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Physics in Cheerleading



Until I took physics, I had no idea that it applied so much to my sport of cheerleading. I hadn't noticed that there was so much science in skills we practice everyday. One skill specifically uses a lot of physics that we have already studied this year. This skill is a stunt known as a basket toss. An example of one is shown in the clip at the bottom of this post. In this example, the athlete being thrown into the air has an initial velocity because she is being thrown into the air by the bases under her. Also, she has a mass, which would be her weight. Once the cheerleader reaches her highest point, her velocity is 0 m/s for a split second causing her to stop in mid air where she hits her toe touch. Then, the cheerleader comes back down to her bases arms. We can also calculate the total time the cheerleader is in the air, or we can solve for her acceleration while in the air. By gaining knowledge about physics, I look at my sport a different way and understand how and why things act the way they do when you throw them; it's especially interesting to see that this applies to even throwing humans.


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