My Tennis Coach and I: What's All the Screaming About?

delete accountContributor IIIFebruary 11, 2012

Maria Sharapova
Maria SharapovaCameron Spencer/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Serena and Venus Williams and Monica Seles…what do all of these women have in common?

That’s right. These ladies are famous for, not only their big-game tennis, but also their excessive shrieking that has caused millions of tennis lovers around the world to mute their television sets just to watch a tennis match.

But we have to wonder. What is with all of this grunting and screaming in tennis? Why do they even have to scream? If they even have to…Well, my coach and I have discussed on these questions at hand and, like always, have come out with the goods. Let’s go through these questions one-by-one:

Grunting and screaming in tennis is universal and it always seems to start in the juniors. Maria Sharapova started her shrieking when she was in the juniors and has caused a lot of hubbub.

Shrone Hurt (a USTA professional tennis coach) said himself that he grunts a bit loudly and he played many players in the juniors and satellite tournaments who did the same thing.

Remember I pointed out that the listed players have “big-game tennis”? Well, that is the real common variable to this discussion. These ladies are not just exercising their vocal chords for nothing. As Shrone explains further:

“Maria and them scream to dumb down. When you play, there can be a lot of things going on in your mind and you can’t play real tennis like that. There is always that little voice in your mind that makes you second-guess yourself. When they scream, they only hear that and helps them focus on their tennis.

"That’s how you play tennis; like a dumb jock. No thinking. Just hitting freely without pressure. Rhythm is extremely important in tennis, and everyone needs it to play their best. The grunting helps for the players to get their rhythm going in a rally, which helps keep consistency up.”

There is also another key factor to screaming:

“Sharapova, Azarenka, the Williams Sisters…they play big tennis and to make themselves even more confident, they grunt (scream). This helps them get a boost of energy and ego, which you always need as a tennis player.

"Without confidence, you can’t ever be a successful player. Believing you are the best, but still not in an in-your-face way, is how to do it. Screaming gives them that boost.”

When you think of the ongoing screaming in this light, it all makes sense. The tennis world is not like any other world. It has its own rules and reasons of why things are done so differently. So if the screaming bothers you that much, the mute button is just a click away.

Keep enjoying the tennis.