When was the last time you went for a workout or a good Basketball game or the game of your choice ? Playing sports is fun. Everyone likes sports for multiple reasons because they challenge you mentally and physically. When I was playing basketball one day with my friends, I realized that playing doesn’t just make you healthier but puts our body through a mental rigour requiring the body part to perform as the brain orders. I had not played for a long time. So, although my brain calculates and wants me to move at a particular time, but body is not fit enough to do as the brain wants it to perform. This is like a machine with a slow PID loop where the control is slow because the response of the motor is slower compared to the drive its receiving. Signs of ageing are evident. Well, I need to hit the gym.
The best players, be it Messi or Federer or Tendulkar, always in my view, are the best physicists. They know their body so well and their movements are so precise, that they can control their game. In the end, I would say they are not just good players but they are great physicists who have applied physics in their daily life and succeeded. To just imagine the quick calculation for a backhand shot, you must rack your brains at the right angle, electrify the nerves and apply the desired force to the muscle and make sure the ball returns to the next court. This kind of eye/ear-hand-brain coordination is definitely way ahead of best robots till date. This is all done in flash of a second by the human mind. It is awesome how all living beings apply physics unknowingly. One doesn’t need to know Newton’s laws to become a physicist. A toddler learns that his car will fall if he releases it from his hands. Daily life experience makes us Newtonian in our physical understanding of the world. Physics is the key to good sports and great life !
Some of the interesting finds on the physics of sports which make them easier to play !
- Appropriately named Slam Dunk Science
- Rod Cross highlighting on the sweet spots of a tennis raquet
- On many more kinds of sports !
- Ronaldo: Tested to the limit : A video on how Ronaldo makes his calculations before tackling and kicking a beautiful shot. 45 mins long but really worth watching !