Vernon Tennis Club
When I lived in Connecticut, I first played at this club, which was located about 15 miles east of Hartford and right next to I-84. They had four indoor courts with a fast-playing carpet surface; but then added two outdoor HarTru courts.
When the weather cooperated, we all quickly tried out the new courts; but found it almost impossible to play. With all the truck traffic on the highway, you couldn’t hear the ball striking your opponent’s racquet … and thus had no idea what kind of ball was coming your way: solid hit, miss-hit, topspin, etc.
In just a couple of months, everyone stopped using those courts.
The Role of Hearing
According to Martina Navratilova, at the 1993 United States Open, she blamed planes overhead for interfering with her play. “You really depend on hearing the ball being hit, particularly when you are at the net,” Navratilova said. “You first hear the ball. Then you react to the speed and spin according to the sound. And when you can’t hear it, it really throws you off. I did miss some volleys there because I didn’t hear the ball.”
In his book “The Inner Game of Tennis,” W. Timothy Gallwey wrote, “I learned how effective the remembering of certain sounds can be as a cue for the built-in computer within our brains. While one listens to the sounds of his forehand, he can hold in his memory the sound that results from solid contact; as a result, the body will tend to repeat the elements of behavior which produced that sound.”
What do YOU think? (Can you hear me now?)
PS Bob Wilkie and i won the weekend Pelican Bay tennis Open championships. Done with tournaments for this season!
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