EVALUATION OF A PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS INTERVENTION WITHIN A YOUTH TENNIS SQUAD
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The use of performance analysis is becoming ever more prominent within the world of sport due to its increasing accessibility (Blaze et al., 2004). The literature within the field however is often game characteristic based using quantitative means with little attention on its place within the coaching process. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect a performance analysis intervention had on a 'performance' level tennis squad from a coaching perspective. A qualitative approach was selected to help capture the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the coaches (Gratton & Jones, 2004, 2010). Following a 10-week intervention consisting of three performance analysis processes (instructional video, match analysis and real-time analysis) semi-structured interviews were conducted with the head coach and assistant coach of the squad. Field notes made by the researcher (also an assistant coach in the squad) were made throughout and used as additional data. The main finding of the study showed how a mixture of trial and error along with constant reflection 'in' action improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance analysis processes. It was highlighted how this allowed the processes to be shaped around the habitus of the players. Assistant coaches undertaking the analysis with good communication with the head coach was also perceived as essential for the success of the intervention. The results of the study provide support for coaching process models to include a degree of performance analysis. Furthermore, the results confirmed the difficulties of modelling the coaching process due to its ambiguity from all social variables involved (Jones & Wallace, 2005).
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