Effects of Lawn Tennis Association mini tennis as task constraints on children’s match-play characteristics

FITZPATRICK, Anna, DAVIDS, Keith and STONE, Joseph (2016). Effects of Lawn Tennis Association mini tennis as task constraints on children’s match-play characteristics. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35 (22), 2204-2210.

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Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/026404...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2016.1261179
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    The Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Mini Tennis (MT) is a modified version of tennis consisting of progressive stages, however, there have been few attempts to evaluate how MT might shape performance behaviours. Here, we examine effects of playing MT on the emergence of children’s match-play behaviours in forty-eight junior tennis players. Performance in 1010 match-play points were filmed and coded across four tennis stages (MT Red, MT Orange, MT Green and Full Ball), using a notational analysis system. Recorded performance variables included rally length, first serve percentage and shot type, for the purpose of analysing inter-stage comparisons. Results showed a series of specific adaptations to playing characteristics across the stages, including rally length, shot variety and serve success. MT Red rallies (7.36 ± 6.06) were longer than Full Ball rallies (3.83 ± 2.40), and a higher percentage of forehands were played at MT Red (66.40% ± 8.49%) than at Full Ball stage (45.96% ± 6.47%). Findings suggested that MT stages can afford children more opportunities to develop their skills and elicit different match-play characteristics than Full Ball task constraints. Coaches, therefore, should consider the nature of emergent adaptations when designing practice environments to facilitate learning in young tennis players. Key Words: Mini Tennis, task constraints, representative learning design, adaptations, emergent behaviours

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2016.1261179
    Page Range: 2204-2210
    Depositing User: Amanda Keeling
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 11:37
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:49
    URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13997

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