Part B: A jump shot in basketball
A Jump shot in basketball relies on a special chain of events – the transfer of energy from one part of the body to the next. The feet push down on the ground and in reply there is a reaction force (Newton’s third law).
This energy is first transferred into the lower legs – Achilles tendon and Gastrocnemius then to the upper legs – Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings and Quadriceps femoris which then transfers the energy into the upper body containing Rectus abdominis, Obliques, Hips, Latissimus dorsi, Pectoralis major, Trapezius and finally into the arm containing Deltoid, Biceps brachii and Triceps brachii. However, execution is not the only phase of the shot that needs to be recognised. The preparatory phase also needs to be perfected to ensure a successful shot. Every bodily movement involves agonists, stabilisers, bones and joint and joint actions.
Agonists are the muscles in a movement that cause the major action. There are agonists for every movable joint and muscles can work in unification with each other to perform joint movements. The agonist contracts causing the movement of bones into a different position and the type of movements performed are alternatives of joint actions. Bones are a type of scaffolding in place to help our body in movement and structure, without them the body would not be able to function successfully. There are three main types of bones, they include flat bones, short bones and long bones. Stabilisers are muscles that have little expansion and contraction whilst a movement is being performed. They are simply there as a support of the body making sure that it stays in the correct position so as to allow for a more fluent execution. Joints – or articulations – are a junction of two or more bones. There are three main types of joints in the human body, these are fibrous joints, cartilaginous joints and synovial joints. Fibrous joints are immovable meaning that no movement is possible, cartilaginous joints are slightly moveable and permit limited movement, and synovial joints are freely moveable and allow maximum movement. With the combination of joints and muscles, joint actions are performed. The standard to which these joint actions are performed depends on a variety of factors such as muscle build, flexibility and technique.
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There are many different joint actions and movements involved in a jump shot in basketball. These actions and movements are not only performed in the upper body and arms but also in the legs and feet. As previously explained, this is because the energy that is exerted in the shot comes predominantly from the ground passing through each body part until it exits through the arms into the basketball. The agonist muscles involved include the Biceps, Deltoid, external obliques, Gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, Hamstrings and the Tibialis anterior. The joints involved are the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and wrist. The major bones involved are the Humerus, Radius and Ulna, Carpals, Metacarpals, Vertebral column, the Pelvic Girdle, Femur, Patella, Fibula, Tibia, Tarsals, Metatarsals and Phalanges.
In the arm movement for the preparatory phase, the biceps contract causing a flexion of the hinge joint at the elbow between the humerus and the radius. The deltoid also contracts raising the arm and pulling it backwards. The bones in the shoulder that are used are the scapula and the humerus which make up the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. As you are about to take the shot, you are held in a upright seated position before the execution of the jump shot causing the Quadriceps to contract allowing the flexion of the knee joint which involves the femur in conjunction with the fibula and tibia, this flexion is also assisted by the contraction of the gastrocnemius. The ankle joint experiences a Plantar flexion as a result of the jump shot and the contraction of the Gastrocnemius. This allows the body to stay balanced ensuring a more fluent approach and execution of the forehand shot.
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The joints involved in the execution phase are the same joints that are used in the preparatory phase. However, the joint actions and agonists implicated are different. The elbow joint experiences an extension as a means of increasing the available power generated by angular momentum when the arm is swung forward transferring the energy from the body to the ball. For the arm to perform an extension the triceps must contract. Whist this is in occurrence, the deltoid works in combination with the pectorals to extend the arm and shoot the ball. The torso must then extend superior to the midline of the body to be able to get full extension of the body giving better flexibility therefore a better executed shot.
Agonists, bones, stabilisers and joints must all work together with one another in order for a skill to be prepared for and executed successfully. Agonists are the muscles in a movement that cause the major action, bones act as a sort of scaffolding, giving the body structure, stabilisers are muscles that assist in maintaining posture and structure and joints are a junction of two or more bones. They all work together to ensure the correct joint actions are performed and that the desired Jump shot is successful in reaching its target.
Ruskin, R, Harper, K, Fitzgibbon, 2010 . Outcomes. 1 Preliminary course. 3rd ed. Australia: John Wiley & Sons Australia. 130-143.
Brainmac sports coach, 1997, Movement analysis, http://www.brianmac.co.uk/moveanal.html, accessed June 34th
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