Big Points im Tennis? Zur spielsituativen Handlungsvermittlung für die Tennisausbildung: Erkenntnisse aus der Weltklasse

Translated title of the contribution: Big points in tennis? Teaching match specific behaviour for tennis development based on professional players´ performance

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Tennis is a very complex game with different mental challenges during a competitive match and, therefore forcing coaches to adapt their training topics permanently. A well-developed technique and great physical skills should be considered more of a re-quirement for success than a guarantee for success in world-class tennis. It seems to be-come increasingly evident that players at the top of the game have – aside from the before mentioned technical and physical skills - mental abilities that allow them to perform their best tennis when it matters the most. The fact that the most successful players in world-class tennis win just slightly over 50% of their points played shows that there must be certain points that are more important than others. These deciding points are collo-quially called big points; a term that is often used by media and players to describe their wins and defeats, despite the fact that there is no real definition of the term. Accordingly, the aim of this cumulative doctoral thesis is the determination of what a big point is in tennis and to examine players` performance parameters with respect to mental challeng-ing match situations to improve the practice in the future.
In study I the existence of big points is con-firmed by the results of a questionnaire filled out by tennis experts. However, the answers of professional players and coaches reveal a discrepancy about the classification of certain points as big points. Furthermore, the an-swers of all participants provide a vague first definition of the term big point. After provid-ing some clarification about the term big point, study II and III examined the differ-ences of players’ performance parameters in comparison to normal points at the Wimble-don tournament 2016. The findings of study II show that players adapt their serve behaviour when facing a break point. Additionally, the findings highlight the fact that only those players who are able to remain their level at any score advance to the final rounds in a tournament.
The results of study III show that players are able to improve their performance parame-ters in big point situations in tie-breaks by increasing serve speed and by reducing un-forced errors.
In summary, the findings of this cumulative doctor thesis confirm the adaption of male players performances in critical moments of a tennis match. Therefore, the aim of practice sessions must be to prevent a possible de-crease of players’ performance in these tense situations. Accordingly, this thesis provides a first blueprint of possible exercises, which will need to be developed further in the fu-ture.
Finally, more research is necessary to sensi-tize coaches to include the practice of per-formance parameters in critical moments into daily practice sessions.

Translated title of the contributionBig points in tennis? Teaching match specific behaviour for tennis development based on professional players´ performance
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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