Effects of foot orthoses on dynamic balance and basketball free-throw accuracy before and after physical fatigue
While it is not uncommon for athletes to use foot orthoses to relieve pain and improve sports performance, little has been known about their effects on basketball performance. Free-throw basketball shooting is very important. However, fatigue deteriorates postural balance which might decrease free-throw shooting performance. This study investigated the effects of foot orthoses on dynamic balance and accuracy performance during free-throw shooting before and after physical fatigue was induced. Thirteen male recreational basketball players were tested with two foot orthoses (medial-arch support versus flat control) and fatigue conditions (before and after fatigue), when they performed standard free-throw shooting on a force platform. Results revealed that fatigue significantly increased coefficient of variance of medial-lateral center of pressure (CoP) excursion when participants worn flat control orthoses (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, foot orthoses improved dynamic balance during shooting as they significantly reduced total resultant and anterior-posterior sway excursions as well as resultant and anterior-posterior CoP velocities, and base of support area. Although this study found that fatigue and orthoses did not significantly affect the scores gained by free-throw shooting, the significant improvements in dynamic balance during shooting with the use of foot orthoses could have considerable impact on motor control during basketball shooting.