Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Learning tennis skill through game play and stay in elementary pupilsls

Eleni Zetou, Vasilis Koronas, Ioannis Athanailidis, Panagiotis Koussis



This study aimed to examine the effect of Play and Stay tennis program on learning the service skill on Elementary School pupils and the development of their satisfaction. Sixty-two (62) 5th class Elementary pupils, aged 11 years (Mean Age=11.13, SD=0.33) took part. The pupils, from four classes of two national elementary schools (two classes from each school), were divided into two groups: the experimental group which followed the Play and Stay program, and the control group which followed the traditional teaching method. The four-week course was held during the Physical Education lessons, (20 min of 3 hours/week). A quantitative evaluation was made on 10 trials at the service by each pupil. The qualitative evaluation of the technique was made (video-taping, observation, and a 5-element skill assessment) for service learning, comprising of: an initial test at the beginning, a final test at the end, and a retention test one week after completing the program without any practice. At the end of the course, all participants completed a feedback questionnaire on the level of satisfaction with the program. ANOVA repeated measures revealed significant interaction between groups and measurements for technique evaluation (F(2.120)=30.82, p<0.01), as well as the outcome of service skill (F(2.120)=10.44, p<0.01). The t-test analysis for independent samples showed significant differences between the experimental and the control group in four of the six variables on the satisfaction questionnaire. These findings indicate that the Play and Stay tennis teaching program was effective in helping pupils to learn the service skill, while simultaneously having fun and enjoying the procedure. This suggests that students will be motivated to become more involved in tennis as a sport, since enjoyment and satisfaction stimulate interest in participation.


Tennis; Learning; Skills; Service; Satisfaction; Play and stay


Alexander K, Taggart A, Medland A. Sport education in physical education: Try before you buy. Achper National Journal. 1993; 40(4):16-23.

ALEXANDRIS K, ZAHARIADIS P, TSORBATZOUDIS C, GROUIOS G. An empirical investigation of the relationships among service quality, customer satisfaction and psychological commitment in a health club context. European Sport Management Quarterly. 2004; 4:36-52.

ALLISON PC, PISSANOS BW, TURNER AP, LAW DR. Preservice physical educators' epistemologies of skillfulness. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 2000; 19(2):141-161.

Bunker D, Thorpe R. A model for the teaching of games in secondary schools. Bulletin of Physical Education. 1982 (Spring); 18:7-10.

CARLSON T, HASTIE P. The student social system within sport education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 1997; 16:176-195.

CORBIN CB. Physical Activity for everyone: What every physical educator should know about promoting lifelong physical activity. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 2002; 21:28-44.

Darling-Harnmond L. The right to learn. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 1997.

Ellis M. Making and shaping games. In: R. Thorpe, D. Bunker & L. Almond (Eds.). Rethinking games teaching. Loughborough, UK: University of Technology, Department of Physical Education and Sports Science. 1986; 61-65.

GRANT BC. Integrating sport into the physical education curriculum in New Zealand, secondary schools. Quest. 1993; 44:304-316.

GRIFFIN LL, PLACEK JH. The understanding and development of learners' domain specific knowledge: Introduction. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 2001; 20:299-300.

Griffin LL, MITCHELL SA, OSLIN JL. Teaching sport concepts and skills: A tactical games approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1997.

HASTIE PA. Student role involvement during a unit of sport education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 1996; 16:88-103.

HASTIE P. The participation and perceptions of girls within a unit of sport education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 1998; 17:157-171.

HASTIE PA, SIEDENTOP D. An ecological perspective on physical education. European Physical Education Review. 1999; 5:9-29.

ITF. "Play tennis course manual"; 2008. Available from: http://www.tennisplayandstay. com/downloads/index.html [Accessed 23rd November 2009]

ITF. Tennis Play and Stay Worldwide; 2008. Available from: [Accessed 23rd November 2009]

KIRK D. MACPHAIL A. Teaching games for understanding and situated learning: Rethinking the Bunker - Thorpe model. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 2002; 21(2):177-192.

MITCHELL SA, OSLIN JL, GRIFFIN LL. Sport foundations for elementary physical education: A tactical games approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2003.

NEWMAN J. Play and stay or play and go? The role of sport commitment and enjoyment in retaining recreational players; 2008a. Available from: Play%20 and%20Go%20-%20Handout.pdf [Accessed 23rd November 2009]

Robert P. Teaching elementary physical education: A handbook for the classroom teacher. Boston: Allyn and Bacon; 1997.

Payne G, Rink J. Physical education in the developmentally appropriate integrated curriculum. In: C. Hart, D. Burts, and R. Charlesworth (Eds.). Integrated curriculum and developmentally appropriate practice-birth to age eight. Albany, NY: SUNY Press; 1997:145-170.

Prensky M. Digital game-based learning. New York; London, McGrew-Hill; 2001.

SMITH PK, PELLEGRINI A. Learning Through Play, Encyclopedia on early childhood development. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom University of Minnesota, US; 2008.

ZYGOURITSAS N. To Pehnidi sti Mathis (Games in Learning); 2008. Available from: [Accessed 20th June 2010]


Copyright (c) 2012 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.