Motivation and Achievement in Tennis


Scott Bentley

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

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Each person is motivated by different things and in different ways. Athletes specifically use how they are motivated to achieve goals, improve in practice, and overcome difficult tasks and opponents. Coaches can play a crucial role in helping their athletes recognize their motivational style (extrinsic or intrinsic) and learn how to best motivate themselves. My goal in this study was to work with 13-18 year old tennis players in Cache Valley and see if the participants improved more with coaching tailored to their motivational style than with general, non-specific coaching. Each participant was given the same motivational survey, the same warm-up, ran through a warm-up of each groundstroke (6), and the total number of 10 made shots was recorded for each stroke after the warm-up and coaching phase. The participants worked with me for 20-30 minutes and did a cool-down stretch afterwards. Each participant worked with me on two occasions to show improvement between the two sessions. The results of this study show that the participants not only improved more between the two sessions when they were coached according to how they are motivated, but also performed better during the first lesson than did those who were coached with general, non-specific coaching. This leads me to suggest that coaches should, if they want to maximize a players' progress, coach each player according to how that player is motivated.

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