Shifting Attributions, Shaping Behavior: A Brief Intervention With Youth Tennis Players

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Glasgow Caledonian University
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This case reports a brief attribution-retraining (AR) intervention with youth tennis players. Athletes were struggling to maintain emotional control, resulting in problematic on-court behavior (e.g., racket throwing). The intervention used a Think Aloud protocol and AR across five key phases: (a) assessment, (b) psychoeducation, (c) AR, (d) evaluation, and (e) follow-up. The authors determined intervention effectiveness using qualitative (Think Aloud) and quantitative (Causal Dimension Scale-II) athlete data and feedback provided by athletes and the coach, alongside practitioner reflections. Evaluation suggested that AR and Think Aloud interventions can improve athletes’ emotional control and attribution capabilities, and, in turn, their behavior. The case seeks to present a novel approach to working with youth athletes, highlighting the importance of practitioner adaptability.

The authors are with Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Moffat (zmoffa200@caledonian.ac.uk) is a corresponding author.
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