Sports and Fitness Science

I have taught and supervised research in this relatively new field, in (for instance) (i) energy efficient modality of jogging and long distance running, (ii) baseball pitching (theory of curve ball pitching) and batting, (iii) cricket bowling(and the science of reverse swing based on effects of ball seam angling and shine) (iv) soccer kicking, on the effect of back-spin and top-spin imparted to the ball (for instance in modeling & simulation of Ronaldhino’s famous goal for Brazil against England in the 2002 World-Cup).

I have been promoting the offering of an educational program in Sports and Fitness Science

Some of my teaching and research topics are:

1. Football: Biomechanics of Spiral throw, and how the spin that a quarterback puts on the ball increases its stability, imparts it a curving trajectory passing over the defenders into the receiver’s hands.

2. Soccer: Mechanics of the Spinning ball kick, based on the lateral force acting on the spinning ball; Computing the curved trajectory of a spinning soccer ball kick, into the corner of the net; benefits of curving corner kicks to reach your forwards. For more information on analysis and simulation of swerving trajectories of spin-imparted soccer kicks, please refer "Analysis of Swerving Trajectories of Spin-imparted soccer ball kicks and basketball throws".

3. Cricket: Mechanics of bowling, how to use ball shine and seam to make the ball move in the air and off the pitch; Mechanics of batting, use of arms and legs to impart maximum momentum to the ball.

4. Baseball: Biomechanics of gripping and pitching fastball, curveball, and slider; forces acting on the ball in flight, and flight trajectories; Bat-ball collision mechanics, maximum energy transfer area and batted-ball speed area.

5. Basketball: Analysis of Foul Throw basketball motion; how imparting backspin to the ball produces an upward lift force, which enables the ball to have a higher trajectory and a bigger entering angle into the basket.

6. Athletics: Mechanics models to (i) study kinetic-to-potential energy conversion in maximizing pole-vaulting height, (ii) analyze discuss throw, in order to study the influence of disc spin-speed and moment of inertia on the performance, (iii) analyze javelin throw, in order to analyze the influence of javelin inclination and throw angle on the performance.

7. Sports Fitness Index: In the Treadmill Test, the heartrate response to exercise is formulated as a first-order differential equation; the parameters of the equation are then combined into a Fitness index, which enables us to characterize an athlete’s fitness.

8. Long Distance Running, Determining the Optimal Long-distance Running Mode of an Athlete: This is based on the Double-Compound Pendulum model of the athlete’s lower limb pivoted at the hip joint, based on the athlete’s limb properties (mass and moment of inertia); analysis of the sinusoidal oscillations of the limbs yields the natural frequencies from which we can determine the natural stride frequency of the athlete; this stride frequency also yields the best cardiac fitness test performance for the athlete; in other words, this stride frequency is optimal for the athlete’s performance.

9. Impact Biomechanics: Theoretical models of head, thorax and spinal injury, to elucidate the mechanisms of injury, and design appropriate protective systems.

10. Baseball and Cricket Bats Design Analysis: The optimal design of baseball and cricket bats contribute to the maximum momentum transfer to the ball and minimal reaction forces on the arm joints; by modeling the limb-bat motion and simulating it with the monitored motion, we can determine the limb muscle forces and the joint reactions; the bat’s design parameters (mass, center-of-gravity, shape parameters, and sweet spot) can be optimized to maximize the energy imparted to the ball and minimize the joint forces.

This is a unique program, dealing with (i) the science of sports and athletics, and (ii) design of sports equipment; it will have a big impact on the performance of state and national sports and athletics teams. This Program addresses the needs and interests of sports coaches and managers, and design of sports equipment and can even enable incubation of a sports equipment company.

This program would get the support of professional sports associations.