- Publisher: Touchstone (May 1, 1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671554387
- ISBN-13: 978-0671554385
- Package Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,662,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sport Science: Physical Laws and Optimum Performance
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With that as background, the book then discusses a series of scientific principles and how these apply to sports. Such as: How do we know how to catch a fly ball while playing baseball? What are the principles of sprinting and distance running?
One of my favorite sports is baseball. Here, Brancazio tells us why using a light bat is better than a heavier one in hitting a long ball. Given that Babe Ruth is alleged to have used an exceptionally heavy bat, think what he could have done had he understood the physics of hitting!
Do you hear announcers talk about how some basketball players "hang in the air"? Sorry to say, you will be disillusioned by this book. Physically, it is impossible to "hang" in the air. However, there can be such an illusion. Take a look at Chapter 7 for more.
How did this book help my basketball shooting? Brancazio notes, for example, that a softer shot with a higher trajectory (arc) is more likely to go in the hoop, for good scientific reasons. I used to use a more line drive Tommy Heinsohn (do I show my age?) type jump shot. When I went to a higher trajectory shot, my shooting percentage improved.
So, this is a lot of fun, and it is nice to see how science can be deployed to explain sports phenomena--and maybe improve your performance a wee bit!
1. Man in Motion (running)
2. What Makes Things Move (action and reaction, force)
3. More About Forces (center of gravity, balance, etc.)
4. Rotating Bodies (torque, inertia, swing of a bat, acrobatics, bicycles, and more)
5. Energy (work and power)
6. Collisions (impact, mass, the baseball bat, the sweet spot, the physics of karate)
7. Gravity (projectiles, jumping)
8. What Goes Up Must Come Down (trajectories, the long jump, the shot put, the hammer throw, and more)
9. Moving Through Fluids (bodies in water, the drag force, footballs in flight, and more)
10. Living with Resistance (energy cost of resistance, aerodynamics of winter sports, and more)
I've kept this book and love referring to it when I need a refresher moment on athletic feats.