Volleyball: Hitting

By: Cassie Hanson and Haley Tribbey

Question: How is physics used in the approach and hitting in volleyball?

My reaserch:
In volleyball, many examples of physics are demonstrated. On our page we will be specifically talking about how physics is used while in your approach and while hitting the ball.


First, during the approach you need to build up
momentum, which is built up energy. This is important so you can have power to jump then hit the ball. The momentum to hit the ball comes from a good approach. To get this momentum, you need to get low, swing your arms back, and explode up. Since you have done all these steps, your swing will have a lot of momentum for you to hit the ball hard and quickly to the ground.

external image action_moves.gif

Something else that you will need in order to have a perfect hit, is to have the right amount of velocity, which is the speed in a particular direction, towards the net. To build up this velocity, you need to know exactly where the ball is going to go so you can do a quick approach in the right direction. A key part in having the right velocity is having shoes with a lot of friction so you can take quick steps in the direction that you want to go.

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Friction prevents you from slidding on the floor and increases your stability on the court. You need friction on your shoes so that you can move quickly to where you need to be without slipping. In volleyball, your feet need to be in control and planted towards the direction you need the ball to go to have a good pass. When your doing your approach to hit, you need to be able to plant your feet so you don't float into the net.

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When you are hitting in volleyball, you want to open your hand as wide as you can and put as much weight onto the ball as possible. Weight is force on an object due to gravity. By opening your hand and snapping your wrist, you are putting weight on the ball in a downwards direction. The goal of hitting is to get the ball down to the floor in a spot that it will be hard for the opposing team to dig up. By using a great amount of weight on the ball, practice and some aim, and a good approach, you should be able to get a kill!

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Projectile Motion:
When the setter sets the ball to the hitter, it has projectile motion. Projectile motion is the curved path an object follows when protected near the Earths surface. For example, the setter sets the ball high but eventually drops down to a level where the hitter can swing and hit it. In the game, the hitters have to read the setters set. They start their approach at the peak of the set so they have time to do their approach and when the ball is at the perfect spot for the player to hit, they pull their arm back and then swing at the ball. So the projectile motion of the ball plays a huge part in the turn out of the hit. ‚Äč

In the video above, it shows the perfect projectile motion that a volleyball should have. To have the volleyball go at this curved path, it makes it easier for the hitter to attack the ball. Having a good set is very important in volleyball because when you have a good set, the attacker has the perfect chance to kill the ball and score a point!

Newtons First Law of Motion:
Newtons first law of motion says that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force. This relates to volleyball because when a ball is set up, it stays in the same motion untill a hitter attacks the ball. Another example of how this law of motion is used in volleyball, is when the hitter hits the ball, and it goes down in the same direction untill a passer on the opposing side passes it up.

Newtons Third Law of Motion:
Newtons third law of motion says with every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This relates to volleyball because there is a different action after the hitter hits the ball that the setter set to that player. The opposite reaction would be the player on the opposing side passes the ball up to their setter. Another example would be if a hitter was hitting the ball but the opposing team blocked it when the player hit. The action would be the hitter hitting the ball and the opposite reaction would be the ball hitting the opposing players hand and having it drop to the ground.

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First Picture: http://www.volleyball-store.com/wp-content/uploads/volleyball_girl_spike.jpg

Second Picture: **http://www.pacificcoastvolleyballcamps.com/images/learn_to_play/action_moves.gif**
Third Picture: Haleys Facebook- original picture
Information: **http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/newtlaws/u2l4a.cfm**
Information: **http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newton3laws.html**
Video**: www.youtube.com