Messing with tradition

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    I think this is a personal subjective idea, and no such thing as right or wrong, but to me, the game is to let you have the best performance of the most brilliant achievements to let everyone loved to listen to music to relax, if possible enhance each athlete’s performance, as long as that does not affect the fairness of the game, I think it should all be legitimate behavior


    I don’t think players wearing headphones before a tennis match are necessarily being disrespectful to the crowd. Music should help an athlete lessen anxiety and pressure, so that the player in their performance.

    Frank Muller

    I dont think that a player wearing headphones is disrespectful to the crowd. I think a player should be able to do whatever it takes to prepare the best way possible. And if listening to music helps the athlete, he should be allowed to do it. He plays for himself and not for the crowd. It’s him that put all the blood sweat and tears into this…so I dont think that anyone has the right to tell him that he is not allowed to prepare the best way possible, because it might offend some people.


    I think Ms. Navratalova’s comment was one where she was more than likely upset after a defeat. I bet she was trying to find anything to blame for why she had loss. In now way to I think an athlete is being disrespectful for listening to his/her choice of music in anticipation for the match. All the athletes are entitled to their own coaches and training regiments so they should be entitled to their own music as well.


    Welcome in the 21st century, miss Navratilova. These athletes care for one thing only: winning that final. They will do exactly THAT what they need to do to reach that point. The crowd doesn’t see most of it, but now they enter the court with headphones. Big deal. This has absolutely nothing to do with a lack of respect: they are just preparing for an elite performance and they know/think they need this music to improve their performance in some aspect (concentration, anxiety control, motivation, whatever). Besides that: Wimbledon is starting to collapse under its traditions by now. Only one thing matters: optimal performance of the athletes, that’s what the crowd and TV watchers expect and pay good money for. I would absolutely stimulate it as a coach!

    Aline Olivio

    I believe the athlete goes to court to get their best performance, then they should be focused on them and so is the right to use his resources to stay focused, motivated and quiet. In this way, I do not understand be a mistake to remain with the headphones until the match starts.

    Peter Terry

    I love the passion evident in the posting by Olavversloot. Even though I would classify myself as something of a traditionalist who spent nine years supporting players at the Wimbledon championships, I can see merit in the argument that entering the court wearing headphones is all about promoting a winning performance and nothing about disrespect. I was also intrigued by the comment that “Wimbledon is starting to collapse under its traditions”. Where do you think that is heading? An imminent end to the predominantly white dress code? More crowd noise during rallies? Coaching allowed during changeovers, as in the Davis Cup? Or will it just be a phasing out of the strawberries and cream? Would any changes impact upon the psychological challenges for players?
    I’m keen to hear more on the subject.

    Alexander Oshinsky

    I see absolutely no problem with tennis players wearing headphones and listening to music while walking onto the court before a match. the crowd during a match is supposed to be quiet and respectful so that the players can pretend that there is no crowd and focus on their match. as such I feel that if athletes are working on focusing and trying to ignore the crowd than wearing headphones and listening to music is not an issue.

    Sunday Dickson

    Her criticism is unfair. Music is a way of life and a lot of Athletes can not do without music. Just remember to reduce the volume when approaching crowds so as to be able to hear when someone is trying to talk to you. A lot of Tennis players take it off when approaching the crowds, Some take off one ear and other reduce the volume>>> For my, the summary will be that; just make sure you are able to hear what people around you says while listening to your music!

    S.Venisha Mani

    In my opinion athletes can listen to their motivating music anytime as long as it doesnt disturb their opponents or anyone else.


    Music can help the athlete find the optimal state for their performance. I understand where people are coming from with the traditions of Wimbeldon. But I feel they have allowed it because they want the best for the athletes to give there best performance and high competition.


    Athletes should be left alone to use music to get into their right frame of mind to perform well or at their optimal best. There is alot of pressure on athletes in such a big event, for me i wont say it is disrespectful to the tradition of Wimbledon. With the my experience i have gotten during my professional career i will say it also depends on the individual athlete, Music has been one of the ways many tennis players use to get out of anxiety.


    As far the tradition of Wimbledon is considered listening to music till the player reaches the court then it is disrespectful, but according to my personal opinion listening to music is totally a personal choice. If the player is comfortable doing it then it is fine.If he/ she is listening to music to relax him/ herself, reducing tension before the game and getting inspired or motivated by listening to music then it is totally fine. It depends on athlete what he/ she prefers.

    M N Viswanath

    There are two ways of looking at this incident: firstly: considering that endorsements are very important to professional athletes they would be under contract to display the manufacturer’s products in public-if for ages display of logos on dresses, bags, rackets, balls, head band has been accepted then why the hue and cry about the ear phones. True, the ear phones made the players to focus on the music as a result they failed to acknowledge the crowd. Do they really care? the endorsements are earning them hefty sums of money giving them future security and the comfort of luxurious lifestyles. Money is important , why would they care? Old timers like Martina may be right in their views but the modern generation trend of everything revolving around money , glitz and glamour will make world go around.
    Secondly: The suggestion that rules have to be framed restricting the players from wearing `head phones’once they enter the arena is sensible. Because, tomorrow the players may start playing the entire match wearing head phones and listening to music – who knows? So a line has to be drawn somewhere.In which case they will acknowledge the greetings of the crowd when they make their appearance on the courts.Finally head phones or not it is up to the players to pay respects to the people who have come to see them play- at least they can wave to the crowd even with their head phones on.. Let them remember that they are not bigger than the game or the fans after all.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by M N Viswanath.
    Chia Stella Xinying

    I think for such prestigious event for players to display a certain level of respect is important. Which means, players got to know when to be on a headphone and when to remove their headphones. But i believe, as an audience or even royalties will understand the importance of player’s preparation before game. Like mentioned by some posts, if they really want to control “disrespectful behaviour” they have to state it in the rules. Afterall, everyone is waiting for the best performance from the best athlete in a prestigious event.

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