Remember in school, an explanation about things staying in motion until met with an opposing force? Like a ball rolling on the floor… in a vacuum.
In life, the ball might need the occasional extra nudge.
There are forces preventing the ball from rolling on forever friction, slope, air pressure, gravity,.
It’s physically impossible for that ball to reverse direction or change course suddenly, without significant interference.
Momentum takes time to shift in any direction, even more to fully reverse.
If the ball is stopped, slow and steady acceleration makes for a smoother trajectory than an aggressive kick.