Approach, HIT, Kill, WIN!!
The Physics of a Hit in Volleyball

By: Dannie Patterson and Maggie Kowalik
How is physics used for a volleyball hit and approach?

Dannie and Maggie’s research:
Volleyball has more physics and forces in the game than you may think. When you're watching volleyball, you will usually see the team using three hits. The last hit that volleyball players use is an attack.

We use an approach to get more momentum. To get momentum you swing your arms while you do your steps. When hitters get a kill it's because they transfer their body's momentum to hit the ball as hard and fast as they can. When approaching, we imagine we are stepping over a big log. This helps get more momentum in our legs, which helps us get higher and we get a better hit.

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After we get enough momentum, with our arm swing, we do our three or four step approach to accelerate. If you’re left handed, you use a right, left, right approach. If you’re right handed, you use a left, right, left approach. It helps us move faster and accelerate more efficiently. When we do our approach, we have to go very fast to gain more speed. This helps with a harder hit and to get on top of the ball.


Force is also a big thing that happens in hitting a volleyball. When you plant your feet on the ground, with your last step in your approach, you use the force of your legs to jump up. When you hit, of course you use tons of force! When volleyball players do hit, we tighten our abs so that the force from our abs can get us a harder hit.

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Friction makes up a HUGE part in volleyball. The friction between your foot and the floor makes a better jump. When you do jump, the friction between your foot and the floor leaves. But when you hit, the ball the friction is still there but is transferred through your hand and the ball.


Finally, the last thing that us volleyball players use is gravity. Gravity uses us, we don't use it! This happens when we jump up to do our approach, gravity pulls us down when we are hopefully done hitting! If we go too early we would hit the ball in the net! So we need to try and be friends with gravity, and work around it as best as we can.

These are just SOME of the ways physics is used in volleyball. There are tons of other ways it's used also!


· Maggie and Dannie’s brain (research)
· Dannie and Maggie’s own experiences
· First Picture: Kim and Maggie Kowalik
· Second Picture:
· Third Picture: Dannie Patterson
· Fourth Picture:
· Fifth Picture: Kasey Levine, Caitlyn Vaughan, and Ashley Gronlund
· Sixth Picture: 2009/08/04/sand-volleyball/

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