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My Excuse for Being a Very Slow Sprinter



As mentioned in a few of my earlier blog posts, I am on my school's varsity volleyball team. Lots of the time, we have to do sprints across our thirty foot wide court as punishment for losing a drill or messing up too many times in row. I am always the last one to finish (it's absolutely terrible). Yes part of it is a lack of stamina, but the other day while running a very long set of sprints (we had to do 12 consecutive "down and backs" across our court), I was thinking about the physics and why I might be slower than the rest of the team. Then it hit me! As the tallest girl on the team (I'm 6'2") I have the largest mass of all the girls. Objects with larger masses have a harder time changing directions. It's momentum (p=mv)!! An object with a larger mass and some velocity will have greater momentum than an object with the same velocity but smaller mass. A larger momentum means a larger force is needed to stop the object. For a larger object to stop and change directions, it takes a longer amount of time to apply the force to stop it then start it again. So, although I am doing the same sprints as everyone else, it takes me a few seconds longer because of the extra time it takes to stop and then accelerate my larger mass

(Or maybe I'm just terribly unathletic)


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