The influence of auditory information on performance in table tennis


  • Katharina Petri
  • Timon Schmidt
  • Kerstin Witte



in-situ table tennis study, hit quality, subjective effort, auditory information, anticipation


It is well-known that visual information is essential for anticipation in table tennis but it not clarified whether auditory cues are also used. Therefore, we performed two in-situ studies, in which novices (study A) and advanced players (study B) responded to strokes of a real opponent or a ball machine by returning with forehand counters (study A) and forehand top spins (study B) to a given target area on the table. We assessed the parameters “hit quality” and “subjective effort”. In study A, we provided four conditions: normal, a noise-cancelling headphone and earplugs to dampen auditory information, other noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs to remove almost all environmental sounds, and the same head-phones with additional bright noise to remove all sounds. In study B, we performed three tests (irregular play and regular play with an opponent and response to regular balls of a ball machine) under two conditions: normal and noise-cancelling headphones with the additional bright noise. In both studies, no significant differences between all conditions for “hit quality” and “subjective effort” (all p>0.05) were found. We conclude that auditory information, as well as their volume, have no influence on the hit quality in table tennis for novices and advanced players.


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