Home > sports, Videos > The best 10 Sport Science lessons (part 1: hitting balls)

The best 10 Sport Science lessons (part 1: hitting balls)

This will be the first part of a 2 part feature on Sport Science, a TV show dedicated to the use of science and biomechanics to unlock the mysteries behind the many aspects of professional sports.

Sport Science is a Fox Sports show which uses the latest in athletic technology to study the modern athlete. It applies the principles of the scientific method to answer intriguing questions and shatter long held myths about all the sports we love.

A typical episode begins with a general question. Some questions seek to compare sports, such as baseball vs. cricket, while other questions are aimed at athletes. Once the question has been posed, professional and amateur athletes are brought into the Sport Science facility and undergo a series of experiments. The results from the experiments are analyzed and a conclusion is presented.

One great part about the show are the big name athletes. We not only get to see stars like Ray Lewis, Fedor Emelianenko, Drew Brees, and Jerry Rice, but we also get to see the biomechanics that makes them so great. We get to see Ray Lewis crash through a bolted door, Drew Brees hit bulls eyes with a football, and Fedor crush a dummy with a choke hold. Another great part of the show are the technologies they use. Here’s a peek into the toys they get to play with on Sport Science.

Professional sports have always been heavily laden with myths and superstitions. People believe that boxers should not have sex before a fight, that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports, and hitting a golf ball Happy Gilmore style is impossible. Are they true, or just myths waiting to be debunked? Well, with Sport Science, we can finally answer those questions and many more.

Here are 5 of the best Sport Science clips that will change the way you think about these sports.

#5 Golf – The easiest way to gain an extra 10 yards on your drives

Having a long drive is one of the biggest advantages of a golf player. The best players have always been near the top of the list of long drivers. Sport Science looks into the biomechanics of the long drive, and how to add a few extra yards to your drive with very little effort. Here’s the secret.

#4 Golf – The Happy Gilmore golf swing

In the movie Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler converts his hockey slap shot into a golf swing which he uses for his 400+ yard drives. But would that actually work in real life? 2008 PGA player of the year Padrick Harrington sets out to answer that question.

#3 Cricket – How does hitting in cricket compare with hitting in baseball?

Baseball can be said to have evolved from the game of cricket. But in which sport is hitting more difficult? In baseball it’s about the pitches’s speed and break. However in cricket the ball can bounce, and the players are not protected from being hit by the ball. Diamondback power hitter Mark Reynolds and an National team cricket player battles head to head to find out.

#2 Baseball – Is hitting a baseball the hardest thing to do in sports?

Facing a 95 mile an hour fastball is no joking matter. It goes from the pitcher’s hand to home plate in less than .4 of a second, faster than a human blink. Even the best hitters hit around .300. But is there something even more difficult to hit than a baseball? Jennie Finch attempts to prove there is.

#1 Boxing – The low blow

The most infamous low blow happened in Riddick Bowe vs. Andrew Golota, with Golota being disqualified for repeated low blows. We (guys) all know how much it hurts to get hit in the family jewels, but why does it hurt so much? World class boxer Abner Mares helps us to uncover the mystery.

Bonus Clip:

Wiffle ball

Since it’s not a professional sport, it is included as the bonus clip. Wiffle balls are incredibly difficult to hit, and the biomechanics of the game is very different from that of baseball. So what if the best Wiffle ball pitcher went up against a major league batter (James Loney)? The results are very surprising.

Sport Science is a great show and filled with tons of lessons that the amateur athlete can use to improve his/her game. The next part in the series will feature lessons we can use in our own pursuit of athletic greatness.

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  1. December 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Amazing, really interesting matter. I will blog about it too!!

    • Andy Huang
      December 12, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Haha, glad it was helpful!

  2. December 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Hiya!. Thanks a bunch for the blog. I’ve been digging around looking some info up for shool, but i think i’m getting lost!. Yahoo lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the great information. I will be coming back in a couple of days to see if there is any more info.

    • Andy Huang
      December 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

      Haha. I’m glad since that means my blog is showing up in Yahoo search! Anyway, thanks for stopping by, if you need any info for school, maybe I can help!

  3. Bryan
    October 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    The experiment between hitting a baseball and hitting a softball pitch wasn’t conducted fairly at all. First of all, you cant expect a baseball hitter who’s practiced years of hitting a ball at an over the top angle to be able to step right up and hit balls coming upward instead of down. I guarantee, from experience, that if he were given some practice, especially with his hitting skills, he could easily master hitting a softball. On top of that, he was using a wood baseball bat. That means that its not only shorter, but much much heavier. Nothing against Bryan Byrne, but he was also at the time playing minor league, If someone like Bryce Harper or Albert Pujols with a quicker more compact swing were to hit off Jennie Finch, I think they would go yard. To add on to that, give Bryce Harper or Albert Pujols a significantly lighter bat and then tell me if that .045 of a second makes a difference.

    • October 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      You’re probably right. I wouldn’t mind seeing Pujols in a follow up episode.

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