Impact of tennis coaching on players with an intellectual disability Authors- Liam O'Donohoe, Sarah Hewitt, Tennis Ireland and St. Michael's House

Issued on October 4 2019


Impact of tennis coaching on players with an intellectual disability

  1. O'Donohoe1 and S. Hewitt2

1Liam O'Donohoe, Ireland; 2Sarah Hewitt, Ireland

Introduction: In 2015 St Michael's House in conjunction with Tennis Ireland piloted Enjoy Tennis, a programme which for the first time in Ireland provided the opportunity for players with an intellectual disability (moderate and mild) to learn and play tennis. The pilot was deemed successful and three years later there are now c700 players in the programme in Ireland with ID ‐ (moderate and mild). Players and Service Provider interviews have stongly suggested positive impacts for players on a number of areas of their lives. These benefits are reported to include increased self‐confidence, social skills, self mastery and integration into the player's wider communities. Now running in 70 clubs in Ireland the programme is also seen as increasing disability awareness in the clubs.

Methods: Research is about to start to test the extent of one or more these impacts. Following the literature review it is proposed to use the experience in Enoy Tennis to examine whether current theoretical models explain the impact of the programme for players.

Results: “ Mark has now developed a great top spin forehand! ‐ His pride and self confidence has improved significantly on and off court “.

Implications: The scope exists to broaden the model to other sports.

Keywords Tennis, impact, Self Mastery, Confidence