Short science paper on gymnastics - looking for comments, especially from coaches!

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I have to write a 1 page paper for a biology class on how science (not necessarily biology) relates to something. Of course, I picked gymnastics. :D If you have time, please read and comment with any suggestions, especially if you're a knowledgeable coach (i.e., dunno :)). Thanks! Oh, the event and numbers in paratheses refer to several pictures I'm turning in with the paper that I don't have time to upload right now. Also, my teacher is totally gymnastics illiterate so I tried not to get too technical or in depth. :)


All sports involve a great deal of science, especially in the fields of biology and physics. Sports with balls usually take advantage of parabolic motion and momentum change, while racing sports focus on biomechanics and efficient use of energy. Acrobatic sports can be the most scientifically complex because they often involve motion in all three dimensions. At my last two gymnastics meets I spent some time observing the science of all four events – vault, bars, beam, and floor. I found that while all the events follow the same basic principles, each emphasizes a different aspect of biology or physics.

Vault and floor focus on energy conservation and motion in different dimensions. Before a vault or a tumbling pass, I start by running (about 60 feet for vault and 15 for floor) trying to attain maximum speed and acceleration right before I begin the first part of the skill. On vault, I try to be as efficient as possible in my hurdle to the springboard and transfer to the table, which I then push with my arms and shoulders to get one more energy boost before flying off the table. In a fronthandspring (vault 1), I continue moving forward the whole way, traveling on the x-axis and flipping on the y-axis. In a tsukahara (vault 2), I twist onto the table (motion on the z-axis) so that I push off facing the runway, then bend my knees to increase my rotational velocity and flip backwards one and half times around my y-axis before landing (hopefully on my feet!), while traveling on the x-axis the entire time. On floor, my run ends in one of two entry skills that I try to finish at an angle that will give me optimal height and rotation for the next skill. A frontlayout (floor 1) is similar to a fronthandspring vault, involving forward motion in the x- and y- dimensions. A back half (floor 2), while looking very different from a tsukahara, also involves 3D motion, as I flip around my y-axis, perform a half twist on my z-axis, and continue moving across the floor on the x-axis, all at the same time.

Most skills on bars are possible because of the physics of circular motion. In a giant (bars 1), I start and end in a handstand on the high bar, swinging in a circle with the bar as my axis of rotation. However, because I am moving mostly in the y-axis, gravity pulls me downward during the whole skill. In order to counter its effects on my upswing, directly underneath the bar I “tap”, letting my feet fall behind me and then aggressively kicking up, giving me the momentum I need to make it around the bar. In my dismount (bars 2), I perform the same motion as a giant but release the bar on the upswing. The momentum from the swing allows me to gain height and distance from the bar and have enough rotation to flip around to my feet.

Beam is all about balance. My brain quickly processes information sent through biological means from my eyes and the vestibular system in my inner ear, giving me body awareness and allowing me to make slight adjustments to keep myself centered over the 4-inch wide beam while turning, jumping, and flipping. Active flexibility, which makes use of both physics and biology and is necessary for almost every gymnastics skill, is probably most evident on this event, as many higher value jumps and leaps involve split positions (beam 1 and 2), which I take advantage of because I am scared of many of the flipping skills!
These are the basic concepts behind the main aspects of science in gymnastics​
 
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ESPN did a video last year about gymnastics and it was pretty scientific with measurements, calculations and more. You could try searching their site, it could be useful.
 
that, young lady, is an awesome thesis on how science and gymnastics are inter-related. wow! you and your parents should be very proud!:) if you don't get an A, i want the teacher's name & address at your school.
 
that, young lady, is an awesome thesis on how science and gymnastics are inter-related. wow! you and your parents should be very proud!:) if you don't get an A, i want the teacher's name & address at your school.

Wow dunno, thanks so much! I've always found this stuff really interesting and actually didn't spend too much time on this paper. :D I'll be sure to let you know what I get!
 
Great Job! Excellent paper. I'm sure your teacher appreciated your houmor and originality.
 

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