By Catherine Gayfer
Leader of Health & Physical Education
During a recent practical lesson we went through the biomechanical principles involved in softball (and many other striking sports). We first learnt about aspects of our technique that are important for hitting a ball, including trajectory and angle of release of a projectile. This information helped us to improve our swing, reflecting on where to contact the ball on the bat and at which angle for maximum distance (also which bat type demonstrated a longer third class lever). This practical application allowed us to enjoy the lesson and apply the principle learnt. The class enjoyed the lesson more as they understood how to attain maximum distance by manipulating these variables with their swing.
– Luke H and Connor D
A learn-by-doing activity that we did was pickleball and we applied the theory of Newton’s laws to it. As the pickle ball was light, it travelled more slowly through the air due to greater air resistance, making it easier for people to hit the ball, the rallies last longer and the game more engaging. Relating this to Newton’s second law people could hit the ball with less force and it would still get over the net. If the ball were heavier, it would take more force to get the ball over the net. Applying Newton’s third law every time we hit the pickle ball with the paddle there was an equal and opposite reaction of the pickle ball being pounded off the paddle to the other side of the net. This ‘learn by doing’ activity taught me more about Newton’s laws and how to identify them in sporting examples.
– Cassandra N