Sport biomechanics studies the effects of forces and motion on sport performance. Using laws and principles grounded in physics that apply to human movement, athletes and coaches can make sound decisions for developing efficient sport techniques.
In this photo, former Olympian Dr. Ralph Mann presents a biomechanics analysis of hurdling to coaches at the IAAF/USATF Sprints and Hurdles Academy. (DWood Photo)
When coaches understand how forces work on muscles and affect motion in sports, they have a clear advantage over those who lack this knowledge and its applications. Athletes who know the basic concepts have a rationale for learning the correct way to execute skills. Knowing the reason behind learning a challenging technique gives them more motivation to master it.
The key to success is finding effective instructional cues that help the athlete achieve correct mechanical technique. Coaches with a command of mental training tools and sports training principles can help athletes make amazing things happen on the field.
Anatomy and physiology lay the foundation for biomechanics and kinesiology, areas of study about human movement. With a command of these areas, coaches can:
The laws and principles of sport biomechanics are particularly helpful for designing training activities that match the mechanical demands of sports. For example, these principles help answer questions about the similarities between weight training exercises and sport movements and provides a rationale for which exercises a coach might include in the training program.
There are several professional associations that provide sound research-based information in this field. One of the most prominent is the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports. They strive to bridge the gap between research and coaching.
The American Society of Biomechanics is a second organization that fosters the exchange of information in diverse fields and addressed both basic and applied research.
Related topics under this heading highlight key applications of mechanical principles for sport performance. Training methods and tips show how to improve skill techniques common in sports, such as running, throwing, jumping, batting, kicking, and maintaining stability whether stationary or moving. These topics also lay the foundation of knowledge for professionals in athletic training, physical therapy, and related health professions.