Nugget of Knowledge: Tennis and grunting

Grunting helps a player hit 4 percent harder

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A University of Nebraska study found that by grunting, you’ll make the tennis ball fly 4 percent faster, and it won’t affect your breathing or heart rate.

But there’s another advantage to letting out a belly groan with every shot: distraction!

Highly skilled tennis players listen for how the the ball comes off the racket.

Hearing that thwack can help you judge the ball’s direction and speed.

You react quicker.

But research from the University of Hawaii and the University of British Columbia found that when the other player grunts loudly, you have a harder time figuring out where the ball is going and how fast, because it takes longer for your brain to process that information.

If a shot is traveling at 50 miles per hour, that grunting causes the ball to travel an extra two feet before you start to respond, maybe enough for your opponent to win.

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