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Projection Angles, Punts, and Power



Yesterday, the Girls' Varsity Soccer team started out with our first win! We scored a late goal with less than 2 minutes left in the game to make our way into the finals (of the tournament) on Saturday. After the celebrations and high fives, the referee came up to me and asked, "Have you taken Physics?" A bit taken by surprise, I responded "Yes." She went on to compliment the power and velocity of my punts, but she questioned the height. She believed, given the power behind the punts, that they should have greater horizontal range, and lower vertical distance. The ref believed that if I lowered my body, decreasing the projection angle, my punts would fly much past fifty yards. Her advice made me wonder, Is there an optimal projection angle? I looked online and found a study done in at Brunel University in the UK. Two men researched, and experimented to find the optimum projection angle to achieve maximum distance on a punt. To do this, they also took into account ball spin rate, projection height, projection velocity, foot velocity, and many more factors. What were their findings? To reach his or her maximum range, the average goalkeeper should have a projection angle of around 50 degrees. I definitely want to attempt this; but, the exact measurements might be a little tough, without the necessary technology. In practice, I will just experiment with many different projection angles.

To read more in depth about this, I found the results of the study at Brunel University on http://www.jssm.org/vol10/n1/27/v10n1-27pdf.pdf.


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