Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by battousai555, Mar 4, 2005.
Is sound really that important in tennis? I'm curious how hard tennis would be for a deaf person.
Plug your ears and see for yourself that sound is very important in tennis. Good tennis, at least.
Id have to disagree with Deuce on this one, to a degree.
Having umpired quite a few tournaments reserved only for deaf players the standard of tennis, at the higher levels, is no different to other players. The coaches I spoke to said that the biggest problem they have is not being able to hear a let (so they can get hooked when there's no umpire) and not being introduced to the game at an early enough age but apart from that they dont see any major impediment. Their opinion was that what you've never had (sound) can't be missed and if they did lose a touch in that department they gain by being far more able to block out distractions.
Of course if you went deaf now (which might be what Deuce was referring to) you'd be thrown by the absence of sound and find it does throw your timing out and affect your game.
Don't forget, it would be hard to keep track of score. Maybe they could get one of those cool scorekeeping watches.
I think I'm gonna try the earplug thing. Thanks for the info AndrewD.
Yes, this is the perspective from which my thought originated, Andrew, as it is the only perspective I can imagine, having never been deaf.
It is truly fascinating how other senses compensate for the missing sense.
But for those of us who do hear, as you mentioned, losing it would throw our tennis off. I've noticed this when playing in both noisy environments, as well as on the 'artificial grass' courts, which insulate sound to the point where it's difficult to hear the ball striking your opponent's strings. This sound can tell you how much spin your opponent is putting on the ball, for instance. The senses tens to work in conjunction with one another.
I got beat by a deaf guy at the '98 Transplant Games. One advantage he had was that he couldn't hear me cussing at him after he hooked me--just kidding. This guy was also a very good racquetball player, which would seem hard to get used to without sound.
Last fall I was playing in an indoor tournament and it started to rain VERY hard. The sound in there was deafening! We couldn't even hear OURSELVES call out the score, much less hear the sound of the ball or hear the other person call out the score. The first couple of minutes it was a bit unnerving, but after that my opponent and I adjusted just fine, and just used hand-signals for everything. The storm lasted almost an hour - we played the rest of the match with no problems. (I'm rated as a 3.5 NTRP - could be that higher rated players get more out of the sound of the ball striking the racquet than I do.)
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