How do professional tennis players move? The perceptions of coaches and strength and conditioning experts

Brandon Giles, Peter Peeling, Brian Dawson, Machar Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to explore the processes associated with successful on-court movement in professional tennis. To date, research has only provided generalised insight into the physical demands of tennis movement and the requisite physical skills. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 15 international tennis and/or strength and conditioning coaches involved in the development of tennis-specific movement in professional men's and women's tennis. A descriptive, qualitative approach was adopted, with interviews transcribed verbatim and analysed using an inductive to deductive thematic analysis. The highlighted ideas and concepts enabled the dynamic construction of higher-order themes representative of "good" tennis movers, alongside the conceptual development of a common movement "goal" or "outcome". The established higher-order themes portrayed three "styles" of "good" movers in modern professional tennis: those who were "fast" around the court, those who "read the play" well, and those who were "efficient" in their movement. The established themes provide a framework for interpreting and categorising the movement of professional tennis players as well as its underpinning skill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-734
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

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