Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why do tennis players grunt?

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Online Store Manager

One of the most common complaints about tennis, especially during featured tournaments like this past US Open is, “What’s with all the grunting?", "Why must they grunt so loud?”, and for non-tennis players (like my husband) who say the real reason they don’t like tennis is because, “the grunting is so incredibly distracting.”

Maria Sharapova is one of the game's most notorious
We get it, many a times we're complaining right alongside you. But believe it or not, tennis players don’t grunt to be annoying to their opponents or to us spectators, they grunt because they were most likely taught to. I know what you’re thinking, you mean people were taught to grunt that obnoxiously? Obviously, tennis pros like Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka take it to another level, but the primary reason why players grunt is to force them to breathe and exhale through their shot.

Imagine it’s post-season, the playoffs, the finals, whatever—this is the big match. Everyone’s eyes are on your court while you’re serving for a critical match-deciding point. Feeling a little tense? When nerves get the best of us, we instinctively hold our breath. It’s an annoying little habit that causes this chain reaction where all the sudden we’re afraid to move our feet in the fear that we might actually run into the ball, and instead of rallying with our opponent like the experienced player we all claim to be, we begin ‘patty-caking’ the ball over the net. So what does this have to do with grunting? Grunting can kick those nerves from the start! 

Instead of pleading you don’t make an error, grunting will force you to breathe (when you’re not remembering too), which calms those nerves that are inhibiting you from moving. It's just that simple! Okay it's not that simple, but it can be if it comes naturally to you. And on top of being a breathing aid, grunting can also exert maximum force in your swing. Yes it's true, look at Serena Williams! You can actually increase your core stability and strength. That should give you some confidence.

So while we recommend you give grunting a try to see if it comes naturally, the focus should be on breathing, not screaming. Grunting takes energy, so you don't want to wear yourself out by wildly shrieking during every point. And while it may be annoying to others, we commend those that do grunt because it's not easy to draw attention to yourself, and unbeknownst to everyone else you are giving yourself a big advantage.

*Follow us on Facebook to get a first look at new posts, pictures and on-going events or visit us at and check out the latest arrivals in the shop!

1 comment:

  1. Most of the tennis fans are doing regular complain about the tennis player's activity especially "grunting". It is the most common thing found among the players, especially in female players. Grunting are basically arises when players are putting extra pressure on their shots by gathering all energy, this is also a better tennis techniques.
    Tennis court construction