Telling someone “remember to breathe” will elicit an eye-roll no matter who they are. But the vast majority of people who play tennis get exhausted after only a few shots. Are they really that fat and out of shape? Maybe. But most of the time it is because they are holding their breath while they play, or at least not regulating their breathing properly.
This is what the pros are doing when they grunt. Grunting serves 4 main purposes.
- It makes sure that you are breathing regularly and you are in control of your breathing.
- Every time you exhale, it relaxes your muscles more so than if you were inhaling or holding your breath. This helps your explosivity through the shot.
- There is some indimidation factor, or distraction factor for your opponent.
- It can also muffle the sound of your hitting the ball, which in some cases can be a small advantage if you did not hit it full strength or if it was a mis-hit.
Do you find it difficult to breathe, or don’t want to be obnoxious about it? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
On to the next lesson: Hitting the ball perfectly every time!