Some of the grunting sounds emitted by tennis players when hitting the ball are as loud as motorbikes or chainsaws. Some tennis players, such as Martina Navratilova, have complained that grunting makes it harder to predict where the ball will land, because doing so covers the sound of the ball hitting the racket. A team of sport psychologists from Germany’s University of Jena examined the effects of grunting. The study results indicated that grunting has an effect, but it was not what Navratilova complained about. No evidence was found that grunting causes a distraction effect. When grunts with different levels of intensity were provided, no proof was found that the intensity influenced the level of error in predicting where the ball would land. Other researchers proved that grunting activates the abdominal muscles, providing additional strength to help players hit harder. Dr. Florian Muller, who led the study, said, “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.”
Hanna Jeong Staff Reporter
1. What did Martina Navratilova have to say about grunting?
2. What did sport psychologists from Germany’s University of Jena examine?
3. What was a benefit of grunting discovered by some researchers?
1. Before reading this article, why did you think tennis players grunted during games?
2. Do you have any opinions towards people who make noises when playing sports?
3. Do you think some players like Martina Navratilova really do get distracted from grunting?
4. Should there be any rules against grunting in tennis?