Have you ever tried a new sport? If so, there’s a good chance you weren’t good at it the first time. With most sports, there’s a lot to learn. Some athletes hit plateaus during their training. Maybe a baseball player can’t quite break that .300 batting average, or the pole vaulter can’t quite make 13 feet. Maybe a swimmer is trying to break a world record. It took centuries for a man to run a sub four-minute mile until Roger Bannister did it in 1954. Since then it’s been done more than 4,500 times. In each example, the athletes needed to learn, train, and in some cases innovate the sport itself.
To reach the top of a sport takes tremendous dedication and hard work. Sometimes, it takes a radical change in how the sport is played. In the book, Faster, Higher Smarter: Bright Ideas That Transformed Sports, you will learn about several sports and the innovations that took athletes to the next level.
Your teacher will assign you a sport from the book. Your job is to read that chapter, study the science behind the innovation, and explain it to the class. You also can use these resources to learn more about the sport:
- Science of NHL Hockey
- Science of the Olympic Winter Games
- Science of the Summer Olympics: Engineering in Sports
- Fastest Swimsuit
- Sprinter Advantage
- Sport Science – from the Exploratorium
- Sport Science Index – from ESPN
Use the information from the book and the online resources to answer these questions on your Faster, Higher, Smarter student sheet:
- What was it about the sport that needed improving?
- What changes were made to improve performance in this sport?
- What science principles were involved in the innovation?
- How did others react to this innovation? Was it widely accepted at first? Eventually?
This esheet is a part of the Faster Higher Smarter lesson.