Holger Geschwindner

What do physics and jazz have to do with basketball? Plenty, if you really want to win

David Klammer for TIME

German basketball coach Holger Geschwindner and who has found a way to use the laws of physics to help his athletes.

PHYSICIST Sir Isaac Newton is usually seen as the enemy of athletes. So much of sports, after all, involves battling gravity. But basketball coach Holger Geschwindner, 62, has found a way to turn the laws of physics to his advantage. A former captain of the German national team and a physicist, he has developed a series of formulas that may reveal the optimum arc for jump shots, using a combination of player height, arm length and release point. "Take differential and integral calculus. Make some derivations and create a curve," he recently said. "Everybody can do it."

Maybe not, but Geschwindner...

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