CAN ELITE TENNIS PLAYERS JUDGE THEIR SERVICE SPEED?

  • K. Moran
  • C. Murphy
  • C. Garry
  • B. Marshall
Keywords: augmented feedback, tennis, service speed

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine if elite tennis players could accurately determine whether successive serves were faster or slower than the preceding serve. Eleven national standard junior tennis players completed 10 acceptable maximum effort serves, aiming to land the ball with-in a 1m square area adjacent to the service box T. A Wilcoxen signed rank non-parametric test was employed (α = 0.05). Results indicated players were no more likely to correctly differentiate serves (4.9 ± 1.5) than that which would be expected by chance (5 out of 10) [p = 0.92]. The average speed of serve was 46.9 ± 4.5 m.s-1 and the variation in each player’s service was 1.1 ± 0.5 m.s-1 (approximately 2.3%). The implications of these findings is that it is not possible for elite junior tennis players to use service speed (knowledge of results) as a means of guiding and fine-tuning their technique when they rely on gaining this information from purely internal physiological systems (e.g. vision).
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities