You may be wondering why do players scream when hitting the ball? Is it helping a player? Let us find out what is the reason behind screaming.
Nowadays, cheers issued by players during the game are not unusual. It is worth asking yourself why they are used and do they affect the player and his opponent in any way?
Let us start with the second one. The shout on the other side of the court distracts the player, and there is no doubt about that. Research at the University of Hawaii has shown this quite clearly.
A group of people had to determine, based on the video, whether the ball played by the tennis player would go to the left or right. In the second task, the subjects did precisely the same, but characteristic sounds made by players accompanied the material.
It turned out that the respondents reacted slower by about 30 ms slower and made more mistakes when the recording of the players' sounds appeared. At the 180 km / h service, the competitor will react 1.5 m later, which is quite a difference.
The second critical issue is the fact that the sounds made by the player impede the correct assessment of the ball. One of the components is its sound when it contacts the rocket.
The player's sounds effectively drown out this, resulting in a worse rating of the ball and subsequent reaction. Martina Navratilova considers the screams of players as a mere cheat.
How does the scream affect the player?
Well, it turns out that it can positively affect the speed of the ball played by the player. Researchers at the University of Nebraska examined ten volunteers for the speed of balls they play when they scream and when they make no sound.
It turned out that the players were able to generate balls 3.8% faster than the previous ones by shouting. What is more, it turned out that this was done without additional physiological cost because their oxygen consumption did not increase.
It is presumed that a deep breath helps stabilize the spine, and the exhalation and pressurized air means that energy is transferred through more tense tissues from the legs to the rocket itself.
The last argument is more psychological. The exclamation can increase the player's confidence and help him breathe properly. Let us look at other sports such as martial arts, discus, bullet and the like. Competitors consciously or not use the power of sound, so why could tennis players?
Apart from all this, there is the issue of ethics. Should this behaviour be stigmatized or not? Everything seems to come down to common sense, as usual. If it helps someone, why not? On the other hand, Sharapova's scream was measured at over 100 dB, i.e. the volume of a motorcycle without a silencer or helicopter at the height of about 30m. What do you think about this?