The I Formation: A Journal on Tennis, Goals, & Life

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Our choice is justified, first, because tennis is a sport that, culturally, promotes ethical and moral values, prizing the respect for the opponent and the sport itself. Moreover, the recent rule changes on tennis competitions of the categories and-under 19 justify a higher pedagogical attention. Finally, it can be said that the phenomenon of institutionalized children's competition is recent, compared to the sport phenomenon, and has been gradually gaining ground in the global sports scene Sports competition has several meanings and functions It is noteworthy here its educational and formative function.

In this sense, Marques 17 proposed a model of children's education and personal development through sports competition, establishing three key aspects in these competitions format: The first category is justified, at first, by several authors on motor development 22 - According to these and other authors, children in this age group have unique characteristics: In the same context, there is consensus in Physical Education that the child is not a miniature adult; therefore, children's competitions should not copy the adult competitive models 17 , 25 - Given these characteristics, the International Tennis Federation ITF created a competition model in which it established new dimensions of courts and nets, pressure and speed of the balls, and also suggested matches with shorter durations and new dispute formats see Table 1.

This type of adaptation, according to Marques 17 , is necessary so that any child is able to compete. These adjustments in children's tennis have been discussed in recent years 26 - Most of them present teaching and competition models suggested by different associations. The studies looking into the number of adjustments in competitive regulations on children's and teenagers tennis 26 , 27 , in general, concluded that the identified adjustments were insufficient for the needs of its intended audience. Klering 33 even questions the influence of competitive models on training and technical-tactical training of teenager tennis players.

We can say that the number and frequency of completion participations is a topic that is far from a consensus. While some authors 34 , 35 claim that to the under age range little or no competition is recommended, others 17 , 25 , 36 claim that it is precisely at this stage that competitions should become more frequent. The first support the claim that the child is not technically prepared to compete and that competing in these conditions may lead to trauma.

Meanwhile, those who advocate children's competition claim that by providing a high number of competitive experiences, children would have more opportunities to experience both victories and defeats. The ITF and CBT suggest competitions formats that provide a higher number of matches, refuting the simple knockout format, which ruled in tennis.

Barrell 28 points that as an alternative to avoid early withdrawal caused by losses. By playing more, the child tends to learn more and stay more motivated because the sport makes sense to them Wins and losses are directly related to the third category suggested by Marques 17 as it is from these experiences the children's sports education should be based upon.

According to Lima 16 sports competition is the most important pedagogical tool in a child's education. Deconstructing the relationship between wins and losses would reduce sport to something meaningless that would alienate its real meaning, especially for the child However, the mere participation of children in sport is not in itself good or bad. The quality of this participation - if it is meaningful to the child and based on pedagogical concepts - will determine whether the effects are beneficial or harmful Both victory and defeat have educational significance and, if viewed correctly, by both the coach and the athlete, can become positive life experiences 38, In order to strengthen the educational power of competition, it would be necessary to make the defeats less dramatic and relativize the victories 17 , Based on this information, we set the central and specific objectives of this study.

The main objective was to verify if tennis competition of the categories and under meet the goals on children education and personal development. In turn, the specific objectives were:. It should be noted that all the goals were set to be met from the opinion of experienced coaches, who are recognized by the community as references in training young tennis players. This study is based on the assumptions of qualitative methodology, whose way of investigating employs "investigative techniques centered on hermeneutic procedures that describe and interpret the representations and meanings that a social group gives to their everyday experience.

This type of interview allows the interviewee certain freedom to express their ideas and knowledge and, at the same time, makes the interviewer an important part in the process. It is important to mention that we did not define the number of respondents a priori. Therefore, we carried out interviews until there were a saturation of information, which was identified from symbolic and practical standards, classification systems, categories of analysis of reality and repetitions Theoretical saturation of information took place with 11 interviewed coaches.

However, we required more than five years of experience in the specified area, the period in which the professional reaches career stability The length of professional experience is particularly relevant in this study when taking in consideration the practical experience of the transition between the old and the current competitive models. The interview consisted of 10 items, carefully formulated based on the categories proposed by Marques It should be noted that we carried out a pilot interview in order to further adapt the questions according to the respondents' knowledge.

This process is essential for the proper conduct of subsequent interviews. When we identified a potential participant, we made the initial contact by phone.

Level of Achievement Motivation of Young Tennis Players and Their Future Progress

Once they showed interest in participating in the study, we would schedule meeting. At this time, the Informed Consent Form was signed, authorizing the use of information for scientific purposes. We conducted the interviews individually, always by the same interviewer in a local of preference chosen by the respondent.

Interviews were recorded with a digital audio recorder so that important data was not lost. After recording the interviews, transcripts and analysis of oral contents were performed. Once we finished the transcription, these were sent to respondents. Thus, they were able to evaluate the content transcribed, refuting it, approving it or approving it with corrections.

As previously agreed, the criteria for confidentiality and privacy were respected, keeping their identities undisclosed and using only information the coaches agreed to reveal. Ethical issues inherent in research with human beings as provided for in the Ministry of Health Resolution No. It is worth mentioning that this study is part of an umbrella project entitled "Models of sports competitions for children and youth: The interviews content analysis was carried out from an essentially qualitative methodology, following a set of techniques suggested by Bardin The analysis was made initially focusing on the preparation of the research objectives, their assumptions, guiding questions, and finally, the selection of material to be analyzed - the interviews.

At this time we formulated and established the categories of analysis categorizing a priori - categories established by Marques However, it opened up the possibility for the emergence of new categories according to the responses given by experts categorizing a posteriori. Throughout the process, we carried out a study of the materials obtained, in which we coded and classified interview excerpts in predefined categories.

Also, according to Bardin 48 , subcategories were established for better interpretation. The selected excerpts transcripts and herein were chosen according to their representativeness for the group of respondents. First, the coaches were asked about their conception of the importance of children's sports competitions. Everyone was in favor of this kind of competition, justifying it especially by the following reasons: This conception and justifications are in agreement with several authors 16 , 17 , 25 , 37 and are fundamental to the continuation of the study.

The categorization of answers, performed through content analysis, enables the creation of an explanatory table that, in turn, presents the categories established a priori with their respective subcategories and the subcategories originated from the respondents answers established a posteriori - with their respective frequency of occurrence Table 1. The results and their discussions will be presented in accordance with the table, giving priority to the categories with the highest frequency. The tennis teaching methods had already been adapted to the capabilities and needs of children for some time However, competitions did not follow this trend.

Therefore, changing the competitive model, in , came to support a proposal that, for many, was already being implemented. For those who were already working with the kids in this adapted way, it was a relief, because, until then, it seemed we were doing something absurd [ The problem was that our student learned with us this way, but could not play elsewhere, because almost everyone used the adult model, without any adaptation.

We suffered a lot of criticism for it Respondent 4. Overall, the respondents reported there was an important collaboration of competitions in the technique improvement with suitable materials. However, they observed the difficulty some children had to adapt mainly to the rules of the year-old category.

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This was the competitive category with the highest number of suggested changes. Changes were suggested specially regarding the court dimensions, justified by the child's inability to cover their size, perform net approach shot, and their difficulty of developing their service as an offensive blow. These results are in line with Tennant 31 , who states that the difference in the court size of the category "9-year-old" to the "year-old" is very large and ends up making "virtually impossible to carry out some important plays in tennis" This type of observation by the coaches allows us to suggest that deficiencies in the development of gaming combinations in categories year-ld, observed by Klering 33 , may be the result from a previous development deficit.

Most coaches pointed out that, for the model to be truly inclusive, in the sense of all children being able to participate in competitions, they should go through all the stages - "8-and-under" category, "9-year-old" and finally reaching the "year-old" category. However, what should be done with those who begin "late" in these competitive categories? When questioned regarding the competitive categories, the coaches initially said they agreed with them. They justified their acceptance of the competitive categories divided year to year based in authors' on human development 22 - Indeed, according to these authors, children under 10 years of age have a physical and motor development that differs significantly each year, making it impossible to establish more comprehensive competitive categories.

Also based on the classical authors 22 - 24 on human development, mixed competitions between boys and girls in these categories could be suggested. The authors emphasize that their maturational developments do not differ significantly at this age. Moreover, according Moely, Skarin and Weil 49 , competitiveness in girls is more stimulated when confronting opponents of the opposite sex. Therefore, another reason favorable to this idea. In order to answer the question raised at the end of last topic, the Respondents 2 and 10 suggested the creation of competitive categories according to the technical level.

The right thing would be, for those children who do not have a good maturation of motor skills, to work with the ball that they can, and then move forward. Do not skip steps. We should have category A, B, C, in order to make the most homogeneous possible Respondent 2.

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This suggestion corroborates Tennant 29 , who recommends offering and holding regular tennis competitions for all skill levels. According Platonov 50 , only those individuals who are able to meet the technical, physical and tactical requirements of the competition should participate in it. Overall, the respondents agree with this suggestion. Achievement motivation influences other factors affecting performance in sport like: This action is a product of two tendencies: People with greater achievement motivation prefer tasks and situations where they can influence the result and their actions are successful Gracz and Sankowski, Such people continue long-lasting insoluble tasks more effectively and reveal greater persistence Atkinson and Feather, Situations similar to this are dominant in sports performance.

Thus those tennis players who attain international status may be characterised by high levels of achievement motivation. These observations were confirmed in research on tennis players conducted by Butt and Cox The results indicated a higher level of achievement motivation among top class tennis players in relation to university players in the USA.

On the other hand, the so-called negative motivation is characteristic of people with low achievement motivation, who are not confident and want to avoid a failure. In a match situation it usually evokes excessive stimulation and lowers the quality of sports performance. In the long term this often leads to a lack of progress or even giving up practising. High achievement motivation often manifests in an optimum level of stimulation in difficult situations and in realistic levels of aspiration Czajkowski, The analysis indicates that achievement motivation can be identified as one property which determines the progress of young players with serious aspirations to play at international level.

Therefore achievement motivation should be added to the other important components which influence tennis performance and coaches should consider measuring the level of this achievement motivation during talent identification. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Sports Sci Med. Between and Harry Gem , a solicitor and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota , which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham , England, United Kingdom.

After Leamington, the second club to take up the game of lawn tennis appears to have been the Edgbaston Archery and Croquet Society, also in Birmingham. Evans, turfgrass agronomist , "Sports historians all agree that [Wingfield] deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis.

He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game — and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules.

She became fascinated by the game of tennis after watching British army officers play. The first American National championship was played there in September An Englishman named O. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in New York. On 21 May , the oldest nationwide tennis organization in the world [21] was formed, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association now the United States Tennis Association in order to standardize the rules and organize competitions. National Women's Singles Championships were first held in in Philadelphia.

Tennis also became popular in France, where the French Championships dates to although until it was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. The World Hard Court Championships were awarded to France; the term "hard court" was used for clay courts at the time. Some tournaments were held in Belgium instead. The comprehensive rules promulgated in by the ILTF, have remained largely stable in the ensuing eighty years, the one major change being the addition of the tiebreak system designed by Jimmy Van Alen.

The success of the event was overwhelming and the IOC decided to reintroduce tennis as a full medal sport at Seoul in The Davis Cup , an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to In , promoter C. Pyle established the first professional tennis tour with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences.

In , commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the Open Era , in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis. With the beginning of the Open Era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis's popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its middle-class English-speaking image [40] although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists.

Each year, a grass court tournament and an induction ceremony honoring new Hall of Fame members are hosted on its grounds. Part of the appeal of tennis stems from the simplicity of equipment required for play. Beginners need only a racket and balls. The components of a tennis racket include a handle, known as the grip, connected to a neck which joins a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings.

For the first years of the modern game, rackets were made of wood and of standard size, and strings were of animal gut. Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in rackets used through most of the 20th century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and lighter metals such as titanium were introduced. These stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that yielded yet more power. Meanwhile, technology led to the use of synthetic strings that match the feel of gut yet with added durability.

Under modern rules of tennis, the rackets must adhere to the following guidelines; [43]. The rules regarding rackets have changed over time, as material and engineering advances have been made. Many companies manufacture and distribute tennis rackets. Wilson, Head and Babolat are some of the more commonly used brands; however, many more companies exist. Tennis balls were originally made of cloth strips stitched together with thread and stuffed with feathers.

Traditionally white, the predominant colour was gradually changed to optic yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility. Tennis balls must conform to certain criteria for size, weight, deformation , and bounce to be approved for regulation play. Balls must weigh between Although the process of producing the balls has remained virtually unchanged for the past years, the majority of manufacturing now takes place in the Far East. The relocation is due to cheaper labour costs and materials in the region.

Four decades after the Battle of the Sexes, the fight for equality goes on

Advanced players improve their performance through a number of accoutrements. Vibration dampeners may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel.

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Racket handles may be customized with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry and head bands or bandanas to keep the sweat out of their eyes as well. Finally, although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.

Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78 feet A net is stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the baselines, dividing it into two equal ends. It is held up by either a metal cable or cord that can be no more than 0. The modern tennis court owes its design to Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. This template was modified in to the court design that exists today, with markings similar to Wingfield's version, but with the hourglass shape of his court changed to a rectangle.

Tennis is unusual in that it is played on a variety of surfaces. Occasionally carpet is used for indoor play, with hardwood flooring having been historically used. Artificial turf courts can also be found. The lines that delineate the width of the court are called the baseline farthest back and the service line middle of the court. The short mark in the center of each baseline is referred to as either the hash mark or the center mark. The outermost lines that make up the length are called the doubles sidelines.

These are the boundaries used when doubles is being played. The lines to the inside of the doubles sidelines are the singles sidelines and are used as boundaries in singles play. The area between a doubles sideline and the nearest singles sideline is called the doubles alley, which is considered playable in doubles play.

The line that runs across the center of a player's side of the court is called the service line because the serve must be delivered into the area between the service line and the net on the receiving side. Despite its name, this is not where a player legally stands when making a serve. The line dividing the service line in two is called the center line or center service line.

The boxes this center line creates are called the service boxes; depending on a player's position, he or she will have to hit the ball into one of these when serving. The players or teams start on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated the server , and the opposing player is the receiver. The choice to be server or receiver in the first game and the choice of ends is decided by a coin toss before the warm-up starts.

Service alternates game by game between the two players or teams. For each point, the server starts behind the baseline, between the center mark and the sideline. The receiver may start anywhere on their side of the net. When the receiver is ready, the server will serve , although the receiver must play to the pace of the server. In a legal service, the ball travels over the net without touching it and into the diagonally opposite service box.

If the ball hits the net but lands in the service box, this is a let or net service , which is void, and the server retakes that serve. The player can serve any number of let services in a point and they are always treated as voids and not as faults. A fault is a serve that falls long or wide of the service box, or does not clear the net.

There is also a "foot fault", which occurs when a player's foot touches the baseline or an extension of the center mark before the ball is hit. If the second service is also a fault, the server double faults, and the receiver wins the point. However, if the serve is in, it is considered a legal service. A legal service starts a rally , in which the players alternate hitting the ball across the net. A legal return consists of the player or team hitting the ball before it has bounced twice or hit any fixtures except the net, provided that it still falls in the server's court.

A player or team cannot hit the ball twice in a row. The ball must travel past the net into the other players' court. A ball that hits the net during a rally is still considered a legal return as long as it crosses into the opposite side of the court. The first player or team to fail to make a legal return loses the point. The server then moves to the other side of the service line at the start of a new point.

A game consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving. A game is won by the first player to have won at least four points in total and at least two points more than the opponent. The running score of each game is described in a manner peculiar to tennis: If at least three points have been scored by each player, making the player's scores equal at 40 apiece, the score is not called out as "", but rather as " deuce ". If at least three points have been scored by each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score of the game is " advantage " for the player in the lead.

During informal games, " advantage " can also be called " ad in " or " van in " when the serving player is ahead, and " ad out " or " van out " when the receiving player is ahead. The score of a tennis game during play is always read with the serving player's score first.

In tournament play, the chair umpire calls the point count e. At the end of a game, the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall score. A set consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating between games, ending when the count of games won meets certain criteria. Typically, a player wins a set by winning at least six games and at least two games more than the opponent.


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If one player has won six games and the opponent five, an additional game is played. If the leading player wins that game, the player wins the set 7—5. If the trailing player wins the game tying the set 6—6 a tie-break is played. A tie-break, played under a separate set of rules, allows one player to win one more game and thus the set, to give a final set score of 7—6. A "love" set means that the loser of the set won zero games, colloquially termed a 'jam donut' in the USA.

The final score in sets is always read with the winning player's score first, e. A match consists of a sequence of sets. The outcome is determined through a best of three or five sets system. On the professional circuit, men play best-of-five-set matches at all four Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup, and the final of the Olympic Games and best-of-three-set matches at all other tournaments, while women play best-of-three-set matches at all tournaments.

The first player to win two sets in a best-of-three, or three sets in a best-of-five, wins the match. In these cases, sets are played indefinitely until one player has a two-game lead, leading to some remarkably long matches. In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the end of the match with the well-known phrase " Game, set, match " followed by the winning person's or team's name.

A game point occurs in tennis whenever the player who is in the lead in the game needs only one more point to win the game. The terminology is extended to sets set point , matches match point , and even championships championship point. For example, if the player who is serving has a score of love, the player has a triple game point triple set point, etc. Game points, set points, and match points are not part of official scoring and are not announced by the chair umpire in tournament play.

A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server , has a chance to win the game with the next point. Break points are of particular importance because serving is generally considered advantageous, with servers being expected to win games in which they are serving. A receiver who has one score of 30—40 or advantage , two score of 15—40 or three score of love consecutive chances to win the game has break point , double break point or triple break point , respectively. If the receiver does, in fact, win their break point, the game is awarded to the receiver, and the receiver is said to have converted their break point.

If the receiver fails to win their break point it is called a failure to convert. Winning break points, and thus the game, is also referred to as breaking serve , as the receiver has disrupted, or broken the natural advantage of the server. If in the following game the previous server also wins a break point it is referred to as breaking back. Except where tie-breaks apply, at least one break of serve is required to win a set.

Another, however informal, tennis format is called Canadian doubles. This involves three players, with one person playing a doubles team. The single player gets to utilize the alleys normally reserved only for a doubles team. Conversely, the doubles team does not use the alleys when executing a shot. The scoring is the same as a regular game. This format is not sanctioned by any official body. As such, each player plays doubles and singles over the course of a match, with the singles player always serving. Scoring styles vary, but one popular method is to assign a value of 2 points to each game, with the server taking both points if he or she holds serve and the doubles team each taking one if they break serve.

Wheelchair tennis can be played by able-bodied players as well as people who require a wheelchair for mobility. An extra bounce is permitted. This rule makes it possible to have mixed wheelchair and able-bodied matches. It is possible for a doubles team to consist of a wheelchair player and an able-bodied player referred to as "one-up, one-down" , or for a wheelchair player to play against an able-bodied player.

In such cases, the extra bounce is permitted for the wheelchair users only.


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