Why Is Reaction Time Important in Tennis?

By Noa Cornberg,
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Tennis is a sport of speed and precision. With the average speed of the ball on the court being 80mph and serves touching 130mph, the player has mere milliseconds between the ball hitting the opponent’s racket and reaching them.

All that calls for an incredibly low reaction time in tennis from the players, if they want to have a solid chance of winning. 

Before we get into the details of why reaction time is important in tennis, let’s see what reaction time actually is. 

What is reaction time?

With reference to tennis, reaction time is the amount of time taken by a tennis player between seeing the ball hit the opponent’s racket and forming a response strategy for it.

Importance of reaction time in tennis

Having a short reaction time and being able to respond to faster in a game of tennis means that a player can have more time to:

  • Target the ball the right way.
  • Better decide the next move they are going to make.
  • Maintaining a better body balance before striking the ball.
  • Deliver an efficient and effective stroke.

Tennis is not the only game in which reaction time matters. Reaction time in table tennis is equally important.

Why is reaction time important in table tennis?

Reaction time in table tennis is important for the same reasons as tennis. 

Table tennis ball travels at 60-70mph and the table is significantly smaller than a tennis court. This adds up to an even smaller window for the player in which they have to detect the ball and strategize their next move.

The players with a better reaction time in table tennis can better plan their moves and come up with a counter strike that can give them an edge over the opponent.

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