Author Topic: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence  (Read 8476 times)

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Offline wilsonboy

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Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« on: March 15, 2008, 03:20:00 PM »
An interesting article I stumbled upon. This is resting the case of my defense of grunting. ;)

Quote from: MensVogue.com
Grunt Work
How bad do you want to win? Bad enough to be banned from your gym and thrown through a Sheetrock wall? Inside the science of unhhhhh!

 By Bryan Curtis

There are very few scientists who volunteer themselves as experts on the precise nature of the grunt. In fact, there is only one: Dennis G. O'Connell of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. The first thing he would like to explain is that a grunt is sometimes known as "vocal disinhibition." The second thing is that no one knows definitively whether grunting while we work out or play tennis actually gives us a physiological boost. There's a theory that it inhibits certain neurons in our spinal column, allowing us more strength, but it has yet to be proven.

O'Connell always had a special thing for grunting, and for years subjected undergrads to grunting experiments. In 1999, he asked various subjects — including power lifters and casual exercisers — to grunt while they performed a dead lift. He found that by grunting they increased their force by an average of 1 to 5 percent — but these findings were only mathematically, not statistically, significant. Earlier this year, O'Connell began a study using tennis players. The data was still being tabulated as of press time, but O'Connell likes the look of the grunter's serves.



So while we wait to learn about grunting's physiological effects, we can speculate on its psychological ones. In the early 1990s, Monica Seles grunted her way to nine Grand Slam titles and became the game's top-ranked female player for two years running. At its peak, her ox-like bellow measured 93.2 decibels — not Sharapovian, but loud enough for the London tabloids to compare it to a freight train. This made Seles something of a pariah on the women's tour — Martina Navratilova once complained that Seles was making such a ruckus that she couldn't hear the ball come off the racket. What few people know is that Seles's grunting was not an unseemly habit but a deliberate competitive strategy, drilled into her by a sports psychologist named Jim Loehr.

Loehr, who is chairman and CEO of the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida, is the father of tennis grunting. There had long been grunters on tour, players like Vicki Palmer and Jimmy Connors, but never before had the grunt been harnessed as a performance tool. Grunting helps to relax the muscles, Loehr claims, and prevents the kind of stiffness that results in "iron elbow" — which can cause a forehand to find its way into the net. Loehr met Seles in 1986, when she was a timid and polite 12-year-old, a condition that carried over into her game. Loehr encouraged her to breathe out forcefully — to grunt — and soon the pint-size Seles became a ferocious, swaggering player. As the trophies piled up, Seles unleashed her full inner grunter. "She felt so good that it became more and more vocal," Loehr told me recently. When noises of discontent emerged from what one Wimbledon referee would later dub the "counter-grunt culture," Seles turned down the volume. "The world says stop, then she stops and she loses three consecutive finals," Loehr says. Seles reported receiving anguished fan letters that read, "Monica, you've got to grunt again."

The nature of grunt-hating can be directly tied to Seles's lips. It turns out grunting is not just a case of poor etiquette, like belching at the dinner table or forgetting to wipe the sweat off the StairMaster. What underlies the Seles case — and that of the spate of recent grunters like Stuart Sugarman and Alex Rodriguez — is gamesmanship. Grunting is about exerting power. "The alpha ape was a grunter," says Samuel Davis, and while this conclusion requires more study, it looks like he's on to something.

.........

So the next time you're working out, turn up your iPod, commune with your StairMaster, or drown out the grunters with your own vocal disinhibition. And if you still have a problem with someone making a little noise in the gym, I've got one piece of advice: Take a deep breath.

Be the change that you seek.

Offline BGT

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 04:18:29 PM »
I still don't like grunting. But, it also depends on the person. ;-() I don't mind Rafa's but it seems contrived... like it's done on purpose to psych out his opponent. On the other hand, when Andy does it, it's done when the match is tough and you can feel the effort he puts out. Like, if his opponent hits a drop shot, you'll hear him as he attempts to reach it. His just seems more 'real' if that makes sense.



Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2008, 04:26:59 PM »
WHAT............EVER
I should have known that it would only be "acceptable" when Andy Roddick does it.lol
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Offline Dallas

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008, 04:33:28 PM »
WHAT............EVER
I should have known that it would only be "acceptable" when Andy Roddick does it.lol

Don't let it get to you! :)) :rofl_2:

Offline BGT

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 04:36:59 PM »
 :lol-sign:



Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 04:38:34 PM »
WHAT............EVER
I should have known that it would only be "acceptable" when Andy Roddick does it.lol

Don't let it get to you! :)) :rofl_2:
I actually even heard Federer do a little bit of grunting in some recent matches... I mean like a grunt per shot per rally per game per set....lol
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Offline pawan89

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 05:19:04 PM »
yeah everyone grunts.. its just some people what they do no longer comes under grunting. it comes under screaming-for-no-reason-whatsoever-just-for-the-he!!-of-it. Rafa's about the limit that I can take. maybe even he's beyond limit actually but i started going a little easy on him because he doesn't start it untill like.. the second point. and I haven't actually heard him do that 'moan' of his when he volleys :rofl_2: so you know, he might just get carried away with that swing of his. still, not a fan of it  :\


Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2008, 05:28:06 PM »
hahaha...
I mean, yeah, they make a porno sound like the library. But I still don't mind it. I'm a grunter myself. And it really makes a difference in how aggressively or defensively I play.
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 05:35:21 PM »
Misses the boat entirely.

The case against grunting has less to do with what's going on between the lines. Ever notice that people don't mind male grunters but are easily incensed by female screamers (sorry retro, but here's the reason). We're talking about pitch and resonace, folks. A male grunt is gutteral whereas a female sounds like she's being assaulted; decible count is irrelevant.

I was hoping the physiolocigal considerations would focus on gender.
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Offline wilsonboy

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 05:47:24 PM »
Misses the boat entirely.

The case against grunting has less to do with what's going on between the lines. Ever notice that people don't mind male grunters but are easily incensed by female screamers (sorry retro, but here's the reason). We're talking about pitch and resonace, folks. A male grunt is gutteral whereas a female sounds like she's being assaulted; decible count is irrelevant.

I was hoping the physiolocigal considerations would focus on gender.

OMG I want to make out with you right now. I agree sooo much with you. B/c I'm looking at a lot of ATP players and I'm like "isn't that grunting?". But no one seems to ever really give it the time of the day. But the female equivalent is taken as unnecessary. But that's never gonna change. Especially since a lot more WTA players have taken up the "power game". So you'll definitely see more Venuses, Serenas, and Sharapovas in the future.... I wonder if they'll ever ban it. I can see Wimbledon possibly doing that.
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Online Babblelot

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 06:00:57 PM »
Misses the boat entirely.

The case against grunting has less to do with what's going on between the lines. Ever notice that people don't mind male grunters but are easily incensed by female screamers (sorry retro, but here's the reason). We're talking about pitch and resonace, folks. A male grunt is gutteral whereas a female sounds like she's being assaulted; decible count is irrelevant.

I was hoping the physiolocigal considerations would focus on gender.

OMG I want to make out with you right now. I agree sooo much with you. B/c I'm looking at a lot of ATP players and I'm like "isn't that grunting?". But no one seems to ever really give it the time of the day. But the female equivalent is taken as unnecessary. But that's never gonna change. Especially since a lot more WTA players have taken up the "power game". So you'll definitely see more Venuses, Serenas, and Sharapovas in the future.... I wonder if they'll ever ban it. I can see Wimbledon possibly doing that.

Awe, shucks... :blush:
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Offline Dallas

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 06:45:13 PM »
WHAT............EVER
I should have known that it would only be "acceptable" when Andy Roddick does it.lol

Don't let it get to you! :)) :rofl_2:
I actually even heard Federer do a little bit of grunting in some recent matches... I mean like a grunt per shot per rally per game per set....lol

Roger does it very rarely and then it's not a 'shriek' sound like a lot of the others... :innocent: :rofl_2:

Offline the Batman

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 06:54:12 PM »

if it bothers opponents, grunting should be limited. sharapova should be asked to shut up or limit her screams to her bed.

Offline dmastous

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 07:22:45 PM »
Of course it's not really the grunting that bugs people. It's the volume, and ferocity that some grunt with.

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Offline Alison2006

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 07:31:03 PM »
Of course it's not really the grunting that bugs people. It's the volume, and ferocity that some grunt with.

Get ear plugs then
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Offline garion

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2008, 07:32:07 PM »
Of course it's not really the grunting that bugs people. It's the volume, and ferocity that some grunt with.
i'll agree with this.

i cannot STAND Maria,Venus,Serena's scream-grunts. They are just really loud and annoying. And I always thought it was them only that did it to help their power game, then I noticed that male players do it too but it wasn't as loud and bothersome.

but, if it is more a female vs male physiological thing then I'll have to just grin and bear it because it can't be helped.

Offline Dallas

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2008, 07:35:11 PM »
Of course it's not really the grunting that bugs people. It's the volume, and ferocity that some grunt with.
i'll agree with this.

i cannot STAND Maria,Venus,Serena's scream-grunts. They are just really loud and annoying. And I always thought it was them only that did it to help their power game, then I noticed that male players do it too but it wasn't as loud and bothersome.

but, if it is more a female vs male physiological thing then I'll have to just grin and bear it because it can't be helped.

The thing about it is that they can play without the grunts.  I've watched all of the above mentioned players and there are sets that can go by when you don't hear a peep from them.  Then there are sets that you do (as Alison suggested) need ear plugs.  Someone also said in practice Maria never grunts.  But I guess it's a "game" thing. :confused1:
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 07:44:26 PM by dmastous »

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2008, 07:46:00 PM »
Now let's see the difference between grunting and screaming...  Sharapova is louder than somone in karate breaking boards on concrete planks when they strike it.  I am down with grunting, I think it is fine.  Screaming is a little different to me though...
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Offline dmastous

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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2008, 07:46:21 PM »
Of course it's not really the grunting that bugs people. It's the volume, and ferocity that some grunt with.

Get ear plugs then

I shouldn't need ear plugs, I've never needed them before.
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Re: Grunting Debate: Psychological/Physiological evidence
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2008, 10:04:20 PM »
Of course it's not really the grunting that bugs people. It's the volume, and ferocity that some grunt with.

Get ear plugs then

I shouldn't need ear plugs, I've never needed them before.
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