Rules for Sport Skill Techniques
The science of physics provides
principles that apply to all sports and govern the
efficient execution of skills. Using these principles as guides,
can develop excellent technique that can give them an edge provided by
their use of the greatest mechanical
advantage. Newton's Laws of Motion are the foundation for these
mechanical principles, which must be applied in concert with other sports
to achieve higher levels of sport performance.
Teaching a new skill can often
be achieved by various methods. The problem is how to determine which
method should be used for athletes who may require different approaches
to achieve the maximum result for the time and energy expended.
It is possible to transfer techniques developed and used successfully
in one sport and utilize the knowledge in another sport.
Sound mechanical principles can
serve as a valuable guide in developing technique for specific sports;
applying these principles must be accompanied by the sound application
of training principles combined with
effective teaching methods and an inspiring and motivating environment.
Newton's Three Laws include:
The study of dynamics is how
changes under the application of force occurs. When the forces exerted
cancel each other, resulting in no change in velocity or acceleration,
the system is described as being in a state of equilibrium. The study
this is called statics and plays a fundamental role in the concept of
momentum. The total momentum in a closed system is always conserved.
- Law of Inertia
- Relationships between force and accompanying change in
- Law of Interaction
Force is the agent of change. Forces are not easily
observed, rather it is the effect or the change that occurs because of
the force that is perceived as being twisted or moved! Attempts
to perform measurements that conform to Newton's definition of force as
being a change of motion have not been fully successful. While force is
a fundamental concept that is used, there isn't a completely
There are four fundamental forces -
strong and weak gravitational and electromagnetic forces. The following
are brief descriptions of different types of forces that must be
considered in developing physics equations:
of Newton's Three Laws - the Law of Inertia - A body once set in
thereafter undisturbed will continue at a constant speed forever, all
by itself. - Galileo. Aristotle proposed that gravity and
friction are two forces that affect a moving body and cause it to come
to rest without the continuous application of force.
- Gravity - constant,
- Spring forces - position
dependent, velocity dependent, and energy dissipative
- Friction - direction
dependent, energy dissipative
- Viscous drag force - velocity
dependent, energy dissipative
- User interaction forces - direct
control of position and velocity is unnatural, a better choice is
interaction through external force, e.g. mouse spring (time dependent,
not energy conserving
- Constraint forces
restrictions on motion can be imposed using constraint forces,
constraint with allowed positions/velocities force (position and/or
The Law of Inertia
- An object will experience partial or complete cancellation
by oppositional forces. Multiple forces apply to the same point will
react of if there was a single force.
The Law of Acceleration
- To achieve skilled movements, athletes must effectively
combine linear and angular motion.
For example, a skater must takeoff and land on edges that represent the
same curvature for high marks in execution.
When two or more motions
are necessary, an athlete must continuously execute the complete
sequence of movements.
For example, if a skater hesitates, skids, or stops at the end of the
extended axel takeoff, the advantage of the skater's forward velocity
is impeded and reduces the potential spring to achieve the desired
Athletes can increase mass and/or velocity to achieve
gains in momentum proportional to the energy expended.
For example, in sports like football, basketball, hockey, etc., when a
player increases his/her weight without any loss of speed, it is
more difficult for an opposing player to alter the opponents forward
Efficient Transfer of momentum from
individual segments to the entire body.
For example, a skater performing a step sequence must use the
driving action of his or her arms to contribute to the total momentum
and direction of the body when performing their turns.
The Law of Counterforce
- Forward and backward
acceleration is proportional to force. For example, a
skater increases acceleration by increasing the force that he/she
against the ice. Increasing force by 10% causes a 10% increase in
acceleration. A loss of weight, while maintaining the same level
of force (power), would cause acceleration to increase.
is achieved when the entire body is coordinated so as to maximize and
control forward or backward momentum.
Minimize body actions
that do not contribute to a skill should be avoided to
prevent wasted energy that can be otherwise applied towards completing
The speed of the body's
rotation in spins or jumps is affected by the length of the
radius. Lengthening the radius slows the rotation
and shortening the radius increases rotation.
For example, a spinner rotates faster, when the arms are pull in closer
body because the spinning radius is shorten. A camel spin results in a
slower spinning rotation
the spin's radius is greater (longer}.
When jumping, the trajectory
in the air is established at take off.
Once a long jumper is in the air, his or her arms or legs may cause
body rotation that is rotating off axis, but the flight path is not
These physics principles are valuable guides
developing mechanical technique, but their application requires using
effective coaching methods and sound
- The ice is
a solid surface that offers the same amount of force back as is
it. A softer surface absorbs a portion of the energy applied
against it. Note: there can be groves cut into the ice by the
blades of other skaters that may cause an edge to slip sideways which
can alter a skater's ability to spring from the ice and alter the
trajectory/arc of the
To achieve maximum jumping height, push directly downward
upon take off.
The direction of counterforce is directly opposite that of the applied
force, and the applied force is most effective when it is perpendicular
to the supporting surface because "the loss of the edge" is minimized.
Maximize total force. When jumping the total elapsed time
in the air depends upon the both the body's momentum over the ice and
the upward spring (height) generated.
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