Football Physics: The "Impossible" Free Kick

This Football Physics: The "Impossible" Free Kick video also includes:

Given a particular direction and velocity, what force can make a ball swerve into a goal? This visually engaging video illustrates the physics that occur when a ball rotates on its axis while moving in a particular direction, also known as the Magnus effect.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • The video reviews all the ways that a ball may not succeed in "bending" (going too fast/slow/wide/short/etc.). For each of these options, have learners explain the physics behind why the kick would be unsuccessful, taking into consideration air, pressure, and velocity

  • Excellent animations to help explain concepts
  • Option to customize online discussion and assessment questions provided by TED-Ed
  • Great opportunity to draw cross-curricular connections

  • None