Brainy footballers such as Burnley’s Clarke Carlisle are using science and difficult maths to prove their prowess on the pitch, according to a leading academic.
Dr Ken Bray, a sports scientist at the University of Bath, has teamed up with The Big Bang to inspire young scientists of the future and confirmed that as much as 30% of a player’s technique is down to an intuitive understanding of maths and science.
Dr Bray, who analysed hours of football footage as part of the study, said: “Football is an art but it’s also a science and every footballer uses geometry, aerodynamics and probability to perform at their peak. Maths plays such a fundamental role in the game that elite footballers are combining athleticism with scientific nous to give them a competitive edge.”
Burnley defender Clarke, who has been crowned Britain’s brainiest footballer and Countdown champion and has an A-level in maths, added: “From the forward to the keeper, we rely on scientific and mathematical principles to improve our performance, whether it’s a case of striking the ball cleanly, working out the angle of a slide rule pass or positioning the wall to defend a free kick.”