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Newton's Laws and Sports

We have all heard the story of Isaac Newton sitting below a tree thinking, when an apple falls and hits his head. We don’t know whether the apple hurt him but it did inspire him to develop his theory on gravity. Gravity is a force that attracts or pulls two bodies towards each other.

Newton was the first to describe the impact of gravity and motion. He also made it relevant by looking at how it applies to life around us including sports. Many years later in 1686, he presented the three laws of motion. These laws have helped us understand how and why objects move the way they do.

Let's learn the three laws of motion, and see how these laws apply in sports.

Newton’s Three Laws of Motion

Newton's First Law of Motion

An object in motion will remain in motion unless an outside force is applied on it. In the same way an object at rest stays at rest unless an external force is applied.

Simply Put

Without external force an object in motion keeps moving and an object at rest, remain inactive.

Example in sports:

A football that is stationary will not move unless we kick it. Similarly, the golf ball on the tee does not move unless hit by the golf club.

footballer kicking football


A ball that is moving would continue to keep rolling based on this law. The reason a ball we kick does come to a stop is because of the action of either the air molecules or the ground. If the ball were moving in space it would keep moving.

If we want a ball to keep moving for a longer time we need to reduce the number
of forces that act on it while it is moving!

Newton's Second Law of Motion

This second law is a little more complicated. The second law of motion describes the relationship between force, mass and acceleration.

The law states that: 

Force = mass X acceleration or F=ma

This means that the mass of the ball (let’s say, a tennis ball) will determine the force with which it moves. The lesser the weight, the quicker it moves. Think of it – do you need more force and speed to push a bowling ball or a football?

 Simply Put
The heavier an object, the more force is needed to move it!

Newton's Third Law of Motion

This is the coolest of them all. It states: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction! When we sit on a chair we exert downward force, the chair at the same time exerts an upward force else it would collapse. Think of what happens when a ball hits a cricket bat. It exerts an opposite action on the bat and the ball bounces off.

The third law of motion at work:


Expert Advice


We don't grow into creativity!

It is not what we know that is important today, but what we do with it! It is our ability to analyze, think out of the box, ideate and create. We need creativity to get on with our lives. Finding that next tagline, strategy or product at work or resolving a tussle at home or even finding a quick fix to a leaking pipe!

Practice Sheets

Multiplication as repeated addition Using To-Infinitive

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