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Investigation of the Psychological Aspects of Male Junior Tennis Players in Japan

Nobuaki Tanaka (1,2), Masanori Takahashi (1,3), Hiroko Uchijo (1,4), Daisuke Hirata (1,5), Morihiro Takeda (6), Kaoru Umebayashi (1,7), Masayuki Sato (5), Shuhei Sato (8)

1 Sport Science Committee of Japan Tennis Association, 2 Meiji University, Tokyo,

Japan, 3 Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, 4 Fuji University, Iwate, Japan, 5 Senshu

University, Kanagawa, Japan, 6 Fukuyama Heisei University, Hiroshima, Japan,

7 Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, Osaka, Japan, 8 Tokai University,

Kanagawa, Japan

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the psychological aspects of

junior tennis players in Japan. Participants were divided in two groups. One group

consists of 15 male players who participated in the top junior tennis camp. Their

age consist of 15 male players who participated in the top junior tennis camp. Their age ranged from 11 to 13 (M = 12.7). The other group consists of 65 male players who participated in the regional junior tennis camp held in nine regions. Their age ranged from 11 to 15 (M = 12.7). To assess their psychological aspects, we utilized three measurements: Big Five Personality Inventory (Big Five) consisting of five factors (i.e., extraversion, agreeableness, conscience, neuroticism, openness to experience), Tennis-Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (T-TAIS) consisting of six factors (i.e., broad external attentional focus, overloaeded by external stimuli, broad external attentional focus, overloaded by internal stimuli, narrow attentional focus, reduced attentional focus), Diagnostic Inventory of Psychological Competitive Ability for Athletes version 3 (DIPCA, 3) consisting of five factors (i.e., volition for competition, mental stability and concentration, confidence, strategic ability, cooperation) and twelve sub-scales (i.e., patience, aggressiveness, volition for self-realization, volition for winning, self-control, ability to relax, concentration, confidence, decisiveness, predictive ability, judgment, cooperation). To analyze the differences between two groups, an independent t-test was used. The results were as follows: (a) top junior players scored higher in agreeableness and conscience compared to regional junior players (p<.05); (b) top junior players scored higher in broad external attentional focus than regional junior players (p<.05, p<.05): and (c) the total scores in DIPCA. 3, the scores in the confidence and strategic ability factors, and the scores in the aggressiveness, confidence, and predictive ability subscales were higher in top junior players than regional junior players (p<.05, p<.01, P<.05).

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