The Effects of Rhythm Training on Tennis Performance
Rhythm training is an integral part of sports. The purposes of the study were to analyze the effects of rhythm training on tennis performance and rhytmic competence of tennis players, to compare the improvement levels of tennis specific and general rhythm training and to examine the effects of shorter and longer tempos on rhythmic competence. Thirty university students whose mean score of International Tennis Number (ITN) was 7.3 (±0.9) were divided randomly into three sub-groups: Tennis Group, General Rhythm Training Group and Tennis-Specific Rhythm Training Group. The experimental procedure lasted 8 weeks. During this period, all groups had the same tennis training twice a week. The Tennis Group had regular tennis training sessions. In addition to regular tennis training sessions, the General Rhythm Training Group followed the general rhythm training sessions and the Tennis-Specific Rhythm Training Group had tennis-specific rhythm training. The measurement instruments were ITN, Rhythmic Competence Analysis Test and Untimed Consecutive Rally Test. The results indicated that participation in tennis-specific or general rhythm training resulted in progress in tennis playing levels, forehand consistency performance and rhythmic competence of the participants. On the other hand, attendance to the regular 8-week tennis training was enough to solely increase the tennis playing level but not sufficient to develop forehand consistency performance and rhythmic competence. Although the participants in the TRTG had better improvement scores than the ones in the GRTG, no significant difference was found between the rhythm training groups. The results also revealed that participants exhibited higher rhythmic competence scores on fast tempo compared to slow tempo.
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