Athletes and Mathematicians: Perfect Pairing

Apr 21, 2021 | Squirrel Hill


Have you ever paused to consider why athletes keep breaking records? How do they keep getting better and faster? The answer is simple: athletic teams now hire mathematicians to help them perform at their optimum ability.

For instance, 100 years ago, most champion swimmers wore completely different swimming suits. Swimswam says, "Many leisure swimmers stuck to wool swimwear, which could weigh up to 9 pounds when wet. Competitor swimmers opted for all silk full-body suits." Somewhere, a clever mind was thinking, "there has to be a better option." And there was! Swimmers' times were cut dramatically when they tried streamlined speedos instead of soggy wool board shorts. 

A popular blog was written on the site,, which tells a lot about how Mathematics has been changing sports. Take the 2016 Rio Olympics for example. Did you know that both New Zealand and Australia had mathematicians on their athletic teams? Those Mathematicians were in charge of:

1. Collecting data

2. Taking all conditions into account to produce valuable information

3. Creating performance statistics

The mathematicians on the athletic teams always aim for precision in their findings, so it's no wonder that they use formats like statistics, algebra, decimals, fractions, geometry, relativity, and more. 

The National Center for Scientific Research has even created a model for runners to help them achieve their best results. It looks a little something like this:

1. Distance of Race

2. Lung Capacity of Athlete

3. Energy Intake

4. Maximum propulsion force

5. Friction between runner and the atmosphere

We can certainly see why math has changed the game for professional athletes. At Mathnasium of McCandless, we want to change your child's experience with math. Our specially-trained Math tutors are ready to work alongside your student and generate amazing results. Mathematics as a field is growing, and more and more jobs are appearing as the world realizes the diverse applications of math. Jump on board with us at Mathnasium of McCandless and let's see where math takes your child. :)