Sport Science

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The Sport! Science Faq 

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All Questions are from the publication The Sporting Life unless otherwise indicated.

 

This list was last updated September 18, 1997

 
Click me to find out the answer  Why do my muscles sometimes burn when I'm excercising?

Click me to find out the answer  Why do I feel sore the day after I exercise?
Click me to find out the answer  What happens to my heart when I exercise?
Click me to find out the answer What is "VO2 max" and how does it measure cardiovascular fitness?
Click me to find out the answer What's the best position for my hands when I swim freestyle?
Click me to find out the answer How high can you jump?
Click me to find out the answer Why do long jumpers "run" several steps in the air after they take off?
Click me to find out the answer How does ice help a sprained ankle or other injury?

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How important is my grip on the bat when I'm striking the ball?

 You could let go of the bat when it strikes the ball and the ball would still go as far as it would if you kept the bat in a death grip. Of course, the infielders and fans might not like you very much, as they dive out of the way of your flying bat. But as far as the ball is concerned, you might as well let go.

That's because the time during which the bat and ball are actually in contact, and therefore, the time during which one can influence the other, is amazingly short-the entire collision is over in about 1.5 milliseconds (for comparison, the blink of an eye lasts 100 milliseconds). It takes at least 10 milliseconds for the information that you've hit the ball to travel the length of the bat to your hands and then be transmitted along your nerves to your brain. By the time you're aware the impact has occurred, the ball is already long gone.

As a player, there's nothing you can do during the period of contact to affect the ball; it's physically impossible for you to react fast enough. All you can do is make sure your swing is the best it can be before you hit the ball. And don't let go before the bat comes into contact with the ball; then you'll lose energy, not to mention control. How far the ball flies is determined by how fast the bat is moving when it hits. It doesn't matter how hard you grip the bat.

Click me to find out the answer  Why does spinning a ball make it curve?
Click me to find out the answer How does Michael Jordan manage to hang in the air for so long when he goes up for a slam dunk?


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