Player sensitivity to changes in string tension in a tennis racket

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Journal Article
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2003, 6 (1), pp. 120 - 131
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Forty-one advanced recreational tennis players were tested to determine their ability to detect differences in string tension in a tennis racket. Subjects were given pairs of rackets that varied in tension by up to 98 N (10 kg) and were asked whether they noticed a difference in tension and if so, which racket was strung at a higher tension. Only 11 (27%) of those tested could correctly identify a tension difference of 5 kg (11 lb) or less. Fifteen (37%) could not pick a difference of 10 kg (22 lb). To examine the importance of sound as a means of discrimination, an additional test was undertaken where participants wore earplugs. Of the 26 subjects undertaking this additional test, only 6 (23%) were successful. It was concluded that advanced recreational tennis players demonstrated limited ability to correctly identify differences in string tension and that impact sound was an important factor for those participants who were successful at various levels of discrimination.
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