Left Menu
Development News Edition

Why tennis players make grunting sounds while playing?

Devdiscourse News Desk | Washington DC | Updated: 04-05-2019 15:33 IST | Created: 04-05-2019 14:57 IST
Why tennis players make grunting sounds while playing?
Image Credit: IANS

Ever wonder why tennis players make grunting sounds while playing? Does it sound annoying? You are not alone. Many players believe that the grunting sound of their fellow players hampers their concentration. As part of the study, a team of researchers tried to understand whether this common complaint is justified. Exceeding noise levels of 100 decibels, the grunting sounds produced by some tennis players when hitting the ball are on a par with motorbikes or chainsaws. While fans react to these impressive exhalations with either annoyance or amusement, the habit has also been a source of intense debate among professionals.

For instance, Serena Williams has said that she is not bothered by opponents grunting in the heat of the competition. In contrast, former world number one Martina Navratilova has complained that grunting masks the sound of the racket striking the ball, making it - unfairly - harder to predict the ball's trajectory. To understand whether this common complaint is justified, the research team conducted a series of experiments, in which experienced players were shown video clips of rallies from a professional tennis match.

After observing players hitting the ball, they had to work out the ball's trajectory and indicate where it would land. Largely unnoticed by participants, though, the intensity of the grunting noises was manipulated. Results indicate that grunting does have an effect - but not the one claimed by Navratilova. There was no evidence that grunting caused a distraction effect. In spite of the supposed irritation, participants' level of error in predicting where the ball would land was the same - regardless of the intensity of the grunts. Instead, it was shown that the louder the grunting, the further the participants assumed the ball would fly.

Findings were published in the Journal of PLOS ONE. This reaction was observed even when the noises could only be heard after the racket had made contact with the ball, as is usual in many professional matches. "We assume that players account for the physiological benefits provided by grunting," explained Florian Muller. Other researchers have demonstrated that forcefully exhaling air activates the abdominal muscles, providing additional strength that enables players to hit harder, making the ball fly faster.

"This possibly explains why an effect can be observed as a result of the grunting, but the ability to anticipate the ball's trajectory remains unaffected," Muller asserted. According to the team of researchers, the results of the study suggest that Navratilova's claim needs to be reconsidered. For the sport psychologists, it is also evidence that sensory impressions other than sight are of importance in sport as well, and that scientists should look at these more closely in Future. For this reason, too, they want to stay 'on the ball' and investigate the phenomenon further.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

Stabbings in southern Norway leave woman dead, two injured

Norwegian police say three women were stabbed, one of them fatally, in a small town in the south of the country late Tuesday. Police said Wednesday that the stabbings took place in various spots in the town of Sarpsborg, some 80 kilometers ...

Bandhan Bank net profit falls 31.6pc to Rs 550cr in April-June

Bandhan Bank on Wednesday reported a 31.6-per cent on-year decline in net profit to Rs 550 crore during the April-June quarter. The lenders bottomline in the corresponding period a year ago was Rs 804 crore.A Bandhan Bank statement said it ...

China accuses Britain of helping Washington hurt Huawei

Chinas government accused Britain on Wednesday of colluding with Washington to hurt Chinese companies after tech giant Huawei was blocked from working on a next-generation mobile phone network. The British government announced Tuesday that ...

Taiwan Masters golf 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19

The long-standing Mercuries Taiwan Masters, one of the favorite tournaments of Indian golfers, has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taiwan Masters was originally scheduled to be held at the Taiwan Golf and Country C...

Give Feedback