Why left-handers are more successful in sports

Why left-handers are more successful in sports

Two left hands? A popular saying that associates the left hand with clumsiness. It is therefore all the more surprising that there is a conspicuously high number of left-handers among top athletes. Researchers are on the trail of the secret of successful left-handers.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali preferred to punch left-handed when he was active - as did Henry Maske, Graciano Rocchigiani, and Corrie Sanders.

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Tennis players John McEnroe, Rafael Nadal, and Martina Navratilova, table tennis pro Timo Boll and decathlete Frank Busemanаn also beat or defeated their opponents with their left hands. Although the proportion of left-handers in Western industrialized nations is only ten to 13 percent of the total population, 20 to 55 percent of top athletes are left-handed. But what are the reasons for the extraordinary successes of these people? Sports scientist Norbert Hagemann from the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster tries to get to the bottom of this question. By the way, in some cases, the player's leading hand plays a role in the betting. Thus, the best cricket betting apps in India 2022 have a separate category for left-handed and right-handed players.

Right-handers are better prepared

Together with his team, he shows test persons video recordings of tennis matches, stops them in the middle, and asks them in which direction they think the ball they just hit would fly. He is also trying to analyze the course of matches between left- and right-handed players with the help of a company responsible for slow-motion recordings of major tournaments. There is much evidence to suggest that right-handed players are simply less prepared for a clash with a left-handed opponent. Due to the general underrepresentation of left-handers, they have less experience with their movement sequences and are therefore less able to assess their shot or stroke direction.

The perceptual ability of most people, known as "anticipation ability", is geared towards a right-handed counterpart. Among other things, this results in tennis being played more to the right, which forces a right-handed player to react with the backhand, while allowing a left-handed player to use the easier forehand more often. Incidentally, left-handers also have a poorer appreciation of the movements of other left-handers, but this does not matter in a clash, since both have to deal with the same problem.

Left-hander as a fear opponent

In addition, a left-hander is quickly perceived as a fearful opponent due to the more difficult predictability of his movements, a psychological disadvantage for his competitor. This is also supported by the fact that left-handed athletes are particularly successful in duel sports such as tennis, boxing, and fencing, whereas there is no particularly high proportion of left-handed athletes among swimmers, billiards players, or golfers, for example. In team sports such as handball or soccer, the advantage of a left- or right-handed player in relation to the field players is more of a tactical nature, depending on the position in which he is used. For goalkeepers, however, the same is true here: a left-handed player's throw is more difficult to assess than that of a right-handed player.

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Nevertheless, there is also the hypothesis that left-handers have more favorable neurophysiological prerequisites from the outset, such as a specialization of the right hemisphere of the brain, which gives them an advantage over their right-handed opponents in sports. It is also conceivable that both factors interact. The scientists Charlotte Faurie and Michel Raymond from the University of Montpellier in France even assume that left-handers have cheated evolution with their athleticism: In natural history, they would have a better chance of emerging victorious from a fight to the death due to the element of surprise in an attack from the left.

The French try to prove this thesis by murder statistics of primitive peoples, who hardly have firearms at their disposal (for the use of which the handedness is irrelevant), reported https://www.studyguide.org/the-best-fighting-games/. However, the researchers are apparently not entirely comfortable with the results either, and they meekly recommend further studies: according to them, the proportion of left-handed people in areas with many murders is apparently disproportionately high.