A wide range of titles relating science and sports have been published for the so-called "thinking sports fan." While many of these books use an understanding of science to enrich the spectator experience, athletes have also used scientific discoveries to maintain a competitive edge. A sport like golf, for instance, invites contemplation and calculation. For soccer players there are angles of the bounces of the ball to consider. In basketball one calculates angles and dimensions, and in baseball the spin of the ball and the effect of wind and air. NASCAR teams make use of physics and engineering in their race track preparation.
Here is a short reading list of books at the San Francisco Public Library that cover the science of a variety of athletic and competitive pursuits.
Newton On The Tee: A Good Walk Through The Science Of Golf by John Zumerchik. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002.
The Physics of Baseball by Robert Kemp Adair. New York : Perennial, c2002.
The Physics of Basketball by John J. Fontanella. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
The Physics of Hockey by Alain Haché. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2002.
The Physics of NASCAR: How To Make Steel + Gas + Rubber = Speed by Diandra Leslie-Pelecky. New York: Dutton, 2008.
The Science of Sailing. New York : Scribner, 1961.
The Science of Soccer by John Wesson. Philadelphia : Institute of Physics Pub., 2002.
The Science of Swimming by James E. Counsilman. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1968.
What Makes a Boomerang Come Back: How Things in Sports Work by Sharon L. Blanding and John J. Monteleone. Stamford, CT: Longmeadow Press, 1992.