Research findings have supported the notion that music positively affects hitting accuracy of young tennis players. The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to examine during a training session the effect of athletes’ music preference on tennis shot accuracy; second, to investigate the relationship between tennis performance on specific tennis shots (Forehand Drive-“FD”, Backhand Drive-“BD”, Forehand Volley-“FV”, Backhand Volley- “BV”, Overhead Smash-“OS”, Serve on Deuce court-“SD”, Serve on Advantage court-“SA”) and self-confidence, anxiety, flow and goal orientation. 11 right-handed tennis players (three boys, eight girls), aged 14-17 years old (M = 13.91, SD = 1.81) voluntarily participated in this study. Initially, the athletes completed the following questionnaires: Brunel Music Rating Inventory–2 (Karageorghis et al., 1999), State-Trait Sport Self-Confidence Inventory for Children (Psychountaki & Zervas, 1998), Sport Anxiety Scale-2 (Smith et al., 2006), Flow State Scale-Short Form (Jackson et al., 2008; Stavrou, 2016) and Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire; TEOSQ (Duda & Nicholls, 1992). Afterwards, their performance on the main tennis shots was evaluated under three field conditions. 1st condition: Without music they were fed by the coach ten balls per each shot type, whose performance was measured with an out-of-ten scoring system, according to which the athletes should guide the ball to bounce beyond the service line (no music condition). 2nd condition: Τhe athletes executed in the same order the main shots after having listened to one of their selected favorite songs wherever in the court they wanted to (music before condition). 3rd condition: Participants practiced the same tennis shots in the same order while their favorite songs were playing on court in the order of their preference on speakers (music on court condition). The results indicated statistically significant correlations between sport-confidence, goal orientation, anxiety and flow with some of the main tennis shots (“FD”, “BV”, “OS”, “SA”, “BD”). Statistically significant difference was found between the “no music” and the “music before” condition in “FD”. Moreover, statistically significant was the difference in performance at “FV” between the “no music” and “music on court” condition. The results indicate the importance of athletes’ emotional state and the way it affects their performance on the tennis shots as well as music’s positive effect on the way young tennis athletes perform on court. Those findings may seem valuable in a theoretical and a practical manner for both coaches and athletes.
Keywords: music, performance, teenagers, tennis, anxiety, sport confidence, flow, goal orientation