This book provides students and scholars with a fail-safe guide to the key concepts in the field of Sport & Exercise Science. Intelligently cross-referenced entries provide a sound map of the multi-disciplinary demands of sport related courses including physical and biological sciences, social science and education. The entries use clear definitions, examples, and suggestions for further reading to explore each discipline.




Understanding force is essential to understanding movement, not just in a sporting context but also in everyday activities. While kinematics is about describing movement and kinetics is about explaining cause and effect in movement, understanding force is a key component of kinetics. Force is a vector quantity and so it has magnitude and direction associated with it.

Force and Acceleration

Put very simply, a force is something that causes acceleration. Acceleration in everyday terms is usually understood to mean speeding up, but in bio- mechanics it is more correct to say it means a change in velocity. Because velocity is a measure of how fast something is moving in a straight line, it is possible to change velocity (and hence to accelerate) by:

  • speeding up;
  • slowing down;
  • changing direction.

It is ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles