The Science of Sports
Tonight, when you sit down to watch the World Series match up between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants and you watch the pitcher throw a curveball or the batter swat a fastball, stop for a moment and put on your science hat. How does the pitcher throw a baseball like that, and how does someone hit a ball so far that was thrown to them so fast? Why does a knuckleball pitch move as if some mysterious force was controlling it?
And what does all of this have to do with physics and sports science? Although the knuckleball is still sort of a mystery, throwing a curve or slider and hitting a baseball has everything to do with gravity, forces and motion. Professional athletes don’t need to know the technical aspects of physics, but team coaches, managers, physicians, and physical training specialists do to varying degrees, and they need to make sure the players understand some aspects of it. And, of course, understanding sports science and physics isn’t lost on other sports. Knowing how to throw a football in a proper spiral to insure a proper trajectory and distance is vital. In Golf, knowing the geometry and biomechanics behind the golf swing has become an integral part of a professional golfer’s and their teacher’s knowledge.
Sports science, as a discipline, studies how the human body moves during physical activity in order to maximize an athlete’s performance. It is also used to protect athletes. Studying the impacts of helmet-to-helmet hits in football and designing helmets that protect the head from brain damage is essential in professional football today.
eLibrary can help you understand how physics and sports science assists athletes in helping them not only perform better but also to protect themselves. The Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and Journal of Athletic Training both have a wealth of information in the science of human movement in the areas of biomechanics, motor behavior, and other physiological and nutrition disciplines in sports.
Check out these other resources:
Journal of Athletic Training (Scholarly Journal)
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (Scholarly Journal)
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (Scholarly Journal)
Women in Sport & Physical Activity (Scholarly Journal)
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