Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Physics could be a secret weapon in tennis. 25/04/2006. ABC News Online

A US researcher says the number of stupid mistakes made playing on the tennis court can be reduced by applying the laws of physics.

Professor Howard Brody of the University of Pennsylvania shows knowledge of the laws of matter and motion can lift a player's game in one of three main ways.

It can cut errors of latitude (hitting the ball wide), depth (hitting the net) and force (hitting the ball too hard), Professor Brody says in the current issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Australian Associate Professor of Physics Rod Cross of the University of Sydney has written a book on the science of tennis with Professor Brody.

He says physics can more accurately describe what happens when a player hits a ball than the player is aware of.

"The idea is that a physicist can tell a coach what the player's supposed to be doing and why, and the coach can translate that to a player," Professor Cross said.

"I tried it myself. I phoned up [professional tennis player] Jelena Dokic and told her she wasn't serving properly - she didn't hang up straight away."


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