In looking for real world applications of the impulse momentum theorem in physics education, I found as one application to calculate the take-off velocity of an athlete in a vertical jump by measuring the force time dependency using a force plate and then integrating it to get the take-off speed of the jump (assuming that the athlete rests in the beginning). This is described for example here or here.

But why is it interesting e.g. for coaches to measure this value? For example if you train a high jumper or a basketball player the actual jumping height seems to be a much simpler and more interesting parameter of performance than doing the force place measurement described above. So what's the point of measuring the take of velocity this way and why to use this method instead of more direct approaches closer related to the actual discipline?

  • For starters, jumping force is exactly that; the final height/distance of jump depends as much as technique as brute effort available. – Nij Apr 6 at 23:35
  • So the force plate is used to isolate pure athletic performance from technique? – dp21 Apr 7 at 5:13
  • One would presume so, and knowing the force generated by the jump would give information in that part of technique as well. – Nij Apr 7 at 6:35

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