Verbal Communication in Doubles Tennis: An Analysis of Close Games

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Florida State University
  • 2 Ball State University
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in verbal communication between doubles tennis teams during close game situations. Verbal messages exchanged between team players were recorded by means of audiotapes and videotapes. Recorded communication data were coded and analyzed using the Discussion Analysis Tool software (DAT; Jeong, 2003). Results indicated that most of the verbal communication included action (i.e., 34%) and emotional statements (i.e., 34%). Winning teams communicated twice as many messages than losing teams. Specifically, during the close games they won, winning teams communicated significantly more than losing teams. Losing teams used more communication patterns in close games they won relative to the ones they lost. Winning and losing teams also used distinct communication patterns during the close games they won relative to the ones they lost. These distinct communication patterns may have in turn improved the winning teams’ coordination and thereby increased their likelihood of winning.

Lausic and Tenenbaum are with the Dept. of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Razon is with the School pf PE, Sport and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

Address author correspondence to Selen Razon at
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