Why Do Tennis Players Grunt?
Grunting is a staple of any professional tennis game. However, for those who have never played tennis, the question –“why do tennis players grunt?” – is a mystery. Grunting itself is not uncommon in the world of sport, but it is particularly commonplace in tennis. Some players grunt louder than others, while some make next to noise at all. However, there is some real science behind grunting in tennis. In fact, grunting can have huge benefits when it comes to court performance.
If you are looking to maintain an edge over the competition, you will want to ensure you are breathing properly when playing. Those players who do not breathe efficiently when playing often find themselves overexerted quickly. Exhaling at exactly the right time is also critical when playing tennis. The best time to breathe out is when you take a shot. However, many players will forget to exhale at this crucial moment. Grunting is therefore an audible cue for the player, ensuring they remember to properly exhale as they carry out a strenuous stroke. In fact, many tennis coaches will suggest beginners adopt this tactic early on.
Maintaining Proper Rhythm
Tennis is all about timing, but it is all too easy for a player to lose their tempo and derail during a game. Grunting is a useful way of maintaining rhythm when playing tennis. Not only does it help remind players of when to exhale, it can also be handy for keeping players focused on the game. When grunting, a player is more likely to complete shots correctly and remained primed and ready to return the ball.
More Powerful Shots
Grunting can also be used as an effective tool for adding power to shots. Obviously, the sound itself will not put any additional power in the racket, but it can help ensure players are timing their play correctly. Focusing on when to grunt will also ensure a player is thinking about when to receive the ball. This will almost always result in better positioning and alignment of the racket, allowing the player to hit the ball with better technique and more power. But it is also important to remember a worker is only as good as his tools and as such a good tennis racket and proper technique are also vital to smashing the ball with power!
Some professional tennis players also grunt and moan to cover up the sound of the ball impacting their racket. If both players remain largely silent, it is possible to hear the ball bounce off the strings of the racket. Potentially, this will grant the receiving player an advantage. Grunting covers this noise up, forcing the opponent to respond to the ball visually.
Some tennis players may also use grunting as an intimidation tactic. A loud enough grunt or enduring moan can prove a distraction to an opponent, forcing them to lose focus and compromise their rhythm. Although most professional players avoid going overboard when it comes to grunting, some umpires have been known to challenge those making excessive noise on the court.
If you are just starting out, you should definitely consider the benefits of grunting. Above all else, grunting is a great way of maintaining rhythm and regulating your breathing when playing. However, unless you want to develop a bad reputation with fellow players, avoid the urge to grunt too loudly on court.