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Physics of Volleyball



After being told that "physics is everything", it becomes easy to see how that is really true in our everyday lives especially regarding sports. One sports that has loads of physics and its fundamentals is volleyball. One of the main components a player needs to achieve is jumping. Whether its a jumpserve, a jumpset, or jumping to spike the ball, getting a high verticle for all of those is essential. The physics plays a role here in that the players have to "beat" gravity, since they are moving against it (gravity pulls us down toward the center of the earth, while we are trying to jump up). We also see more physics in this when analyzing verticle hight and speed through kinematics, or other means. We can determine how high we jumped and what height we would need to get too for a better swing, as well as things like the velocity of our body when at the point of contact with the ball, etc. We can also see physics components in all of the forces. When the ball is served it contacts the player's arm with the same force that our arm hits the ball with. We use this concept when "digging" a ball (passing the ball when it is spiked from the opposing team). A common skill called the "dig and pull" is a combination of a pass and the bringing back of the arms post contact. This allows the player to "absorb" the ball's momentum and make it stay on our side while changing it's spin direction. The act of doing this gives the mometum more time to slow down so that we can control the ball. The impulse is also changed. We can also see physics in the energy transfers involved with playing and practicing volleyball. The food we eat has potential energy which is converted into energy for us to use and is later shown off as sweat, etc. There is also the gravitational potential energy of the ball when it's in the air, the kinetic energy of the ball while in motion, and the energy transfers from us moving our bodies to make the ball move. We can even see physics in the wonderful thing called friction when diving for a ball and skidding along the gym floor (yay floor burns). Not only can physics be seen in volleyball, but it is widely spread through all sports, for physics is EVERYTHING! :skydive:

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