Skill acquisition in tennis: Research and current practice

M. Reid, M. Crespo, Brendan Lay, J. Berry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)


    Common to most tennis players is the desire to improve performance. Equipped with the necessary motivation, these players can spend countless hours rehearsing tennis' skills under the guidance of a coach. Often, these practices feature repetitous hitting, with little consideration given to the actual context in which the game's skills are expressed. Alternatively, training sessions that amount to little more than poorly structured game-play, devoid of any specific goals or objectives, are also discernible. Either way, player learning and Long-term performance are unlikely to be optimised. So, where tennis coaches have long relied on certain instructional approaches and types of practices to enhance player performance, their efficacy is uncertain. Indeed, a growing body of research suggests that players stand to benefit from the earlier introduction of variable and random practices and feedback that is more intrinsic in nature rather than time-honoured overly prescriptive coaching. This review considers contemporary skill acquisition research in relation to current tennis coaching practice. (c) 2006 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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