Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
There is a gap in the study of sports and it falls in between physical sciences and life sciences. Before I can explain the gap, let’s start with some definitions. Life science is the study of living things and how they live. Life sciences include anatomy, kinesiology, orthopedics, physical therapy, biomechanics, and so on. Physical science is the study of non-living things in the universe and how they work. Physical sciences include e.g., physics, engineering, mathematics, chemistry, and so on.
Life scientists are trained in the life sciences and physical scientists are trained in the physical sciences and there is very little overlap. The little overlay makes sense, since one is the study of living things and the other is the study of non-living things. While this makes sense, it compartmentalizes the study of sports.
When it comes to athletic movement, it is done by athletes, who are living things. So, athletic movement is primarily studied by life scientists. Life scientists apply a kinematic approach to the study of athletic movement, which the study of a body in motion without regard as to how the body was put into motion or how the motion is stopped.
Putting a body into motion, stopping the motion, and making contact with an object (e.g., a ball) is physics. Which, for me, raises the questions of how much does the physics of motion and/or contact with an object affect athletic movement? Who’s job is it to study? A life scientist? A physical scientist? Both? How is it to be studied? Hence, the gap in the science of sports.
At Athalonz, we’ve begun to address these questions and have a long way to go before we have definitive answer them all. We can, though, definitively say “yes” to the question of “does how a body is put into motion affect athletic performance. We, however, cannot definitively say by how much; although we can make a probability statement.
The ability to answer this question with a definitive “yes” and a “probability statement” lies in the differences between physical sciences and life sciences. The physics of motion has long been established as scientific laws and facts. That means motion has been extensive studied and the results are always the same; there are no known expectations. So, when we apply the scientific laws and facts to affecting athletic movement by how the motion is started and/or stopped, we can definitely say “yes”.
In particular, by shifting ground reaction force more towards the body provides more power to the athlete, which effects athletic movement. We can even calculate how much extra power will be produced based on how much the ground reaction force is shifted. For example, for a 6 foot tall athlete, shifting the ground reaction force by 8 degrees will produce 9% more force, which translates to 9% more power.
When it comes to the life sciences, there are very few scientific laws and facts. Humans respond differently to the same stimulus. Thus, there are almost always exceptions. So, for athletic movement, shifting ground reaction force towards the body will increase power affecting the athletic movement, but how much it actually effects the athletic movement depends on the athlete. While all athletes will experience extra power, what they do with it will vary from athlete to athlete.
Thus, we can make a probability statement that players will increase their driving distances by 10 or more yards. For a more definitive probability statement, we are conducting further studies on the results golfers achieve with the extra power. As we complete these studies, we’ll publish them and invite peer review.
We believe that he more we study athletic movement as a combination of physical and life sciences, the more we’ll learn about how to safely increase athletic performance. We encourage others to do the same.
I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.
Athalonz is a technology company based on Mesa, AZ. It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance. Website: athalonz.com
Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques. Website: texaspatents.com
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