Epic Trick Shot Battle

When a person shoots a basketball (or frisbee), the exact force and direction necessary to give the ball a velocity that will result in a basket can be calculated exactly. There are no complications. The difficulty is that these quantities can’t be measured exactly by eye, and the application of the force is through muscles which can’t be controlled perfectly one hundred percent of the time.

So how do these guy manage to make so many shots successfully?

The answer is ‘kinesthetic memory‘. A player cannot possibly calculate the correct angle and force for a shot, and even if he knew what they were, couldn’t reliably make his muscles do exactly what was necessary. Instead, the player practices the shot over and over, thousands of times. What the repetition does is familiarize the athlete with what a good shot feels like, and what movements he was making to achieve that perfect shot. It’s the same in all sports.

In the case of this basketball player, he makes the shot often because he ‘lets his muscles do it’ … he does it exactly the same way he’s done it thousands of times before, and doesn’t have to think about it. Read more about the physics of basketball here.


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