Have you ever wondered what the most accurate way to throw a football or baseball is?
Well, science now has the answer.
In a recent story by The New York Times, professors from Harvard University and Yale University determined the most accurate way to throw a ball is softer and slower.
Madhusudhan Venkadesan of Yale and Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan of Harvard published a study in Royal Society Open Science that states that the faster an object is released, the less accurate its trajectory will be.
“The speed at which you throw the ball affects the curvature of the trajectory the ball takes,” Venkadesan said, per The New York Times’ Victor Mather.
The study was based on physics but also has roots in sports.
Venkadesan and Mahadevan used the sport of darts as a prime example.
They suggest that the optimal speed for throwing a dart is between 5.1 and 5.5 meters per second, and typical dart throwers toss them between 5.8 and 6.7 meters per second, so human beings aren’t far off in this aspect.
“That’s about as slow as you can throw while still sticking the dart in the board,” Venkadesan said.
The researchers did find one sport, however, where the slowness of the throw didn’t improve the accuracy — cricket.
In cricket, one must hit the wicket in order to get a run out, and the professors determined the most accurate way to do that is to throw the ball as fast as you can underhanded.
The professors also determine that shooting free throws underhanded would increase the percentage of an average free-throw shooter in the NBA.
Now you have the secret to becoming an All-Star at trash can basketball.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images