Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard A. Magill


This study assessed the impact of teacher feedback on student achievement in learning three tennis skills (forehand, backhand, and the serve). It also described teacher feedback patterns in teaching beginning tennis. Subjects consisted of a professional tennis instructor and 40 undergraduate male and female students enrolled in two beginning tennis classes. Fifteen 30-min instructional sessions were videotaped and audiotaped within a 10-week period. Subjects were pretested and posttested on the three tennis skills. The tapes were coded for type and frequency of teacher feedback. The mean occurrence of teacher feedback directed to individual students was about 1 (M = 1.4, SD =.9) feedback statement each session. Feedback statements which were predominantly directed to a single student (96.5%) were typically terminal (89.4%). Prescriptive or corrective feedback (52.6%) occurred slightly more often than evaluative feedback (47.4%). Feedback was more frequently directed toward part of the movement (42.9%) than toward the outcome of the movement (29.5%) or the whole movement (27.6%). When feedback was directed toward part of the movement, 91.2% of the time it was directed toward a spatial characteristic of the movements involved in performing the skill. Comparison of pretest and posttest skill achievement scores showed significant improvements for all the three tests. The quantity of teacher feedback per se and skill achievement were not related. Indications are that knowledge of performance (KP)--the equivalent of teacher feedback in teacher behavior research--operates differently than knowledge of result (KR) in motor learning.