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Soccer Diary Table P. 16, May 5 Entry
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8:09 AM - 11:06 AM, Wednesday 5/5/2010 Waltham Y E2E3 LK-start reverse #1 with pass/shot to left on 5th kick; 177 minutes

Fantastic amount of swerve to left on balls kicked during E2E3 Reverse with pass/shot to left on 5th kick with left foot, aiming for broadside type shot/pass at 90 degree angle.

K5 in red= point where I shoot/pass ball on 5th touch of run
Curving line = points 20 feet away from K5 spot at which I shoot/pass.
Green arrow= my general path except for the zig-zags, as I air-dribble the ball to K5 where I pass/shoot.
                                   w17  16                        
                   8    12                                      
 11                      15  9              C23                      
                             4            c19                    
                                 w13  4        1                  
                           4              c22                    
   18  10
     c22    1    c23                  K5  
                         4    w10                                
E2E3 Reverse K5 shot/pass to Left Drill Results for May 5

The white boxes in the grid each have 4 sides representing 0.67 meters (one pace). Pressing the Expand button reveals the Expanded version in which the squares are all the same size, with each side of the square that represents 0.67 meters being equal. By default on page load the compressed version is displayed. In the compressed version the squares are not all exactly square and are not all exactly the same size.

The diagram depicts how I air-dribbled towards the K5 point keeping the ball off the ground but close to my body, and then kicked it on the fifth touch simulating a pass or shot kicked to my left at a 90 degree angle (9:00 on the imaginary clock given 12:00 as straight ahead).

The white numbers represent the apex height of the ball during its arc after I kicked the ball on the 5th touch. The placement of the white numbers represents where the ball first bounced in relation to where I was when I kicked it and the direction I was moving when I kicked it. The letter w means the ball hit the wall or some other obstruction, before bouncing. For example, 6;w2 means the ball's apex height was 6 feet, then it hit the wall at a point 2 feet high. For example, w17 means the ball hit the wall at a point 17 feet high before bouncing, and it' apex height during flight was 17 feet also. For example, 8 by itself means the ball landed at the spot marked by the number 8, and that the apex height of the ball during its flight was 8 feet.

The letter C's represent balls that hit the ceiling before bouncing. The ceiling height varies between 21 and 26 feet. For example C means the ball hit the ceiling, height at which it hit not specified; C21 means the ball hit the ceiling at a height of 21 feet. Cu means the ball before bouncing, hit the curtain that is sometimes drawn to separate the halves of the gym. For example, '9;cu5' means the ball reached an apex height of 9 feet and hit the curtain at a point 5 feet above ground; cu10 means the ball hit the curtain 10 feet high and 10 feet was also the apex of the arc of the ball.

the text signifying balls hitting the wall or some other object, the ceiling, or the curtain before bouncing, is like the text signifying where a ball first bounced, placed in squares signifying the distance and angle relative to the kick point, at which the ball encountered the obstruction.

If a square has been taken by a record of a ball, the next ball is placed in the closest available square if it landed in the same square.

It could take around 7 seconds for the compressed graphic to expand and vice versa.

The drill done today is described in the diagram in this entry.

Today again during the air-dribble prior to the kick on the fifth touch: I first kicked the ball on a slant to my left with my left foot, then on a slant right with my right foot, then again on a slant right with my right foot, then on a slant left with my left foot, and then on the fifth touch kicked the ball with my left foot simulating a pass/shot, trying to kick the ball hard at a 90 degree angle relative to the line produced by the fourth kick. This all was done without the ball touching the ground for every ball recorded in the diagram.

If you imagine the direction the ball was moving after the fourth kick as twelve o'clock, on the fifth kick I attempted to kick the ball in the 9:00 direction.

I was sort of blasting the ball on the fifth kick, though I was trying to aim for a 90 degree angle relative to the ball movement after the fourth touch on the ball prior to the fifth touch, I was not letting a deep concern for accuracy disrupt letting loose with power. I was hoping to get some info re range kicking to the left at a 90 degree angle with the left foot.

One ball followed a 45 degree angle to my left relative to the ball movement prior to the kickaway; it reached an apex of 16 feet and hit the wall 20 meters away, 10 feet above the ground before bouncing. Another ball flew at the intended 90 degree angle for 14 meters, reached an apex height of 11 feet and hit 9 feet high on the wall before bouncing. Another flew backwards 11 meters at an 8:30 angle on the imaginary clock, and hit 10 feet high on the wall before bouncing. These incidents defined the extremes of range and direction today.

The general tendency that began to emerge today, while attempting to kick the ball left at a 90 degree angle with the left foot, was balls that traveled about 12 meters before landing, followed a direction relative to the ball's line of flight before the kickaway of between 90 and 45 degrees leftwards, and reached an apex height of around 15 feet.

Thus as of now I see a chip pass reaching an apex of 15 feet, landing 40 feet away, at an angle between a 90 degrees and 45 degrees left, as the natural outcome when trying to hit the ball at a right angle relative to its line of flight prior to being kicked, in a leftwards direction with the left foot.

But things can change. As usual as is the case with these kinds of things, the performance started out clumsy, with lots of balls kicked forwards instead of to the side, but improved with the passage of time.

At the beginning of the practice today I felt somewhat inhibited by the presence of an East Asian looking tall gentleman and an East Asian woman playing badminton on the basketball court. I did not want to hit them with the ball. This served to push the angle of the kick forwards given our relative positions. But anyway I recorded in the diagram the balls hit forwards away from a 90 degree angle, due to fear of hitting one of them.

Then what I feared happened. One of the balls sailed at angle 60 degrees left relative to straight ahead, in the direction of the East Asian reached an apex height of 8 feet, swerved 3 feet to the left, moving like a line drive, and hit the gentleman 15 meters away, on the shoulder.

All day, balls were swerving left due to a leftwards spin, by enormous amounts. Reflecting upon the phenomenon, I now realize that naturally when you and the ball are moving in a given direction and then you kick the ball sideways at a 90 degree angle, this sets in motion forces that impart strong counter-clockwise spin to the ball. The outside of the foot strikes the ball on the right side of the ball when the ball is sent sideways in such fashion, resulting in sometimes very strong spin.

NOTE: the outside of the left foot when it strikes the ball on the left side of the ball can spin the ball in a clockwise direction.

Today I recorded horizontal swerve on 34 out of 42 balls kicked (79%). Most of the balls on which spin was not detected, hit the wall or the ceiling or the curtain before swerve could be detected. The level of horizontal swerve varied between 1 and 4 feet, all except one of these swerving balls swerved leftwards. The average level of horizontal swerve observed was 2.8 feet in a leftwards direction on counterclockwise spin. Seven balls were recorded as swerving 4 feet to the left. Not counting one of these that hit the wall thus making it difficult to judge how far it would have traveled prior to bouncing, these balls traveled an average distance of 17 meters before hitting the ground; their average apex height during their arc of flight was 14 feet.

This presents the mystery of how can such balls that travel 17 meters before bouncing, on a 14 foot apex arc while swerving 4 feet to the left be used? Such balls seem too short distance for shots; and one fails to understand the value of 4 foot swerve when it comes to passing the ball.

If I allowed myself to aim for a 60 degree angle leftwards in the 10:00 direction on the imaginary clock given the ball as traveling in the 12:00 direction prior to the kick, I would be able to extend the distance of the kick, increase the level of swerve up to 5 FEET leftwards, improve accuracy, and at the same time maintain an impressive level of angular divergence relative to the motion of the ball prior to it being kicked. This because the angle is less severe and difficult than kicking to 9:00 on the imaginary clock.

Today for the first time, I noticed incredible angular break caused by spin when the ball first bounced after I kicked it. By this I mean that when the ball bounced it bounced sideways at an impressive angle instead of straight ahead. A whole science is built on this kind of thing with regards to the art of spin-bowling the cricket ball.

One ball today landed 11 meters away, at 8:30 on the imaginary clock given the ball prior to being kicked away moving in the 12:00 direction. It reached an apex height of 4 feet in flight and swerved 2 feet to the left before hitting the ground. When it bounced, it bounced leftwards at a 25 degree angle.

Another ball, landed 8 meters away at a 930 angle on the imaginary clock given 1200 as the direction of the movement of the ball prior to being kicked. This ball swerved 2 feet left on strong spin. It's apex height during flight was 4 feet (I think, I failed to note the apex at the time). After it landed on the ground instead of rolling straight ahead, it rolled in a curve just like the diameter of a circle, to the left. By the time it was 10 feet beyond the point where it landed it was 4 feet to the left of where it should have been if it had rolled straight. The general slant it followed in it's curving roll was 20 degrees leftwards.

Interesting thing here is that some surfaces produce balls that break more after bouncing than others. Wonder what would happen if the balls were hitting a surface that produces more break on bounce than a wooden basketball court surface?

According to Wikipedia, balls break more on bouncing due to spin bowling on certain types of cricket fields (pitches): "In modern times, spin bowling has traditionally been a forte of the bowlers from the sub-continent. The primary reason for that is that the pitches in the sub-continent provide more help to the spin bowlers. The faster the pitch degenerates, the earlier the spinners come into the picture. Australian and South African wickets are usually very hard and bouncy, helping the fast bowlers more. They do not break very much during the entire duration of the test match. But pitches in the sub-continent are not that hard. They are not usually held together by the grass as much. They break up quicker and help spin bowlers and leg spin is considered to be one of the toughest type to have control but very effective in terms of picking of wickets".

Wikipedia elaborates: "Over the course of a four or five day match...the pitch (cricket field) begins to crack, then crumble and become dusty. This kind of pitch is colloquially known as a 'dust bowl' or 'minefield'. This...favors bowlers, particularly spin bowlers who can obtain large amounts of traction on the surface and make the ball spin a long way".

I estimate that the swerve in the air combined with the break after the bounce could combine to produce a deadly shot if I just allow myself to shoot a little forwards of a broadside right angle.

Compare this to the usual ground-hog dribbler, who rolls the ball on the ground while dribbling it instead of keeping it in the air. Such dribblers are, when chasing a ball traveling in the 1200 direction on the imaginary clock, able to generate only weak force, puny swerve, and mild spin when they attempt to strike the ball sideways to the left with the left foot or sideways to the right with the right foot.

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