Shifting attributions, shaping behaviour: a brief intervention with youth tennis players

Zoe Louise Moffat*, Paul Joseph McCarthy, Bryan McCann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

757 Downloads (Pure)


This case reports a brief attribution-retraining (AR) intervention with youth tennis players. Athletes were struggling to maintain emotional control, resulting in problematic on-court behavior (e.g., racket throwing). The intervention used a Think Aloud protocol and AR across five key phases: (a) assessment, (b) psychoeducation, (c) AR, (d) evaluation, and (e) follow-up. The authors determined intervention effectiveness using qualitative (Think Aloud) and quantitative (Causal Dimension Scale-II) athlete data and feedback provided by athletes and the coach, alongside practitioner reflections. Evaluation suggested that AR and Think Aloud interventions can improve athletes’ emotional control and attribution capabilities, and, in turn, their behavior. The case seeks to present a novel approach to working with youth athletes, highlighting the importance of practitioner adaptability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69–78
Number of pages10
JournalCase Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021


  • youth sport
  • attribution retraining
  • think aloud
  • emotional control


Dive into the research topics of 'Shifting attributions, shaping behaviour: a brief intervention with youth tennis players'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this