Effects of an 8-week mini tennis coaching intervention on children’s groundstroke performance


  • Anna Fitzpatrick
  • Keith Davids
  • Joseph Antony Stone




Constraints-based coaching, mini tennis, intervention, task constraints, backhand


Evidence suggests that modified versions of tennis (e.g. LTA mini tennis) positively influence children’s technical and tactical development. However, Fitzpatrick, Davids and Stone (2017) highlighted that mini tennis may not afford children as many opportunities to develop the backhand, as it does the forehand, potentially leading to a skill imbalance. Here, we investigated effects of an 8-week coaching intervention, designed to alleviate the asymmetry between forehand and backhand performance, on children’s match-play and skills test performance (Fitzpatrick, Davids & Stone 2018). After the intervention, the experimental group performed a higher percentage of backhands than the control group during match-play. The experimental group also demonstrated superior improvements in forehand and backhand technical proficiency compared to the control group and in their ability to maintain a rally with a coach. Findings suggested the modifications applied during our intervention may enhance children’s skill development and afford more opportunities to develop the backhand.


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How to Cite

Fitzpatrick, A. ., Davids, K. ., & Stone, J. A. (2018). Effects of an 8-week mini tennis coaching intervention on children’s groundstroke performance. ITF Coaching & Sport Science Review, 26(76), 12–16. https://doi.org/10.52383/itfcoaching.v26i76.158




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