Tennis - The Secret To A Perfect Game
Reported November 2011
WABASH TOWNSHIP, IN (Ivanhoe Newswire) --In tennis, a good player can hit the ball over the net at speeds of over 120 miles per hour. It takes another good player to actually hit it back. But hitting a small yellow ball moving that fast isn’t easy. Now, we’ll tell you about the secret to hitting the ball almost every time in tennis.
On the court, the best players seldom miss a move. There is skill to it and the best may see something the average player doesn’t see.
“When I’m confident I see the ball slower, Aaron Dujovnd, a tennis player told Ivanhoe.
“I feel personally that the ball is coming slower, I feel like everything around me slows down,” Kristtian Krotsko told Ivanhoe.
A new study by psychologists at Purdue University say a player’s perception of the ball moving slower is true.
“It actually turned out to be that when they hit it in, the ball seemed to be moving about five miles per hour slower than when they hit it out,” Mila Sugovic, Ph.D., a student at Purdue University told Ivanhoe.
Researchers studied players hitting a tennis ball at various spins and speeds from 50 to 80 miles per hour from a ball machine. After each hit, players estimated the ball’s approaching speed using a computer. All the players saw the ball moving slower than it actually was.
“These affects are apparent no matter what the skill level is, so we, in our study we had beginning players, intermediate players and advanced players and we found the same pattern for all of them,” Jessica Witt, Ph.D., a psychologist at Purdue University told Ivanhoe.
The players who performed well, reported the net’s height as appearing lower. Researchers suggest players who want to improve their skills might try slowing the ball down in their minds. A little concentration doesn’t hurt either.
“The way my father taught me to play tennis is that he told me, if I’m not focused enough that I should be able to read the text on the ball no matter how fast it’s coming,” Krotsko concluded.
Good advice, from a good player.
The study was reinforced by additional experiments with participants in a virtual tennis lab. By changing the size of the racket, players who played with a larger racket also perceived the ball as moving slower.
Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:
Jessica Witt, PhD
Department of Psychological Sciences
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