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Physics of softball


jbilodeau

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If I have learned anything this year throughout this class it would be that physics is everywhere! In this blog post, I've decided to write about softball because its the only sport that I've played in school and for a long time. There are many aspects of this sport that involve but the two I want to focus on are momentum and nodes.

Momentum is a huge part of the sport because your team is in the field for 50% of the game and at bat for the other 50%. Momentum is what gives you force to hit the ball to the bat and make the ball go a far distance. For example, one of the first steps in following through with a proper swing, is taking a step forward with the foot closest to the pitcher. This foot may vary depending on whether you are a righty or lefty batter. When you take that step forward, you start the process of bringing all your body weight forward so you can maximize the power and distance the ball goes once you make contact with the ball.

The nodes and antinodes are also very important maybe not to the whole team or fans but to the individual players because true baseball/softball players know how much it hurts when you hit the ball on the "sweet spot" of the bat. Although it is called a sweet spot, it doesn't feel sweet when you hands and stinging and it goes foul or not as far as you would like and you either have to try again or sit back on the bench with your hands killing. When you hit it near the middle of the bat that wave combines with the waves as the ball leaves the bat and is called a node when they come together. This takes energy away from the distance the ball travels and doesn't go as far as it could if you hit the ball closer to the end of the bat. This spot is the ideal place to make contact so when the wave from hitting the ball and the wave when it leaves the bat come together and form an antinode and doesn't hurt your hands and goes far enough to maybe get you a home run and make it worth all the practice!

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Great analysis of softball, though if I recall from my high school baseball days, when I was pitching it seemed my team was in the field for about 80% of games and at bat for only 20% of time.  Hmmmm.  

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