Role Of Physics In Sports Essay

1319 words - 5 pages

The motions of throwing, batting, and fielding will be presented in physics terms and ideas. Physics plays a big role in sports. One particular sport is softball, where we will be seeing different motions represented.
First, we are going to look at the two different types of throwing. There is the regular over-hand throw and there is also the pitching style. When looking at the regular over-hand throw and the pitching style of throwing, many of the same concepts apply to both. In pitching, there are three main issues involved. One is travel speed, another is rotational spin, and the last issue is direction of the spin. Newton’s Third Law of Physics, which is with every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, applies to the speed the ball travels when it is pitched and also thrown. The power of a pitch comes when the leg muscles push into the ground and the ground returns that power like a spring. The key in this motion is that the body’s weight, the center of gravity, and balance must remain on or over the drive leg as it pivots and opens the body (Redmer). The pitching wind-up for a pitcher is called the sequential summation of movement. This movement is different for different people. Some girls have a wind up where they bring the ball down towards the ground and come back up in a fluid-like motion. Others have a wind-up where they hit their thigh of their pitching leg. Many people think that this is just to distract the batter and there are some pitchers who make a grunting noise, and some people say this is a distraction mechanism also. Two other aspects of throwing that are pretty important are grip and release point. Grip is very important because a softball has raised seams. When the ball is rotating through the air the seams produce air resistance which acts a lot like turbulence in an air plane (Physics of Baseball). Many different pitches can be thrown just by adjusting how a person holds the ball. The reason release point is very key in throwing and pitching is because where someone releases the ball determines how accurate the throw or pitch is. When a person wants the ball to go straight to another person, when throwing, the ball should be released just below the head and straight to the other person. If the ball is released sooner, it will go way over their head. If you release it later, the ball will go towards the ground. Torque is also a concept related to throwing. When a person wants to make a quicker throw, they shorten their throwing arm which decreases the torque. When a longer throw is being made, the throwing arm would be stretched out which in turn increases the torque. Both of these types of throws can have the same force, but different torques.
Another place to find physics concepts in softball is batting. The two types are bunting and swinging-away. A key factor in hitting is to be sure you are balanced (Rubinoff). When a person isn’t balanced it can throw off their whole swing and not only miss the ball,...

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