The Physics of the High Jump

explanatory Essay
3265 words
3265 words

The Physics of the High Jump

The world consists of many phenomena. Some of them are mysteries to us as human beings, while many others can be explained. Progressively over the centuries, science has helped us to better understand the spectacular things that physically affect the human race and the earth. Almost every single thing that deals with the physical aspect of our existence can now be explained through physics, which in turn helps us to better understand our surrounding environment. Where I have always been involved in sports, I am very interested in the specific physics that each sport consists of. One such sport that fascinates me is the high jump, and for this reason I am going to delve into the physics of the high jump and break it down to explain the different laws and physics that encompass it. The high jump can be broken down into three stages: the run up phase or approach, the take off phase, and the flight or bar clearance phase. By understanding these three stages and the different laws of physics that make them up, one will have a much greater understanding of the high jump and its mechanics. In order to begin this analysis, I need to start with the very first stage of the high jump, which is the approach or run up phase.

The run up phase begins with the jumper standing up vertically, in position to begin running, about ten strides away from the bar that is to be cleared. According to professors Jesus Dapena and Alexander P. Willmott of the department of Kinesiology, from Indiana University,“[the] run-up serves as a preparation for the takeoff phase, the most important phase of the jump”(2). The run up phase can be broken down into several parts. The first part of the run up phase generally follows a straight-...

... middle of paper ...

... world that are associated with the high jump.

The high jump may not be a spectacular phenomena or even a mystery to many people, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is governed by many principles of physics. By understanding the physics that make up the high jump, one can obtain a totally new understanding of the mechanics of this incredible sport, and in doing so can acquire an appreciation for the principles of physics that govern our earth and us as a human race.

Works Cited

Dapena, Jesus, and Alexander P. Willmott. “Scientific Services Project: (USA Track & Field),HIGH JUMP #23 (Men) Research Report.” “Diss. Indiana University, 2002.” Kirkpatrick, Larry D., and Gerald F. Wheeler. Fourth Edition Physics A World View. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers, 2001.

Santos, Jim. Practical Coaching Techniques for the HIGH JUMP. Iowa: Championship Books, 1981.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that science has helped us better understand the physical aspects of our existence through physics, which in turn helps us understand our surrounding environment.
  • Explains that the run up phase is a preparation for the takeoff phase, which is the most important phase of the jump.
  • Explains that the j curve of the approach is important to the high jump for several reasons.
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