselves, they were able to identify the areas of weakness and strengthens that the video showed by the identification software of the programme.
Theme three: The use of video imaging
Despite the growth of the traditional game of soccer over the years, futsal is an upcoming sport that is on a rapid rise to date. In a study by Costa , et al., (2010) focused on the player movement on and off the ball in a traditional indoor soccer game. The study aimed to collect quantitative data form the video analysis rather than focusing on qualitative. Video analysis that primarily focuses on key performance indicators such as movement, passing, tactical and also technical can help to better a player. Key performance indicators (KPI) are an important aspect of a video tool. This allows for players and coaches to be able to clearly and accurately underline the number of a passes a player made or how many tackles a player made. Using key performance indicators can help a team outline the struggling areas and also compare it to future games as assessments. In the study this proved to be a very effective tool as it outlines many of the missed opportunity by the naked eye. It is also stated that this software should become a primary means of match analysis as it allows for many benefits and challenges. In a recent article by Carling, Williams, and Reily, (2005) it stated that top elite athletes simply do not execute movements because they are naturally gifted but rather this is achieved by numerous hours of practice and reflection.
Developing players and athletes in an environment that they are not used not can be rather challenging for coaches. In an outdoor context the number one variable that cannot be controlled is the weather and the forecast. These variable play a major role in any game as it almost becomes a hurdle. Noda, matsubara, Hiraki, and Frank (2008) suggest that player adaption to an environment is ideal for peak performance. In relation to Carling, Bloomfield, Nelson, & Reily, (2012) an indoor environment can offer various opportunities to minimise the risk of variable. The study also stated that if players and coaches use training facilities that house no or very little variables along with video imaging footage in an indoor context can prove to have positive consequences. Cheng, (2010) identifies that if a player uses video feedback with reflection and respective movements in a controlled indoor environment, the player’s repetitive movements can become engrained and posed in a sporting context. Feedback is as important as feed forward in any aspect of the game. Feedback allows for coaches to be able to get messages across to players for the areas they performed poorly in. However, feed forward by the use of the video feedback session along with the notes, allows coaches to be able to hand out helpful hints and tips for future recommendations. This particular tool is highly important for youths and youngsters starting in a particular sport. To be able to develop a complete player, a coach must be able to provide feedback and also feed forward to ensure the growth of a player is of a top quality. However this tool can also be very beneficial for adult male and female teams. In training session a coach can provide feedback to a struggling player and thus also provide in the form of detailed sheet of paper of a one v one conversions.
The video analyses not always have to be focused on the player or athlete. In an article by Huanga, Chao, and Shih , (2006) the use of video analysis tools were used from a different perspective. The method involved the players learning from what was available for the through the World Wide Web such as observation, techniques and movement from vast professional players in a sporting code. The article by Mavlankar and Girod , (2009) agrees that since the advancement in technology in the recent years there has been an increase in players and coaches viewing footage of professional matches and implementing it into their own game plan. Mavlankar and Girod , (2009) article also explains that when players viewed the video images of professionals it gave them confidence that the tasks in hand were rather achievable by the reflection method of video imagery.
Through involving video imagery and coaching patterns there also lays risks. Di Salvo, et al., (2007) explains that there is a clear indication of a true athlete and an amateur. It is highly important to start the video imagery at an early age of a player or athlete as if the mind on a youngster is still at a development stage. Thus considering that a player/athlete needs to be adopted to the methods as soon as possible rather than later where it is too late to change (Di Salvo, et al., 2007).
The above section drew upon the areas of research and the related issue. The literature review on the different types of soccer balls and the analysis established the background for the study. The following section will offer a detailed description for the design of the study and the methods that were adopted. The section hasalso outlined the settings, the methods that were utilised for collection of data, and summarised the analysis strategies.
The project has developed and implemented a method for the observation and experimental study of ball control in Futsal.As agreed by Wesch, Natashcha, Barbi, Hall, & Craig(2007), the need to study a particular sport and address its parameters whether it be ball control or movement is vital for the growth of the sport. The experimental study aimed to identify how different soccer balls can actually affect a player’s ball control skills. This was to done to find the find which method is more suitable to develop a player’s skill for future play.
A single participant had beenused for this project and was of the age 15-30yrs old. In this study, experience was not necessary but soccer knowledge was. Soccer knowledge refers to the term described by Marshal, (2009) that the player must have a background in the sport as well as have full understanding of basics and the rules and regulation.
This project was conducted during a programme which Auckland Football Federation delivers to schools. For the project a total of three members hadbeen asked to participate in this project over the 3 week duration (1 per week).
To ensure that the overall aim was achieved in this project, the need of a correct method and approach was a vital. The information that was collected on the game day has been noted down as well as it being recorded by the video camera. The information collected was of Qualitative information meaning that the project had focusing on the quality rather than the quantity. A Quantitative method focuses on the numbers and measurement while the Qualitativemethod focuses on the description of a particular item (Mcdaniel, 2007). This project has used the Qualitative approach as it was looking at quality of measurements and not numbers from the individual/player being analysed. The keys areas of importance that was analysed were passing, ball control, next move, direction change, dribbling and movement. Week one, two and three had focused on a particular individual. This was done to minimise the risk of different players and to ensure the results were kept as correct as possible.
Week one commenced with a de-briefing with the player and the plan was outlined. Prior to the match for week one he was given a different colour bib which deferred him from others thus making the player visible. The player was then recorded for the duration on the night for the 3x 15min matches which included a Futsal ball. Week two was implied by the same rules as week one except the player remained the same and the key focus was on him for the duration of the night for the 3x 15min games which involved a traditional football in an indoor Futsal court. Week three was also implied with the previous rules yet same player was to be analysed for the 3x 15min games involving an indoor soccer ball formally known as an oversized tennis ball. For the nine matches the data was to be collected live through the use of pen and paper as well as the use of a video camera while the matches were in progress. In relation to the approach, to increase the accuracy in the results the matches were to be recorded for further analysis.
Prior to the match, the player was given a form to fill before advancing into the game. This form included questionnaires such as what do you expect to see, how many touches on the ball do you think you will make with your side of the foot and sole of your foot and Do you think there will be a difference in using a different ball. Along with the questionnaire, an ethics form will also be distributed and outline the expectation of the project. These will be kept for data and to allow for more accuracy to the project and also aid in answering the hypothesis question.
The following ethical principles were taken into consideration and applied for the duration of this research project.
- Informed and voluntary consent
- Respect for rights of privacy and confidentiality
- Minimisation of risk
- Social and Cultural sensitivity
- Research Adequacy
- Avoidance of Conflict of Interest
- Respect for Vulnerability of Some Participants
- Respect for Property
Week one template
Soccer ball used:
Game duration: 15mins
illustration not visible in this excerpt
*The same template will be used for the 3x 15min games over the 3 week period (1 per game)
The project had looked at the key variables that helped to determine the overall outcome of the project plan. Key areas that the project had analysedare Ball control (upper or lower body), Ball control (side/sole of the foot), dribbling after receiving the ball (taking on players, moving into space), post action: movement after receiving the ball (Direction: Left, Right, Forward, Backwards), next move after receiving the ball (Pass, Move, Shoot, Dribble). Week one, two and three all contained the same variables that needed to be analysed. Though the each game was played with a different soccer ball, the main goal was to witness what the player did after receiving the different soccer balls in a futsal environment.
Variables that will be examined for the project
Ball Control: In simple terms ball control can be described by gaining control of the ball by using any legal part of the body .i.e. upper or lower. Gaining control of the soccer ball is highly essential in soccer as this will help to retain the ball possession for the team. Though there are many ways of getting the ball under control in soccer, the project aims to find out which portion of the body was used to gain control of the ball. For example shall the ball be controlled by chest of the player this meant a tick in the upper body box as the chest is located in the upper portion on the body. Shall the soccer be controlled by the thigh or the ankle of the player, this meant that a tick is to be positioned in the lower body box in the template as the thigh and the ankle is located in the lower part of the body.
Ball control (receiving): Following on from the ball control, this section focused on the lower part of the body particularly the ankles. This section witnessed specifically if the player was using the sole of their foot or the traditional side of the foot to gain control of the ball on their first touch. In soccer traditionally a soccer ball is controlled by the inside of the foot thus making it easier to execute the next move. Though this is common in the traditional soccer game the project needed to witness how this is changed with the involvement of a different soccer ball in an indoor context. For example, shall the player use their sole of their foot to control the ball is their first touch this meant a tick in the sole of the foot box, shall the player use the traditional side foot method to control the ball this indicated a tick in the Side foot box in the template.
Dribbling (after receiving the ball): This indicates to take the soccer ball past the opponent by using your feet. This technique is highly important in the soccer context as this allows players to get into better positions that would benefit the whole team. The projects aim was to witness what a player did when receiving the ball. Ideally the main objective is to witness whether the player moves into space when receiving the ball or takes the opponent on. Analysing this area would remain a key to determining the difference as predicted by the hypothesis that there shall be great differences. For example, if a player received the ball and moved into an open space, this indicated a tick in the moved into space box. Shall the player receive the ball and decide to take on the opponent this indicated a tick in the take on player box.
Movement (After receiving the ball): A key aspect that is ideally as important to analyse in the player movement. Movement in soccer is important as this will allow the team to play as create better scoring or defending opportunities. This project aimed to analyse what the player did when receiving the ball .i.e. Left, Right, Forward, and Backwards. For example, shall the player receive the ball and move left with the ball this would indicate a tick in the left box. Shall the player move right, forward or backwards while still having possession of the ball this would mean a tick in a box of the direction the player travelled in.
Movement using foot (After receiving the ball): This section was ideally as important as the rest as it solely focus on the player and what move was created by the player after receiving the ball .i.e. pass, dribble, shoot, move. This was important as in a soccer context, as any one of these moves can help a team to victory or create professionalism for the team. For example, if the player received the ball and passed the ball to a team mate this will result in a tick in the pass box. The same applied for the dribbling, moving into space and also shooting. Pass – Is simply described as a pass being made from a player to a team mate travelling from point A to point B. 80% of the time the passing method is used in the soccer context. Move into space – Moving into space in soccer allows for a better position and angle to receive the pass or pass a ball to a team mate. This aspect of the game is also important as it allows for better defending and scoring opportunity. Dribble – Though this method is used highly in soccer, it is a great way to defeat an opponent. Dribbling is described as taking the ball past the opponent. Shoot – This aspect of the game is mainly used by players that play in the forward line. To simply define shooting, it can be made by the use of the feet and also the second most common way the forehead. The objective to shoot is either to score a goal or to force the goal keeper into deflecting for a corner kick.
These variables had been critically assessed throughout the course of the 3 week programme. The player has been critically analysed on each of the above mentioned aspect. The results from each week have been compared amongst each other to determine the facts and conclude overall outcome. This had further aided in answering the question for the project plan.
The visual presentation of the data presented in this section is displayed in the form of bar graphs. There are five different graphs display each showing the comparison of each of the variables tested. This is done to show the differences between the three games and areas of testing promptly. Game one consisted of using the Futsal soccer ball, Game two consisted of the use of a traditional soccer ball and Game three consisted of using an indoor soccer ball formally known as an oversized indoor soccer ball.
For each of the variables, e.g. sole of the foot, side of the foot, passing and direction of movement it is outlined in on each independent graph. Graph one, two and three show the analysed data for each of the game for of duration15mins. For all the graphs the X and Y axis remain the same. The X axis represents the ball control, direction of movement and next move after receiving the ball and the Y axis represents the numbers for each variable.
Figure one represents the data from the game which involved the Futsal ball. This game outlined that dominant figure in the player using the upper or lower portion of the body to control the ball. Through the visual summarised results, it is clear to state that the player in indoor soccer ball game used the lower portion of the body more when compared to all three games. It is also evident to state through all the games analysed, the upper portion of the body was used to also control the ball and all the games had similar results as displayed in Figure one.
FIGURE 1: FUTSAL BALL (Upper and Lower)
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Figure two illustrates the part of the foot the player used more often i.e. sole or side of the foot. Judging from the results, it is evident to state that player used his side of the foot more often than his sole of the foot in the traditional game. A rather interesting result as the traditional ball had altered the way the player received and played the ball. However, the sole of the sole of the foot was highly used in the Futsal game.
Figure 2: Side versus Sole of the Foot
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The following illustrates the dribbling aspect of the game .i.e. taking on players compared to moving into space. Judging from the graphed results, it is evident to state that the indoor soccer game produced the most results in relation to moving into space and closely followed by the Futsal game.
Figure 3: Dribbling (Taking on Players versus Moving into Space)
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The following illustrates the player’s movement of direction i.e. Left, Right, Forward, Backward. It is clear to indicate that the indoor soccer game the player moved forward very often when compared to the three games. However, the Futsal game also produce results of forward movement and a wide spread of direction changes.
Figure 4: Movement in direction (Left, Right, Forward, Backward)
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The following illustration presents the data for the post action after receiving the ball .i.e. what decision the player make when receiving the ball .i.e. Pass, Move into space, Shoot, Dribble. It is evidently clear to state that the game played with the traditional soccer ball produced the most number of passes. The game played with the indoor soccer ball produced the equal number of passes.
Figure 5: Post action after receiving the ball (Pass, Move into space, Shoot, Dribble)
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The overall aim for this project was to find the differences between the three different soccer balls used in a Futsal environment. One particular player was to be recorded and analysed on each of the soccer ball used. A total of three games were played and recorded. Each game consisted of the same player being analysed but use of a different soccer ball. The three soccer balls that were used were a Futsal ball, Traditional soccer ball and an Indoor soccer ball (Oversized tennis ball). All of the games were played in a normal Futsal game condition on a Futsal court (40mx20m) and being recorded for the duration of 15mins. On each of these 15mins periods, the player was recorded on a camcorder along with live data coding by the analyser. These 15mins games were then put through the analysis software “Gamebreaker” to analyse the result in a professional manner. The software allowed for better analysis such as the ability to zoom in, slow motion, and the ability to analyse different variables on the player. These variables included Direction of movement, receiving the pass with the sole or side of their feet, movement after receiving the ball.
As addressed in the introduction, the overall aim of the study was to witness if playing three different soccer balls in an indoor Futsal court played a role in decision making for a player. The findings of this study show that, though futsal is played with a rather specifically designed ball, using a different ball can alter the players thinking. Since one particular individual was recorded on his techniques across all three games, the finding displayed that there were levels of difference across all games. The results outlined that an individual has a higher chance of success shall he focus playing futsal with the Futsal ball. To continue further, it is of importance to address the reasons to why have the results occurred in this particular manner. Judging from a player’s perspective, there are many benefits that arise from playing futsal. As of the recent years it has outlined that some of the greatest footballers in this era have a background that is associated with futsal. According to Balcikanli, (2014) it was found that players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Xavi Hernandez all had the involvement of Futsal in their lives prior to taking up professional soccer contracts. Messi is by no means the only superstar with futsal roots. Apart from the Argentinian wizard, the likes of Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Ronaldo learned the trade in the sports hall(Balcikanli, 2014). It is evident to state that Futsal aids in a players development in areas of passing, developing ball control skills and most importantly balance and quick thinking. Adapting these behaviours from the Futsal game and applying it to the traditional game had endless possibilities. The overall layout of Futsal consists of fewer players; smaller sized pitch, similar rules and unlimited substitution allow a player to have many touches of the ball and goal attempts. In contrast playing Futsal allows developing a player naturally as the limited time on the ball and space aid it obtaining accuracy in passes. These explanations and critical analysis outline why the results in this particular study varied.
The research question was “The effects of three different types of soccer balls on a player in a Futsal environment”. Game one displayed results that were considered fair in the context of Futsal. The results of this study were aligned and closely related of the studies conducted by Reis, et al., (2012) and Castanga, Vera, D'ottavio, Alvarez, & Baberro, (2010). Looking at each variable indivudually, it is evident that there were unexpected results across all three games. The findings from this study which indicates that the invovlement of three different soccer balls in a concise enviroment replicates the studies co-ordinated by Travassos et al., (2011); Ren (2013). Travassos et al., (2011); Ren (2013) studies specifically focused on the passing variable in the traditional football game and futsal. It concluded that the total number of passes executed by an individual increased through playing small sided games despite the environment. From this study, it concluded by stating that the higher number of opportunities to control the ball whether it is side of sole of the foot was dependant on the player and the ball involved. Similar studies conducted by Lette & Heathers, (2014) found that though the environment changes, the involvement of the same equipment, player will still adhere to their natural abilities to control the ball. In a study byChamari (2011), it found a higher total number of short passes in context of small 5v5 sided games. This is evident as in the traditional game it was found that this game housed the maximum number of passes. Since a traditional game is played outdoors the ball is rather bouncy and can travel faster than a futsal ball of an indoor soccer ball. This is also a direct coloration of the study conducted by Ford, Twist, & Owen , (2011) which states that small pitch dimensions allows for players to play rather quick and short passes more than compared to a traditional pitch length. Comparing the findings of this research and along with the findings from literature it is evident to state that playing in a small confined area disturbs the way a player plays the game.
In terms of ball control, the participant in this study showed an increase in the futsal match (specifically outlining the sole of the foot) than compared to the other matches (Figure 1). A possible explanation for this uplift in the results is that the player is a national team futsal player was most comfortable playing with the futsal ball on the futsal court. A futsal ball is specifically designed for the futsal thus the ball is filled with foam rather than air which in return reduces the bounce of the ball on any surface. This “bounce factor” aids in the players ability to control the ball much easier when compared to the indoor soccer ball and the traditional soccer ball. The ball is much heavier than the traditional soccer ball and an indoor soccer ball which in return makes it easier to control the ball with the sole of the foot ensuring its security. This therefore enhances a player’s ability to gain better ball control. As agreed by Moore, Bullough, Goldsmith, & Edmondson, (2010)who conducted a study which involved the futsal ball and a traditional ball, found that using a futsal ball alongside a traditional soccer ball in an indoor context increased a player’s ability to make more touches with the futsal ball than the traditional soccer ball.
Mircea & Cosmin, (2014) research around futsal balls agrees that though futsal is likely to develop the “control of the ball” of a player it highly different when faced with the traditional soccer ball in an indoor context. This study found the side of the foot was the chosen method by the participant which was the highest of the three games (Figure 2). It is also evident to state that this game involving the traditional soccer ball had the most number of executed passes. This is agreed by Ford, Twist, & Owen , (2011)which states that controlling a traditional soccer ball requires more skill and knowledge. Since it being in an indoor environment, the ball has the ability to slide and gain no grip of the surface due to its texture. A study conducted by Wu, Lu, & Huanga, (2010) also agrees that the best method to control a soccer ball is by using the side of the foot and not the sole as the chances of stopping the ball is ball higher with the side of the foot than the bottom of the foot. Taking the environment into account similar research conducted by Lette & Heathers, (2014)found that smaller pitch size increase the ability to pass the ball more since the ball is filled with air it will travel faster to it target.
In terms of movement (direction of travel), it is evident to state that the participant moved forward more in the indoor soccer ball game when compared to the other two games (Figure 3). This was achieved as the participant was playing in a midfield role in this game. This allowed the participant to move up the field respectively and not concern about defending at certain parts of the court. As agreed by Chaouachi, et al., (2010)the direction of travel of a player playing in midfield is the back bone for the driving force in attack. Game one with the futsal ball displayed the second highest number of forward direction of travel.
In terms of shooting, the participant of this study displayed a rather increase in shooting in the indoor soccer ball game (Figure 3). Goal attempts are a minority when compared to passing and dribbling which almost occur on every play of the game. Therefore even the slight increase in shooting for this study showed that though all games had a significantly low margin in shooting, the game involving the indoor soccer ball proved to have the highest number of shots though not by a large margin. This showed that the individual showed confidence most in the indoor soccer ball to shoot than the other two soccer balls. A possible explanation for this result may be due to the player being more comfortable with the indoor soccer ball in shooting context as it requires less effect due to its weight and texture. Another possible factors maybe the goal size and the playing area. A futsal pitch measures 40x20m and played on hard polished surface and a futsal goal post measure 3x2m. The small goal post and playing area may have allowed the participant to take more shots at the target than to let it go out and in the hands of the opposition. According to (Ford, Twist, & Owen , (2011) which supports and further more agrees to the idea of playing in a small sided area which in return allows for more shots to be taken at the target.
From the results of this study a strong pattern has emerged which directly supports that futsal is an effective instrument to enhance and develop a growing player. It is highly important to take into considerations the actions of passing, movement, post action and ball control increased in relation to one another. Viewing all the tested variables, it is evident that each of the different soccer balls had an impact of the variable’s thus increasing or decreasing it respectively. Another area of interest that addressed the overall aim of this study of the effect of three different soccer balls in a futsal environment is highlighted in the results sections (Figures 1, 2 3, 4 and 5). These graphs show the side by side comparison of each of the variable tested and clear indication of which area was increased or decreased. The effects were varied across all the three soccer balls analysed and showed that when the participant played in the futsal game the results outlined an equal number across all variables. Therefore it is stated that though presenting the participant with a different soccer ball in a futsal court it is clear to outline that it had significant effects of the participant. It also goes to show that though a different ball was introduced the participant adjusted to the ball and the environment respectively. The findings from Lette & Heathers, (2014)directly agree with the importance of a player to adjust to the surroundings despite the conditions or variables placed upon them. In return for a growing soccer player to further develop the skills and foundations that it already exist in the traditional game, being exposed to futsal may have better benefits for the player overall. Playing in a small sided court and in an indoor environment will enhance the players thinking more effectively and playing in a confined area will allow for quick movements, quick thinking and also more touches of the ball. Therefore if the need to transition to the outdoor game the benefits housed from playing futsal can be put into practice in the traditional outdoor soccer game. Thus, taken into consideration in-line with this study and the finding/results of this co-operative study suggest that even though the playing the traditional soccer game is the main priority. Placing growing player and exposing them to the different types of soccer ball in an indoor context may prove to build a stronger player. As the study has found that each of the tested soccer balls have had an increase in rather different areas/variables i.e. passing, shooting and ball control. Therefore the suggestion that arises from this study is that exposing growing players to unfamiliar territories and different variable may prove to be a better means of stimulus for technical improvement such as passing, dribbling, ball control and awareness.
A limitation of this study that was present is one that needs addressing. Firstly the participant that was the key figure for data analyse was one that was well aware of the surrounding and the futsal game. It was not till the second and third game till this interesting factor araised. The first game was recorded and the player accepted that and played a normal game involving the futsal ball. However in the second and third game, it was evident in the video that the player was aware that he was being filmed and since not being able to play a game of futsal with a different ball the player consistently reminded of himself that he need to use the sole of the ball rather than the side of the foot. This was clearly visible in the second and third game. This made it rather tricky to analyse as the participant was quickly adjusting to get a few ticks in all the variables boxes. Another limitation that needs mentioning is though Futsal develops a player in the relation to passing, dribbling and creating awareness; it does have a negative effect. This comes in in the form of limitations for the player not being able to head the ball and shoot at a bigger target. Since a Futsal court and goals are relatively small, the player does not use the head to control the ball and also is restricted to shooting due to a smaller target and not enough space to effectively execute a shot.
This present study displayed that participants improved their technical performance wellbeing throughout the three games in the form of passing, shooting, movement in direct and post action. It is clear in this study to achieve a complete player in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez futsal is an ideal place to start. It teaches the basics of the traditional game in a much simpler context and applies it to the ones involved. Futsal is an effective in a player growth especially at a young age and allows one to be actively involved in the game. Therefore, the involvement of different types of soccer balls must be a requirement for a team looking to further develop their players. Along with futsal and the different types of soccer balls involved it can outline to a team coach the areas of improvement and areas of attention.
This section will critically reflect on the process taken through the cooperative project. The particular areas of attention that will be taken into consideration are: Identifying the issue, Development of the aim, the development of the plan, and also the analysis and report writing. In this reflection section I will highlight what I have learnt, the issues I faced and what was successful and unsuccessful for me along with the problems I encountered and how I dealt with it.
Identification of the issue
After the completion of my second year papers at university and the two placements that I was part of I was convinced to take the pathway with football. I had planned and wanted to work in football governed environment and I was lucky enough to be able to do my placement with Auckland Football Federation (AFF). The decision was made to go ahead with Auckland Football Federation as I wanted to implement a plan that would uplift the federation’s futsal area. I knew from the start what the requirements were for implementing a project plan and going ahead with it. I knew it would a rather challenging task but one that can be enjoyable and also one that will highly contribute to my studies. After securing a spot in the federation as a co-futsal development officer I had co-ordinated no research around the sport or the potential issues it was facings. I thought of it as it was going well and according to plan. However as the holidays ended I was left to wonder I had not made any attempts to identifying the issue or seek research methods around it. Before my very first meeting with my Academic supervisor, he kindly advise me to identify the potential threats it has and list the possible project ideas and go through with it with the industry supervisor. Knowing that I was already behind, I had made sure that very day to put my pen to paper and get my potential ideas down. After doing so I managed to secure a meeting with the industry supervisor and mentioned the possible project ideas I had. The industry supervisor stated that those are good but there was something in particular he wanted to see happen. My industry supervisor than stated to ideas and potential project ideas that I could I could do that would help the federation. The first to implement a training programme for the young players coming into the sport and the second to evaluate the difference between three different types soccer balls in an indoor environment. After taking the ideas and showing it to my academic supervisor we were able to alter a few things and come up with a plan. I then took the idea and showed my industry supervisor and he was happy with it. I felt this idea was going to challenge me and push the boundaries on what can and cannot be done. The first idea did not go ahead as they had hired a professional coach from England to take over the role of coaching young players. So the issue was identified and the good to go ahead was confirmed. In respect to Auckland Football Federation, they did not really care what the futsal department did. The seemed not care to much about the futsal department and therefore the idea to find the difference what the different soccer balls do in indoor context will highlight to the federation of the futsal importance.
Development of the aim
After the identification, I was then able to develop an overall aim of the project in hand. The overall aim of this project was to find the effects of three different soccer balls on a player in a futsal environment. Both my academic and industry supervisors assisted me in developing the aim of the project. Though I can state that there were a few issues on developing the right aim for the project but with the help of my academic and industry supervisor we were able to obtain one that met all areas. The reason for me to choose the sport futsal was because I was heavily involved in the futsal department of the federation. From this experience, I can clearly state that aims are considered a very important aspect of a research project and what a research intends to achieve. In simpler words, aims are recognised as what the project is aiming towards just like having a goal in mind. Furthermore I understood that the aim should be very specific to the project plan kept short and concise rather long and over detailed. Along with developing an aim for the project I also was reminded that the inclusion of a hypothesis is as important. The hypothesis of the project was of that there will be no major or very little differences across all three soccer balls used by a player in a futsal environment. The hypothesis of the project is the statement which gets test on and looked to prove correct or incorrect at the completion of the study. Shall I undergo a research project in the near future I will most certainly look to add a hypothesis and a null-hypothesis to give the reader a much broader understanding of the project.
Development of the Plan
The development of the plan was considered the most tricky and challenging part of this overall co-operative project. The reason for feeling this way was that I have never done or conducted any means of a project in the past. Since most of my assignments leading up to this paper were all synthesizing and looking often looking up work of other scholars. Therefore this created a bit of fear within but also happiness and knowing that one I can excel in well if I only can focus on it fully. However despite being fearful before the project had commenced, this experience has been one that I will not forget and has been be beneficial for me on many levels and has taught me how to properly address and write the many research proposals within this section. The very first step into the project plan was to research literature relevant to my study and write up about it. Along my university years I had completed many literature reviews therefore I had a fair idea about how to do one. My first search result returned with rather contradicting results and left me very confused. After a few more searches I was left puzzled and wondered if I was searching in the correct areas. I soon after discovered that there was very little information available for the topic that I was researching. My results consistently returned with blogs and non-credible sources. After the help of my academic supervisor I was able to use certain search phrases such as “Futsal” “5aside indoor soccer” and “Futbol”. After rephrasing these terms I was able to gather enough information for my table. My academic supervisor than stated to take the key findings from the topics I researched and put it into a table and write mini summaries about them. I did not fully understand this at first but after the completion I understood that I had me thinking and writing about the topics and gaining broader understanding about the researched areas.
Quite clearly I can outline the writing the methods section was very tricky and challenging for me. I did not have an idea of what I was doing and what needs to be written where and how. After a few meetings with my academic supervisor this was cleared up and I was back on track. The one thing that made me really understand the methods section was reading up about the other studies that have been conducted. I read up on a few different methods and was able to develop a better understanding around it. After a few practices and guidance I was able to determine what method I was to utilise for my research project. My academic supervisor and industry supervisor both assisted me in developing the project plan of action. They both suggested using some one that was well familiar with the sport and its rules and regulations and also someone that would be willing to give up their time. They also suggested to use a particular individual as doing this will keep the results as accurate as possible. I was not at all confident in this method as it was very daunting to approach someone that housed all the above mentioned attributes. So as we were talking, since my industry supervisor is the captain of the Nz futsal team I happened to ask him and he replied as “Why did I not think of that”. Now I had located a possible candidate I was well ahead to start the research project. By sharing my ideas with the colleagues at Auckland Football Federations I was able to get a better understanding of how the NZ Futsal team captain plays.
I ensure that the section of ethical consideration as part of this project was completed successfully and was as detailed as possible. Prior to the commencement of the co-operative placement in the industry and university I made sure to fully understand the ethical considerations. In my second year at university, I was able to understand the ethical considerations through my industry evaluation and research paper and apply it to practice. Therefore when it came to writing the ethical considerations for the research project I was very comfortable and was also able to illustrate my understandings of the key principles and how they were relevant to the project. I personally believe that in this section of the project I was successful in applying the principles effectively and relate each one of them respectively. This section of the report took me the least amount of time as I was very comfortable in doing this and was very confident.
When planning a completion timeline I purely misjudged the time frame and delegated my time poorly due to external factors. I had clearly planned to spent time on certain areas such as reflection, methods and discussions. However due to spending more time in other sections I was left rushing and almost panicking to finish other sections before the due date. Therefore I made up time by using my mid semester breaks as a time for me to do some extensive work on certain areas. Though the sections were considered small, they were as equally as important as other sections and required attention. From this, I was able to conclude that to be able to successfully do something time management must be of a top notch and are a crucial part of achievement. A major setback at this point was that the method and discussion did not meet the marking criteria at all. I was left worried and puzzled to what if I do not meet the deadline and fail. I felt very uneasy and setback for a while but after talking to my academic supervisor I was quickly back on track and made sure that both of the sections met the criteria respectively. A major problem that needed addressing in the method section was that I did not clearly explain the participants and the approach. To my understanding this was fine, but after my academic supervisor read it he stated to change a few things and reword it better. Therefore to make this section clearer and better to understand I placed a table outlining the content and what each section was for.
From this experience of developing a project plan, I have learnt that it is highly important to write a section and be very clear and concise about it. Elaborating on sections such as the methods and discussions will help the read better an understanding of the project. The project plan needs to be and has to be clearly detailed and should outline the use of equipment’s and resources respectively.
Implementation of the Plan
The implementation of the plan and project was considered successful as everything went according to plan.
The very first challenge I was faced with was finding a team and an evening that suits everyone to go ahead with the implementation of the plan. So we had finally agreed on a night and went ahead with it. This session went according to plan in which I was able to provide information to the participants involved and also go through the ethical consideration with them. I was also able to answer any questions that the players of the staff had about the project plan. However an issue that was present on the day was the availability of the players. One team had a full set of players plus subs and the other team was lacking two key players. Though the player in question was there on the night, the issue of the two players not being there clearly indicated that we could not go ahead with session. After some research on why they did not turn up it was concluded to state that they were provided with wrong information and dates. I set back which none of us wanted. After careful consideration I thought to myself that I could have done thing a little bit different. I could have emailed them on the day to remind them of the status of the evening or could have told my industry supervisor to arrange and remind players of the evening’s event.
Prior to the first week of the intervention, me and the industry supervisor sat down and reviewed the session plan. I had essentially planned to run warm up session to get everyone warmed up, stretched and ready to go. My industry supervisor stated that it should be the player’s responsibility to get warmed up and stretch effectively. At this point in time I did not feel the need to change the plan or action as I felt it was my responsibility to do get the players warmed up as per stated in my action plan. However after careful considerations, I thought about what my industry supervisor had mentioned and removed the section of warm up from the plan of action. This allowed me to focus more on my camera set up and gets the best viewing angle as possible. Allowing this change made me feel comfortable about the environment and focus more on the task ahead. From this I experienced that try not to take to many things on board at one time. Plan – Focus on the task – Apply.
The project intervention started in the first week of April in the first semester of university and occurred for the following three weeks on a Wednesday night. These session went very well and I was very pleased with the turned out and the results that were collected. From this experience I learnt that communication and confidence are two of the most important keys to moving forward.
Analysing and Reporting
This section really challenged at the most throughout the project. The real reason for this was that I had never analysed data of a quantitative or qualitative nature and that statistics was never my strong point. After gaining all the data I was ready to get the number and start to talk about it. However really egad to start I was not sure how I was going to do this as I had no idea on exactly how to do this. For me to be able to do this successfully, I made sure to attend the workshop that was on statistics. After going to this class I was able to get a better understanding of topic and how to encode data properly. This was because the lecture was presenting the data in various ways and I understood one or two of them. Though I was still left confused and worried I went home and researched about the topic and to adapt a better understanding around it. The following week a session on quantitative data was available and I was quick to attend this class also. Though this class really confused me and I was left frustrated as the lecturer did not mention how to analyse it and stated that think of it as a picture and describe its qualities rather that count the number of blocks it is made up of. She said to describe its features and outline why it is the way it is. This session made me very confused and on my way home I started to think about which suits me best. After speaking with the industry supervisor I was able to find which one was suited for my project. Along with that thankfully I was able to find an online source that explained it way better than the lecturer and the guest lecturer. From this I learnt how to use excel, word and PowerPoint properly. I was also able to use the likes of Gamebreaker usefully by the online source describing every move. Though this was a rather confusing and frustrating phase, I feel that I have developed a much broader understanding about the topics addressed.
Furthermore, another area that I struggled with at times was the discussion. At first I was not sure of what goes in this section and saw number and illustrations of graphs in it. Through the help of my academic supervisor I was able to understanding the makings of a discussion section and was quick to be back on track. Through the above mentioned section I was able to form an effective discussion section. I clearly understood the vital ingredients of a discussions section and also why is it vital to state the hypothesis in it. I felt this section was done very effectively as I was able to draw upon wide range of literature to support my findings. As this was a very vital part of the report I should have allocated more time to this section to make it better and sound clearer. I felt that I had left it for to late to be able to change anything or make alterations where needed.
While reflecting on this co-operative project I have come to a conclusion and would like to state that the best way to critically reflect is through the use of the daily journal entries. By doing this, the process of critical reflection becomes that much simpler and easier to understand. It does not matter when it was reflected on but reading it now will help to understand about each section or entry that much easier. I felt that the co-operative regular journal entries are a good way of making a person become more susceptible to getting a much clearer and smarter thinking. I will definitely consider doing a personal critical reflection for
Co-operative Reflection and Evaluation
The following section will look to critically analyse and reflect on the entire co-operative experience respectively.
Time management, self-management and personal action
The time that I have spent at the Auckland University of Technology has transformed me from being a low confident person who relied who others to one that is filled with confidence and who takes control of his own actions to further forward. The transition from high school to university has been a rather daunting experience. Having left school in 2007 and almost starting university in the opposite field left me feeling confused. In high school there were always students, friends and the regular person that you would recognise on a daily note and ones that you could talk to about sports, games etc. One aspect of high school that is embedded in me is the way we were getting told what to do and where to go. A Feedback that really deprived us of practicing time management, self-management and also being responsibly for own actions. However, the transition in university and into my first year for the Sport and Recreation degree I was quickly reminded that I needed to take responsibility of my own actions and also be careful of time management. IT was not till the later stages of the first year I realised that it was pretty much “every man for himself”. By this is I mean there was no assistance provided by the tutors or lectures and it was our own responsibility to work hard and aim to finish high. It was easy stated that, in high school teachers will tell you what to where to go and what you could do and not. Along with that sport teams were regularly available to participate in etc. However in university none of the mentioned sections were available. If you needed help on a particular subject you needed to arrange a time with the person or lecturer in charge. There were no particular sports teams that I could join for physical activity or any leagues that were happening. I constantly asked myself and reminded myself that “I am here to get a degree and not to excel in sports teams”. Right from the start, my main goal was to improve my time and self-management skills. At the beginning of the year I found it a task which I was really struggling with but as the academic year went past I started to get an understanding of how things are working as the workload started to pile up.
At this stage I planned a strategy that will help to take care of everything and manage it well. Therefore I began with creating a daily and weekly planner which had clear outlines of my schedules on what and when needed to be completed within a respected time frame. For example, when I was in the Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication class I had failed the very first assignment. Though I had completed it on time and handed it in I felt as that it was a rushed assignment and I did not allow ample time for this. The plan that I had drawn upon had clear outlines of how long I was to spend on a topic and organise which assignment was the hardest – lowest. I would do this to better myself in the areas of self and time management. In relation to my papers, especially the two cooperative papers I can confidently state that doing this plan till date has helped me build a stronger character and developed my capabilities further.
Though already being equipped with another degree and ready for a pathway change I noticed that my very first year into this Sport and Recreation degree required us to be deep critical thinkers. Feeling very confused and not entirely sure of its meaning I did not pay much attention to it. After conducting some research around what is “critical thinking” I soon realised that most of my papers at university were of descriptive nature. I soon figured and though that to be a critical thinker we must question the ifs, so what, and what of the topic. The three major contributors to this were the second tear Society paper, Organisational analysis assignment and the second year Industry experience and research papers. These three papers were the ones that I had to really critically think about and develop an understanding of it before advancing forward. In these three papers I was able to critically analyse the section of Maori teams in the society paper, the organisation structure of the Industry, experience and research assignment as well as the organisational analysis of the organisational paper. In the organisation and industry and Research papers, I was able to critically have an input about my placement (Auckland Football Federation) by studying the leadership culture, funding and also the whole of football plan.
Conducting this, I was able to the functions of Auckland Football Federation and if these structures put into place was actually working. Along with Simon Walters and Jenny Fleming I feel as they both gave great advice when it came to thinking critically and applying in the respected context. Simon Walters suggested to me if the structure is ok, what is good about the organisational structure and is it effective or needs a change. At first I was thinking to myself, I am in no position to state if the organisation is good or bad. However, after thinking about it I was able to understand what my lecturers wanting me to think as. After doing so I came across a analysing tool by the name of SWOT.I do recall hearing about this particular tool in the earlier years of my study but never really understood its purpose. It was not till the later in my second year that it was mentioned again in the industry, experience and research paper. Through the lectures and cooperative experiences it has taught me how to analyse an organisation through the use of the SWOT tool and various others. Though I still feel as my work still contains a lot of descriptive detailing I can confidently state that these cooperative experiences have shown me how to not only critically think and analyse the work industry but my own as well. When in comparison from my first year, I have made major leap forward in terms of my thinking and understanding of the topics in question.
Critical Reflection and Evaluation
Capabilities: Standard pathway
Throughout the duration of my studies at AUT I must address the area of critical reflection. When I first heard about this I thought nothing of it and did not pay attention to it. In all reality I did not even know what “critical reflection” meant or how is it applied to the context on this degree. Since I was not aware of the words “critical reflection” little that I knew that it had a rather large contributor to the degree and the papers. It was not until the later stages, more specifically the cooperative stages that I became clear on what it meant and how was it applied. Critical reflection means to do an activity and then analyse it afterwards to my understanding. This was a major aspect of the cooperative papers as during the week I was placed in the industry to work and gain experiences. After this I would go home and reflect on it through the journal reflection page on AUT online. I would start of by describing the events that I co-ordinated during the day and then address the issues on how it made me feel and what could have been better for me for future purpose. I found that critical reflections were a rather great way of developing a broader understanding and thoughts around the cycle. Upon still being unclear about the topic, I researched around the topic and found various readings about the importance of critically reflecting. The one that really made sense was of Mather & Lewis book on clear and critical reflections. It used examples of school kids and in settings like outdoors and indoors. One particular area of interest was of how it addressed the issues of including the all children in activities equally without any extrinsic factors. Week by week the individual struggled with these and finally of her final week at the school she managed to piece together and included everyone respectively. Week by week she wrote what went right and wrong and how to correct it. It was not till the fourth week where she was successful. I feel as this made more sense to me as I was regularly around school children and working close to them. Therefore adhering to the concept in the above mentioned book was quite helpful in terms of critical reflection. Along with that I would like to credit my academic supervisor for his efforts on helping me fully grasp the critical reflection area. In relation to critical reflection this journey throughout the course of this Sports and Recreation degree has enabled me to gaining a broader understanding about critical reflection the importance of it. My mind-set around “critical reflection” has changed to one that is considered of a positive nature. It has better shaped me not only during my studies but for the real world too. The notion and understanding of critical reflection has been fully embedded in brain as I look to use it for future purpose.
Communication (Written and Oral)
Prior to my commencement into the Sports and Recreation degree my communication along with written skills was not up a standard that the university would accept. Reflecting on my very first few assignments, though I was confident in writing, it did not mean that it was up to a university standard. My sentencing structures were good according to me but to the markers and readers it was not. Along with that though I’m a very confident speaker in public this did not mean that I was a very good speaker/presenter. I felt at this stage that my written skills along with speech were well under developed and needed attention. It was not till the paper Knowledge, Enquiry and communication that I learnt to better my sentences and speech through the help of the lecturer Mrs Sue Stilton. She was very helpful in explaining the sentences and rather than telling me where I went wrong she made me read them and gave helpful hints into structuring them in a way to help the reader understand the topic better. Since I came from the completion of another degree which heavily required me to use calculations, methods and data to show my work it had very little to do with essay writing. Through the paper Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication I was able to correctly format my work in APA format rather than MPA and use the APA guidelines along with the lecturers help to write an essay worth reading.
It was not till the end stage of the Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication paper that I was aware that I was a confident and reliable speaker. However, coming to this stage was not all because of me. It was also through the guidelines put into place by the lecturers of Knowledge, Enquiry and communication paper. They stated in the lecture slide on how to be a confident speaker and to fully get the message across. For my speech in the Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication I was well prepared for it. Leading up to it I was very patient and calm and understood what was required of me. I read the notes for the “presentation” aspect of the paper and applied it respectively. When I presented I was very nervous but I remembered that looking at the top of audience’s heads will help to calm nerves. I remembered this as a week prior to the presentation I spoke to the lecturer and she mentioned that she uses it till date. From these experiences I have learnt that to be an effective communicator the need to understand your audience and readers is a vital tool. I have managed to use this tool across the duration of my studies at AUT especially in the cooperative phases. It has helped me to plan and write effective essays for the industry that I was placed in and also largely helped me in gaining an in-depth understanding into the areas of communication. However though I do feel comfortable I do personally state that there are still areas of improvement needed.
Professional appearance and practice go side by side. It is considered where an individual explores and practices his/her knowledge in the practical working environments. Though I have successfully completed industry hours at Auckland Football Federation, one must argue that was my practice with the industry of a professional nature. Since we were deployed into various schools across Auckland the need to appear professional was of a top nature. Along with that the speech and attitudes played relevant roles. During the final year I was heavily involved in organising and running futsal clinics and also various activities at primary schools. Being the sole coordinator of these activities it was purely my responsibility to ensure these operated at a high level thus if it did not I would get blamed for it. I can clearly and confidently state that almost all of the sessions and various activities that I coordinated were successful. However there were a few those did not go according to plan as one particular session needs addressing. This session it was supposed to be two of us allocated to this session of 30 students. Upon arrival I was left alone and not aware that the other person was not arriving for that session. After ringing the industry supervisor in frustration he notified me on “An email was sent out”. Dealing with the frustration was not on the agenda at that particular moment and the blame was on me as I also forgot to pick up the gear for the session as well. I sincerely apologised to the school and my industry supervisor and stated that this will never happen again. Along with that my dress code was very poor that day as well and one of the school teachers did point it out.
Working in the futsal department I was in close contact with the teachers at the various schools that the federation was working with. Therefore the way I presented myself whether it was in the industry or at schools was a number one priority. Firstly I knew that when working in schools I was not only representing Auckland Football Federation but the university as well which meant that the reputation was to be considered. For me to be able to respectively represent AUT and Auckland Football Federation I needed to get invest in some proper clothes such as track pants, sports shoes and polo shirts similar colour to the federation. It was not only that I needed to present myself professionally but also dressing up accordingly for the days event brought a sense of empowerment from within along with self-belief and confidence. Equipped with the proper gears etc., I then ensured to be well organised and arrive at the daily events on time and at least 10-15mins earlier just in case of a de-briefings etc. From this experience I have learnt that pre-planning and presentation are vital when working in any industry. Poor dress codes not only make the individual look bad but also reflect on the organisation the individual works for. The overall cooperative experience has allowed me better my communication skills, planning and also allowed me to develop an understanding about proper dress codes for sports events.
The duration of my time at AUT has not only be an independent learner but also allowed me to become an effective team member through the various group assignments. My arrival into the degree saw me sufficient experiences in the “working collaborative” field. Each semester and most of my papers had some form of group and team based assignments. Though I am a very confident person, there were times that the group assignments did test the parameters. These group projects allowed for everyone’s ideas to be shared and analysed and being the confident person, I was always asking for better ideas from the group members. Since being in an environment that uses the term “work collaborative” in the likes of Auckland Football Federation, this was highly beneficial. This was highly beneficial as there were also other AUT students at the federation so the need for collaboration was evident in the regular team work and fun activities. Clear evidence of this is when I and my peers were deployed at Alfriston College and also Mount Rostkill Grammar. We needed to work together and with each other to develop a plan of action that included the need to obtain equipment etc. As we progressed we were involved in a Futsal competition at Alfriston College. Between three of us we needed to divide activities equally and exchange respectively at the half way point of the tournament. From these experiences, I can clearly state that though working with peers was very frustrating for me at first I soon found out that working in groups allows for more ideas to flow and also achieving goals become that much easier.
Integration of theories into practice
During the overall academic course I can clearly state that I have developed an understanding of many of the theories such as TGFF (Teaching games for fun), Athlete centred approach and also the course management and refereeing theory. Reinforced with these wide spread knowledge I felt as was able to apply these effectively to my placement. Within the federation of Auckland Football, I was able to speak and present in one of my presentations about theories into practice. For example when I was at primary schools, I was able to use the TGFF theory (teaching games for fun) into practices as I was teaching children. I was also able to use the three step coaching effectively process statements. I feel as the steps really helped me to gain a better understanding around the structure of “theories into practice”. Step one” Plan a session for the respected age group. Step two: Deliver the session, along with the help the academic supervisor. I felt this experience taught me a lot about the theories into practice alignment with my studies. Step three: Reflect on the session and recommend future pathways. This meant for which every session that I presented I made sure to reflect on it and have a pathway set into place for the future which had recommendations for further development. Though in cooperative one I was not as involved in primary session I felt that in cooperative two I was able to apply theories into practice respectively.
Understanding of the sport and recreation industry
Throughout the duration of my studies at AUT I had been exposed to papers such as sport management, school and community sport, event management and also communications. Prior to my commencement at AUT I did not have a sufficient enough understanding of the sport and recreation industry. However, by undertaking the above addressed papers I was able to correctly gain an understanding about the functionality and structure of the sport and recreation industry. Since my involvement with Auckland Football Federation, I was able to observe and experience first-hand just how the federation fits well in the sporting industry and its relations with the other organisations and also schools and communities. Auckland Football Federation is considered a regional sporting trust that is a non-profit organisation. As the RSO, Auckland Football Federations role is to administer football across the wider Auckland region and ensure that its growth is the primary importance. The involvement of the cooperative exam in the final year of my studies allowed me to express my understanding around the sporting organisation and how Auckland Football Federation fits in. In the duration of my study, I was usually involved in the delivery of the coaching clinics and sessions across various primary and secondary schools. This experience taught me how Auckland Football Federation communicates and contributes with the local communities. This experience has also allowed me to develop an understanding of the functionality of the sport and recreation along with the importance of it.
Industry research related skills
During my studies and the cooperative experiences, I feel that it have developed my industry related skills in relation to research. During the placement I had encountered many scenarios which required the need of research to effectively approach and address situations. A prime example of this is when I was required to undertake the refereeing and coaching courses. Though I was aware of the traditional games rules, I was not up to standard with the futsal rules and regulation. Therefore in order for me to fully understand the topic I needed to do wider research and gain a better understating. By doing so I was able to better prepare myself for the exam and also prepared me in passing the referee and coaching courses. This experience allowed me to further develop my understanding around the research aspect and also in how to research properly.
The involvement in the cooperative experiences has the ability to allow a student to be able to further develop their knowledge and understanding through the practical essence of an industry. I can clear stat that at the completion of my cooperative one and two experiences, I have been able to further develop my various obtained skills throughout the duration of my time at Auckland University of technology (AUT). Though the early stages where considered daunting to a certain aspect, I feel as the entire journey has been a very beneficial one when reflected on. I feel as the journey has really boosted my confidence levels and has had an immersive impact on my general work ethic. It has allowed me to gain better understandings around the oral and written aspects which at the time were very frustrating but now being able to reflect on it I can clear state it has really uplifted my skills surrounding the attributes mentioned. This journey has collectively opened doors for me in the future and has allowed me to place my first steps into the industry to aid in a future pathway. The journey has been a rather interesting one as I have met great people, made some new friends and also tested my own parameters through the workload. This overall experience has been a great starting stage for what is to be expected in the future. In conclusion I would like to state that the duration of my study at AUT has been a fun filled enjoyable one and I would most defiantly like to recommend it to any future students seeking a pathway into Sports and Recreation.
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Soccer ball used:
Game duration: 15mins
illustration not visible in this excerpt
*The same template will be used for the 3x 15min games over the 3 week period (1 per game)
1. Do you expect to see any differences in the results when playing with a different type of soccer ball in indoor futsal environment? If so what differences do you expect to see?
2. Which soccer ball do you feel most comfortable using in the indoor futsal environment? Please state why.
3. How many touches on the ball do you think you will make with your side of the foot and sole of your foot? Please justify your answer.
- Quote paper
- Suvio Reddy (Author), 2015, Effects of different types of soccer balls on player performance in an indoor futsal environment, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/322663