Oct 07

## The STEM of NFL Football

In conjunction with the video series called the Science of NFL Football DEN Leadership Council member Eileen Malick and Stacy Tutt joined forces to create a football camp pilot to examine the effectiveness of combining advanced science with fundamental football techniques in order to create, faster, more agile, but overall SMARTER youth football players.

This program uses the exercises and tests of an NFL Combine to teach advanced STEM concepts. 2nd through 8th grade students work out like pro-football players and explore physics concepts like torque, acceleration versus speed, and how to measure hydration or the vector of a geometric object (like a football).

 Authenticity: To ensure the program was authentic to the same practices in the NFL, Malick recruited Tappahannock native and University of Richmond standout Stacy Tutt.After a stellar college career as a Spider’s quarterback, Tutt signed with the New York Jets as a fullback. He returned to Richmond to coach at U of R, and now is partnering with Malick on this pilot project. With all of the excitement surrounding the Redskins being in Richmond, this program was extremely successful. Here is the recruiting video.

All Players Every Day: Weigh-ins

Youth football athletes are often dehydrated, but not thirsty, so weigh-ins before and after practice, just like the players of the NFL are an effective way to have athletes understand the importance of being hydrated.

NFL Science link (Nutrition, Hydration, & Health):
http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50683

Some of our football players lost in excess of 3-4 pounds!
“How many of these (bottles of water) do I need to rehydrate? A gallon?”

1 pint of water = 1 pound
1 gallon of water = _____ pounds*
*Answer: 1 gallon of water = 8 pounds

All Players Every Day: Heat Index

At Football Training Camps most days players practice with all of their gear on (helmet, pads, etc.) and other days players wear shirts and shorts. What determines whether players run the risk of being uncomfortable to running the risk of fatal Heat Stroke (105 ° F) is known as the Heat Index.

The daily temperature is compared to the daily humidity:

NFL Science Link (Nutrition, Hydration, & Health): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50683

All Players Every Day: Nutritional Chart

To maintain your weight when you are fully hydrated:

(How Active you are) needs to = (How many calories you can burn in a day)

The “Two-a-days” for NFL Players are extreme practices burning thousands of calories and banquets of food to maintain their essential nutrients:

NFL Science Link (Nutrition, Hydration, & Health): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50683

All Players: Kinematics & the 40 Yard Dash

In Football Combines, one of the most important measurements for recruitment into college or professional football is the amount of seconds a player can run the 40 Yard Dash.

After running the 10 yard, the 20 yard, and the 40 yard dash, players will calculate their speed and determine the differences between Velocity, Speed, and Acceleration.

NFL Science Link (Kinematics – Position, Velocity, & Acceleration):
http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50770

To further improve their speed and agility, players incorporated the techniques of the

Biomechanics of Usain Bolt in this Science of the Summer Olympics Series:
http://www.nbclearn.com/summerolympics/cuecard/59560

Linemen: Torque and Center of Mass:

Game: With you facing your opponent (who is trying to remain standing up straight) try the following to make him lose his balance:

PREDICT: What is the most successful way to make my opponent lose his/her footing?
(Note: Slow pushing. A fast IMPULSE is using Newton’s Second Law)

Examples:

• Both standing up straight, you push at both shoulders
• You crouch down low, push up at one shoulder

NFL Science Link (Torque & Center of Mass):
http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/51154

Football player do not collide in practice without the proper gear, but once properly equipped players can start applying force and momentum using Newton’s Third Law, the Conservation of momentum.

NFL Science Link (Newton’s Third Law of Motion): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/51076

A Quarterback throwing to a Receiver is one skill. Throwing to a moving Receiver, or throwing while both players are running require the knowledge of vectors.

Offensive & Defensive Players: Pythagoras Angle of Pursuit:

The goal for all offensive players is to get the ball as far and as fast to the end zone as possible (with the goal of defensive players to keep the offense as far away from the end zone as possible), which is an example of Newton’s First Law of Motion.

NFL Science Link (Newton’s First Law of Motion): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50884

Based on your 40 yard dash results (Kinematics & The 40 Yard Dash) try to two-hand-touch your opponent trying to run to the end zone without giving up too many yards, using the Pythagoras Theorem to determine the best “Angle of Pursuit.”

NFL Science Link (Pythagorean Theorem): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/51220

Quarterbacks & Kickers: Geometric Shapes:

Footballs have a unique shape (prolate spheroid) which has advantages and disadvantages.

NFL Science Link (Spheres, Elipses, & Prolate Spheroids): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50824

What is the best way to kick a football and attain the best accuracy?
You are again incorporating the Pythagoreas Theorem.

(Note: Being directly behind the ball provides the LEAST accuracy.)

When you correctly use your Kicking Leg as a “Hammer” you are focusing impulse to get the ball as far down the field as possible, Which is Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

NFL Science Link (Newton’s Second Law of Motion):  http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50974

Punters: Parabolas & Punting:

When Punting a football, the mass & diameter is constant, but the initial speed, air resistance, and angle make all the difference in a punt with successful “hang time” and distance.

NFL Science Link (Projectile Motion & Parabolas): http://www.nbclearn.com/nfl/cuecard/50689

Here is a video with the enacted STEM Football Model:

New! Homework: NFL Combine Results:

Use DATA from NFL Combines to support why your player is the best!
40 SPEED: 40-yard dash time.
3-CONE: 3-cone drill time.
SHUTTLE: 20-yard shuttle time.