A Grounded Theory of Elite Male Table Tennis Players’ Activity during Matches

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Carole Sève University of Rouen, France

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Germain Poizat University of Rouen, France

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Jacques Saury University of Nantes, France

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Marc Durand University of Geneva, Switzerland

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This article describes the main features of a collaborative project involving researchers, coaches, and elite table tennis players. The project was carried out between 1997 and 2002 with funding from the French Ministry of Youth and Sports, in response to a request by French Table Tennis Team coaches to improve the training of table tennis players. Matches were videotaped during international meets and followed by interviews during which the players described and commented on their activity as they viewed the tapes. A grounded theory of players’ activity emerged from the data collected and the ensuing theoretical issues that were raised. The findings on table tennis players’ activity pointed to a new direction for training proposals, for example the organization of reflexive practices during training.

Carole Sève and Germain Poizat are with University of Rouen, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Rouen, France. E-mail: carole.seve@univ-rouen.fr.; germain.poizat@etu.univ-rouen.fr. Jacques Saury is with Faculty of Sport Sciences at the University of Nantes, Nantes, France. E-mail: saury.jacques@wanadoo.fr. Marc Durand is with the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail: Marc.Durand@pse.unige.ch.

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